What is Human Resource Audits?

A Human Resource Audit is a systematic and comprehensive process, which is designed to examine the strategies, policies, procedures, documentation, structure, systems and practices with respect to the organization’s human resource management. It systematically and scientifically assesses the strengths, limitations, and developmental needs of the existing human resources from the larger point of view of enhancing organisational performance.

Our services include:

  • Personal interviews of employees, managers and other required personnel.
  • Assessments of the effectiveness and efficiency of the existing management processes, policies and practices against predetermined standards.
  • Ascertaining the level of compliance with laws and regulations, industry standards and organizational policies.
  • Suggesting and implementing corrective measures by identifying policies and procedures that are not followed.
  • Identifying the need for additional training and retraining.
  • Developing HR auditing procedures that become an ongoing and sustainable element of the organization’s internal controls

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Statutory Audits in the Caribbean

Statutory Audit is a legally required external audit conducted annually to meet a specific set of requirements by the government. It relies on the internal audit reports, verification of financial information, documents and related stock validations.

Scope and nature of audit programme are subject to the specifications of the governmental body and financial institutions. It involves scrutiny of all financial statements and accounts related to the organization to ensure their reliability and avoid any misrepresentation or discrepancies. The findings of a statutory audit are legal and binding and can lead to citation or fines or both.

All registered business enterprises (some exemption available for SMEs) are mandated to undergo statutory audit for the preparation of accurate financial statements. Statutory audit plays a major role in efficiently managing the operations of the company.

In the midst of multifaceted and dynamic market conditions, we at Crowe Horwath are keen on attaining organizational benefits and adding value to regulators, shareholders and other stakeholders by offering international professional services in line with internationally accepted accounting standards and methodologies.

Our innovative and exceptionally talented team is committed to undertaking all possible measures to eliminate fraud and stimulate transparency by scrutinizing your financial statements and reporting methodology. Our complete compliance with the local governing laws certifies its accuracy and credibility.

Years of experience and extensive technical knowledge in the financial and accounting industry enable us to communicate with clients regarding business issues and help identify organizational areas susceptible to risks, based upon which we design solutions that mitigate those risks.

We help our clients monitor their organizational code of conduct, have regular reviews to assess the quality, economy and efficiency of the operational performance and implement strategies for improvement. Our services are structured to adapt to the nature and size of the organization and guarantee you of a fair and true view of the entity on the financial statements.

As our value added service, we also provide a working guidance on regulatory reporting requirements.

CH_Global-Audit-Brochure here

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Regulatory Risk and Compliance Services in the Caribbean

 Improving Regulatory Compliance Leads to Strong Corporate Governance

Compliance risk is the threat posed to an organisation’s financial or reputational standing resulting from violations of laws, regulations, codes of conduct, or organisational standards of practice.

In a highly regulated business environment like Jamaica and Trinidad and the wider Caribbean, strict guidelines have been established, and an organisation could potentially face stiff penalties in the event it’s found guilty of a compliance failure. Companies across all industries are navigating a proliferation of diverse regulatory requirements, stakeholder expectations, and business model changes.

As such, to mitigate against risk exposure, organisations are required to tighten their risk assessment process to fully incorporate compliance risk exposure.

Our team brings deep regulatory experience and know-how to help your business build a compliance function that aligns with the vison, strategies and capabilities of the organisation.

Our ethics and compliance professionals will;

  • Initially conduct a risk assessment of your business to understand the full spectrum of compliance risks lurking in each part of the business that could impact the organisation’s ability to achieve its strategic objectives.
  • We will then assess which risks have the greatest potential for legal, financial, operational, or reputational damage and advice appropriately, to mitigate those risks.
  • Our compliance officers will then develop pragmatic solutions, streamline compliance processes, and modify existing organisational structures, to help improve the effectiveness of risk management, compliance, and internal audit. Our compliance risk assessment is likely to consider operational and legal or regulatory compliance risks.

Apart from the above-mentioned, our team can also assist with:

  • Outsourced Compliance / Money Laundering Reporting
  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Compliance advisory, audit and training
  • Complete end-to-end assistance with incorporation/authorisation for new firms in the Caribbean and elsewhere
  • Drafting of documents/manuals including compliance / AML manuals and compliance monitoring programmes
  • Pre-Initial Public Offering (IPO) compliance readiness
  • International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) conversion consulting; and
  • Outsourced Company Secretary services to firms in the Caribbean and also provide outsourced independent Director Services to organisations

Crowe Horwath proprietary models and technological platform enables organisations to stay up to date with the regulatory requirement and also helps their current systems to be tuned up to the latest developments to meet up with the ever evolving regulatory landscape.

Get E-Copy of our Services Brochure here

 

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HR Solution:Executive Search & Selection in the Caribbean

Our Executive Search division has been purpose built to provide innovative approaches to support organizations that have strategically important positions to fill. We work on a collaborative and consultative approach that has been developed over the course of many years’ global search experience.

Our business across the Caribbean:

From our Caribbean, combined with a Global Network of 752 offices in over 130 countries, ensure our clients have access to the widest possible candidate pool. Our turnaround time to present candidates is generally 1 to 2 weeks rather than 4-6 weeks depending on the method of hiring.

Our delivery capabilities cross diverse industry sectors.

  •       Banking and Finance
  •       Family Offices
  •       Mechanical/Civil Engineering, Construction, Project Management,
  •       Retail and distribution
  •       Government and Statutory bodies
  •       Tourism & Hospitality

Candidate Guarantee:

We strive to provide qualified, pre-screened candidates for your hard-to-fill positions while you focus on growing your business. Our process and experience delivers the industry’s top candidates to you, every time. We guarantee our work by providing a free replacement during the probation period of each appointed candidate.

Talent Development
Talent, is the key factor linking companies’ competitiveness, growth and innovation, understanding the importance that talent value chain is vital to the survival and sustainability of businesses. Better data and metrics are critical to this understanding, skills levels of each and every employee is monitored on bottom line results, specific and targeted talent development programs, combined with personal or team coaching will bring out the desired results for the Owner/Employer.

Our team of professional Facilitators are available for a no obligation open discussion; they will ascertain precisely your Human Talent Development requirements. Following which, you will be presented with our recommendations to maximize your Human Talent potential.

Important to note; one size does not fit all, each program is tailored to your personal requirements .

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Information Technology Services

Concerns about making the best technology judgments are not unique. Many IT-related decisions are made or delayed based on fear and a lack of time and understanding. Boardrooms and C-suites across the country are full of decision-makers struggling to understand the best way to use technology.

Many divisions within a business can see technology’s benefits in,for example, operational efficiencies, improved analytics, and increased sales and marketing exposure. But despite the integral role that information technology plays in today’s businesses, many companies approach major IT initiatives in a way that is far from business-like. Frequently, six- or seven-figure investments are made without tying these decisions to clearly defined business results. Dozens of smaller decisions are made and funded, to be followed six months after implementation by the surprise news that integrations – and further spending – are still required to “make it work.”

Building upon a strong foundation of industry specialization and technological knowledge, our professionals follow a proven technology roadmap to cultivate original, practical solutions that help address our clients’ most pressing challenges. At Crowe Horwath, innovation is part of our culture – we have a history of applying new tools and technology to help streamline and effectively manage complex processes.

Crowe Horwath can help you to monitor their organization’s growth, performance and governance through our specialised services including,

  • Information Technology Audit
  • Project Management and Quality Assurance
  • Cyber Security & Resilience
  • Business Transformation
  • Microsoft Dynamics Solutions implementation

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Corporate Finance and Restructuring Services

As business grows, the financial requirements increase adding into one or more mode of finance in the business for its smooth functioning.

There may also be the need for disposal of certain assets post re-financing, to lower debt to an acceptable level.

Recommendations to restructure the finance & legal structure, systems, internal policies and procedures may also lead to further strengthening internal controls, streamlining operations, capture synergies, reduction of costs, thus leveraging on new credit facilities.

We can assist in renegotiating bank credit lines at lower costs with longer tenors (for financing of assets, working capital, terms loans and/or revolving credit lines) and search for an equity investor

Transaction Support

To help businesses plan better and negotiate as buyers and/or sellers, to ensure that all the financial, legal and commercial aspects and the information exchanged is duly verified and validated.

Mergers & Acquisitions

A lot of research, analyses and marketing skills contribute in acquiring/merging an existing business or starting a new venture.

It is valued based on the financial projections, WACC discount rate and other intangible elements attached to the acquisition/ merger varying from business to business.

Due Diligence

An essential part of review and evaluation of any investment opportunity, disposal and/or, reorganization, and is key requirement during the M&A process. It is a process by which confidential and key legal, financial, management, human capital, operational and commercial information is reviewed by independent financial advisors and shared between key stakeholders and senior management.

Feasibility Studies

It lays down a blue print for the success and growth of the business and help the management to take informed investment decisions. This can be used for expanding the business, introduction of new products or entering new markets

Financial Modelling and Business Valuation

A set of procedures used to estimate the economic value of an owner’s interest in any company. The values conclusions are derived through robust financial modelling techniques and are based on a going concern premise, business assumptions and certain other variable factors.

Business Plan

To ensure proper planning of how a company manages and grows the business, re-emphasizing its culture, mission, values, strategy over a period of 5-7 years.

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Economy: Trinidad and Tobago

Location of Point Lisas in Trinidad and Tobago.

Location of Point Lisas in Trinidad and Tobago. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Economy

GNI: 
US$21.2bn
GNI PC: 
US$15,760
GDP Growth: 
-0.6% p.a. 2009–13
Inflation: 
7.4% p.a. 2009–13

Trinidad and Tobago has a very sophisticated economy for a country of its size, embracing mineral extraction, agriculture, industry, tourism and services, but it is underpinned by a single commodity – oil – which was first discovered in 1866. The high price of oil in the 1970s allowed considerable publicly financed development, but when the price fell in the 1980s the economy faltered badly. In the recession years (1985–89), GDP fell by 30 per cent in real terms. Although the government had substantial reserves, these were exhausted by 1987, and the economy had to be supported by the IMF until 1993, when oil prices had recovered.

In the late 1980s, a programme of privatisation was under way and continued through the 1990s. At the same time industries based on natural gas, tourism and other service industries were developed. Tax receipts have been rising through more efficient collection, though many tax rates have been cut.

With the new industries on stream and oil prices strong, the economy was buoyant in the latter 1990s into the 2000s, pausing briefly only in 2001–02, a period of political uncertainty, when the government was distracted from the structural reforms and investor confidence diminished.

Then during 2002–06 the economy grew at ten per cent p.a., moderating to 4.8 per cent in 2007. In the global economic downturn of 2008–09 demand for Trinidad and Tobago’s manufactures weakened sharply and the economy shrank by 4.4 per cent in 2009; it stood still in 2010, contracted by a further 1.6 per cent in 2011 and recovered modestly in 2012–15. Unemployment, which had fallen to an all-time low of 4.6 per cent in 2008, rose rapidly in 2009–12.

Oil and gas:

There are more than 30 producing oil and gas fields, many of them offshore. For a long time after the 1970s there were no significant fields discovered, but exploration in areas off the east coast led to discovery of the large Angostura field in 2001. In January 2014 oil reserves were estimated at 800 million barrels. Exploration has intensified following the Angostura find, but offshore fields are costly to exploit and slow to be brought on stream. There are two oil refineries: at Pointe-à-Pierre and at Point Fortin.

Trinidad and Tobago has estimated proven natural gas reserves of 400 billion cubic metres (January 2014). The Atlantic LNG Plant at Point Fortin started to export natural gas in 1999. It was then expanded in stages during the 2000s. The country is among the world’s biggest exporters of LNG.

Manufacturing: 

Manufacturing and process industries are centred on the free-trade zone. The government established joint ventures with foreign companies to produce iron and steel, petrochemicals, cement, ammonia and other nitrogenous fertilisers, urea and methanol. A plan for construction of a large aluminium smelter prepared by US-based Alcoa was rejected following a challenge by environmentalists. New plans for construction of an aluminium smelter funded by China were announced in 2008 but then cancelled in 2010.

Trinidad and Tobago’s natural gas has a high methane content with few impurities and is very suitable for methanol and ammonia production. The Point Lisas industrial estate has seven large, modern methanol plants, nine ammonia plants and a urea plant, with more under development, and the country is among the world’s largest exporters of both methanol and ammonia.

It also assembles motor vehicles and produces consumer durables, such as television sets and gas cookers, and clothing, and there is a significant printing industry.

– See more at: http://thecommonwealth.org/our-member-countries/trinidad-and-tobago/economy#sthash.3Sv1h8Tq.dpuf

Source:http://thecommonwealth.org/our-member-countries/trinidad-and-tobago/economy

 

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Use Non-compete Agreements To Help Protect Your Business

In this article I will explore how business operators can protect themselves using Non-compete Agreements.
Q: One of my former employees has started a competing business and is calling my clients and trying to steal their business from me. Do I have any legal recourse against him?
— Clive

A: I hate to break this to you, Clive, but unless this former employee signed a noncompete agreement while on your payroll, there is probably very little you can do to stop him from wooing your customers. You should discuss the situation with your attorney, but unless this person is also breaking the law in some other way (using stolen trade secrets, for example) your attorney will probably concur with me.

Renegade former employees riding the free enterprise wave is one reason noncompete agreements are gaining in popularity among employers who hope to use them to help protect their business from competitive threats launched by former employees. Many employers are now demanding that key employees sign noncompetes as a stipulation of employment. While signing noncompetes usually doesn’t sit well with employees who view them as potential roadblocks to their upwardly mobile career path, many businesses will not hire a key employee without his or her signature on the dotted line.

A noncompete agreement is a formal contract between you and your employees in which they promise not to use information or contacts pertinent to your business in a competing situation. In other words, they agree not to take everything they learn working for you and put it to use for someone else. This could mean going to work for a competitor or starting a competing business of their own.

While not popular with employees, noncompete agreements are a good way for employers to keep key employees on the payroll and protect the company’s proprietary information. That said, do not go overboard with noncompetes: not every employee should be required to sign one. If an employee does not have access to sensitive information, customer or accounting data, or is integral to the overall success of your business, there is no need to have them sign a noncompete. The janitor, for example, poses very little threat to your business if he gets a job with a competitor. Your sales manager, on the other hand, can devastate your business by hooking his wagon to a competing horse.

Which employees should sign noncompete agreements? While the prerequisites vary from business to business, the following is a good general list. The term “employees” represents executive level, management, supervisory, and non-management personnel relative to that example:

– Employees involved in research or product development. – Employees involved in the design, fabrication, engineering, and manufacturing process. – Employees who service products made and sold by your company. – Sales and service employees who have regular contact with customers or sensitive customer information. – Employees with access to sensitive business information or trade secrets. – Most importantly, employees who have sufficient information about your business that would allow them to start a competing business.

Most business experts agree that noncompete agreements are generally a good way to protect your business. The downside is that noncompete agreements are often difficult to enforce and in some countries, may not be enforceable at all. Many courts have ruled that noncompete agreements are too restrictive on an employee’s right to earn a living.

In California, for instance, noncompetes are generally only enforceable in connection with the sale of a business and not for employees. In Alabama, noncompetes are generally enforceable in only two contexts: the sale of a business and in connection with employment – but even then the enforcement requires that there be a valid interest worthy of protection.

Some states/countries require that the noncompete be signed at the beginning of the employment relationship and will only consider the enforcement of a noncompete signed after the initial employment date if the signing of the noncompete was accompanied by a promotion, raise in pay, or other event that elevated the employee to a more important role within the company.

To be enforceable, noncompete agreements must be reasonable on three accounts: Time, geography and scope. Regarding time, you can’t restrict someone from competing with you forever, so one to three years is the accepted time period for most noncompetes.

As to geography, you can enforce restriction in the general area where you conduct business, but you can not enforce the restriction beyond those boundaries. And for scope, the agreement can restrict certain actions on the part of the employee, but can’t be so generally restrictive that the employee won’t be able to earn a living working in the same industry in a noncompetitive position.

One interesting thing to note: noncompete agreements are not enforceable against certain “professionals,” like doctors, CPAs, and lawyers (who do you think writes all those noncompetes).

At this point, Clive, the best thing you can do is contact your attorney to see if you have other grounds for suit, then contact your customers and let them know what’s going on.

Explain the situation regarding the former employee, but do so calmly and resist the urge to tell them what you really think of this guy. Showing your anger to the customer is not going to help you keep their business .

Reaffirm your relationship with the client, tell him how much you value his business, remind him of your track record and level of service, then ask one simple question: What can I do to make sure your business stays with me?

For additional guidance contact us at :info@crowehorwath.com.jm or Contact our Legal Department at :1876-9083124

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Jamaica:Business Outsourcing And Verifying Employees

When you decide upon business outsourcing for project needs it is important to verify who the people are who will be working in your business. You should verify the employees as you would your own.

If you run backgrounds tests on your employees, then you should do the same with an outsourcing business’s employees.

It will be hard for you to demand that outsourcing employees agree to a background check or a drug test.

What you can do is use only a company who will provide the proof to you the people are acceptable. You should get a name of every person who will be entering your business working on the project.

Sometimes when there are a lot of people entering the business from an outsourced company it can be confusing who is with the company and who is in the building without authorization.

Be sure you know each employee who works for the outsourced company and provide them with temporary badges to wear. This way, anyone who is not wearing one of the temporary badges can be questioned with reason.

Your employees have a right to feel safe at their place of work. You cannot bring in people who have dangerous backgrounds to work on an outsourced project for you.

You should verify all of the provided information and know every person who will be working on an outsourced project. All of these employees from the business outsourcing company should be properly introduced to your staff so everyone feels comfortable with the people walking through the halls.

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