Doing Business In Cambodia: What You Need To Know

Venturing overseas to open new markets is exciting but it can also be filled with uncertainties. Cambodia is a fast-growing economy that offers abundant opportunities, but there are things that business owners need to look out for. This is especially important if they are expanding overseas for the first time. Among others, they need to consider the regulatory processes and the availability of infrastructure and services.

Four decades after the Cambodian civil war ended, Cambodia is welcoming foreign direct investments. While the city is now dotted with new, sleek high-rise buildings, back-end policy- making has not exactly caught up with the gleaming facade. The application to start a business in Cambodia can be a slow process, with company incorporation approval, company registration for taxation purposes and other critical procedures taking longer than in their home country. An example of this is the application for electricity supply. Electricity should flow relatively easily in a completed office building, however, companies that are building or taking over new properties may have to wait up to six months to receive a permanent supply of electricity. This includes the wait for application approval, which can take longer than the actual connection and associated works.

To put the above into perspective, consider the statistics released by The World Bank. According to the World Bank, in 2010, Cambodia scored 50.12 in the Distance To Frontier, a measurement that indicates the level of regulatory performance with respect to the ideal (100), across all economies across all time. Over the years, however, the country has made great strides; it reached 54.79 in 2017, translating into a laudable four-point improvement for a new economy. By comparison, Vietnam was at 58.14 in 2010 and is 63.83 in 2017. Thailand was at 73.03 in 2010 and is at 72.53 in 2017. At the current pace, it will not be long before Cambodia catches up with the rest of the region.

Transport infrastructure is usually an important area of consideration for business owners. Since 2008, the Cambodia government has been upgrading roads around the country. This is most visible in Phnom Penh, the capital, though the lack of good road signs does cause some concern. The condition of roads in outlying areas, too, still has room for improvement. Trading companies, however, will be happy to note that Cambodia is well-connected to the rest of the world by sea. Situated 224km from Phnom Penh is the Port of Sihanoukville, a well-regarded deep-sea port. The port, in its present condition, can accommodate 950,000 tonnes of cargo per year, twice its current traffic. This is good news, as it implies that trading volume, and hence, companies that depend on shipping for survival, will be able to grow without considerable difficulty in the years to come.

In terms of Cambodia’s Internet connectivity to the rest of the world, there is reason to cheer. After years of spotty connection, Cambodia will soon receive a boost in capacity, with the completion of the country’s first underwater fibre optic cable. A multinational project saw landing stations built in Sihanoukville in Cambodia, Rayong in Thailand and Cherating in Malaysia, all connected via a 1,300km network of undersea cables. The Malaysia-Cambodia-Thailand Submarine Cable System (MCT) will connect with the 20,000km Asia-America Gateway (AAG), bringing global data almost instantly to Cambodia’s doorstep. This initiative is expected to bring the capacity to 30 times the current level, leading to more data traffic in and out of Cambodia and translating to business growth.

Like Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and other emerging cities around the world when they opened themselves to the world, Phnom Penh is experiencing a rise in property prices. However, smaller companies exploring business opportunities in Cambodia need not worry about leasing expensive offices to base themselves in. Many service providers now offer serviced offices and co-working locations, essentially shared offices for business owners to conduct their businesses in. These facilities come complete with furniture, utilities and the Internet, all for a small monthly fee. This will definitely be a welcome development for business owners aspiring to set up shop in Cambodia.

In short, there are great opportunities to leverage in Cambodia, but there are also challenges to overcome in the nascent economy. The processes of getting things done may not be the fastest in the world, however, companies that endure this inconvenience will find themselves the pioneers in what promises to be one of the most exciting business destinations in Asia.

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The Different Work Passes In Singapore

Singapore attracts companies from all over the world to set up shop on its shores. Inevitably, the nation sees experienced professionals continually arriving and add value to its economy. Concurrently, the service industry grows to support these companies and professionals. With people of all levels of skills arriving in Singapore, there has to be a way to manage their stay in the country. To this end, the Ministry of Manpower has in place a set of work passes catered to the different classes of foreign labour in Singapore.

Probably the most commonly-encountered pass encountered in the corporate environment, the Employment Pass (EP) is the document that is issued to foreign professionals and executives who work in Singapore. Most of the workers in the banking industry and the IT industry belong to this category. An EP is issued to a professional who already has a job offer in a managerial or executive position. Such a professional is expected to possess a good degree from a generally-recognised university or a professional qualification. He or she is also required draw a monthly salary is $3,300 (raised to $3,600 from 1 January 2017). It should be noted that the Ministry does not only consider paper qualifications in its evaluation. Someone who does not possess the necessary qualifications may not necessarily be rejected; the Ministry will also consider his or her skills and other factors.

Another pass that is catered to the professionals is the Entrepass. This pass is meant for people who wish to start companies in Singapore. The Entrepass is valid for one year only and there is a set of criteria that must be met. The applicant must have started or intend to start a Private Limited company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). This company must have a minimum of $50,000 in paid-up capital and must be at least 30% owned by the applicant. The applicant must also be able to demonstrate to the Singapore government that he or she is a recipient of funding or investment from a recognised venture capitalist (VC), holds an intellectual property (IP) that is registered with an approved national IP institution, is involved in research with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) or a Singapore-based university, or is part of an incubation programme supported by the Singapore government. Whichever criteria the application is able to satisfy, he or she must also ensure that the IP, the research or the incubatee work must be related to the business.

Away from the realms of the professional workers, there are several work passes that cater to the semi-skilled workers. The ones that are associated with businesses are the S Pass and the Work Permit. The S Pass is issued to semi-skilled workers who find jobs in the technical fields and earn a minimum wage of $2,200 a month. Such workers are normally technicians in a manufacturing environment. While the Ministry mandates that these workers should have a degree or a diploma, it is prepared to consider applicants with lower qualifications but who possess certificates relevant to the fields in which they are working. The criteria of such certification should include at least a year of full-time study. One final consideration for the issuance of the S Pass is the number of years of experience in the industry. Ideally, they should have worked for a minimum of one or two years before applying.

The final tier of work passes is the Work Permit (WP). The WP is generally meant for unskilled workers who hail from certain approved countries. It caters to such diverse industries as construction, manufacturing, marine, process and services. The requirements for the issuance of the Work Permit varies between the industries, however, all employers are subject to a set of common requirements like the need for a security bond, medical insurance and medical examination, as well as housing requirements. While it may seem a herculean task to fulfill these requirements, they are necessary to ensure that the foreign unskilled workers are adequately taken care of and are able to work in their respective positions safely and productively.

The Singapore government, through the Ministry of Manpower, has in place a comprehensive set of work passes and associated requirements that cover the foreign workers who contribute to the economy. This system ensures that Singapore’s business landscape remains vibrant and inviting to companies.

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Virtual Offices – The Preferred Route For Startups

The desire to be one’s own boss. Financial freedom. The urge to pursue one’s passion. Whatever the motivation, more people are turning to entrepreneurship than before. According to figures from the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), between 4,661 and 6,369 business entities were set up every month between January and June 2016. While getting excited about potentially making it big in the world of business, budding entrepreneurs will have to plan their steps carefully. One of the early considerations is obtaining a registered address for the business.

ACRA mandates that any legal entity that is registered with it must carry a registered address. Unless the business has received investor funding and is ready to rent an office or a warehouse, the owner of a startup typically works from home. This leaves one without a ready business address, and will have to source for something that can be used. There are several considerations in choosing a registered address. While anyone is free to use a home address as a business address, it may not be the best choice. Image is important to a business and nothing can be worse than having a residential address show up on a professionally-designed business card or a corporate website that is accessible by prospective clients and partners around the globe.

Even if the address is not displayed on marketing material, potential investors might be put off by a residential address when they search for the startup’s publicly-available business profile on ACRA’s BizFile website. Starting a business is never easy and it would help matters if the business came with a professional business address. For a small fee, a startup could consider using the virtual office service of a professional accounting firm. All mail destined for the business arrives at the firm’s office for self-collection. For the business owner’s convenience, there is an option of having the service provider forward the mail to his or her actual home address. Engaging such services not only gives the business owner a prestigious address to work with, it also accords the entrepreneur privacy. It prevents the home address from being publicized, and attracting potential spam mail.

A virtual office address serves not only local startups but also foreign companies that maintain only a small presence in Singapore. A company that is involved in trading may base itself in Singapore, with just a country manager taking care of the sales and administration, while the actual movement of goods takes place elsewhere in the region. The same scenario applies for a manufacturing firm dealing with low-value goods, where siting the factories in neighbouring countries to leverage the lower cost of goods and labour makes perfect business sense. A virtual office service may also prove useful to a foreign firm that is exploring the prospect of doing business in Singapore. While it registers a representative office with ACRA and conducts market research and feasibility studies, subscribing to a virtual office address helps keep costs low, freeing up funds for more critical groundwork.

The advantages of using a virtual office are many. A virtual address has helped many startups bloom into larger companies and will continue to do the same for years to come.

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Different Ways Foreign Companies Can Set Up Shop In Singapore

Singapore consistently ranks as one of the best places in the world to do business in. A stable political environment, an advanced transport infrastructure and a sound financial system all serve to make this island state an attractive place for business. Consequently, it has managed to pull foreign direct investments (FDI) from multinational firms looking to grow in the Asia Pacific region. Indeed, a walk in downtown Singapore reveals many foreign names in the food and beverage (F&B) trade, the financial services industry and the music scene. Similarly, a drive through the industrial regions brings one past factories and warehouses operated by foreign firms, whether they are companies dealing in construction equipment or big names in the pharmaceutical world. Some companies are even housed in properties managed by foreign-owned real estate investment trusts (REITs).

With Singapore being such an attractive investment destination, there certainly has to be ways in which companies settle in the country and start operations. To this end, the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), Singapore’s regulator in the business environment, has three distinct ways in which foreign companies may operate in Singapore. Each offers a unique structure that is suited for companies in different circumstances.

Probably the most popular way to set foot in Singapore is to register a subsidiary company. A subsidiary company is a Private Limited company that is incorporated locally and majority-owned by a foreign company. As a subsidiary company is a legal entity in the eyes of the law in Singapore, it is bound by the Companies Act, requiring it to adhere to the same regulations that bind other such companies. It has to appoint a company secretary within six months of incorporation and conduct its first annual general meeting (AGM) within 18 months. However, even though it is owned by a foreign company, it is treated as a separate legal entity in Singapore. As such, liabilities of this company are not extended to the parent company. Since it is a local entity, the company is treated as a resident local company and is eligible for tax incentives granted by the Singapore government.

Another way in which a foreign company may conduct its business here is to set up a local Branch office. A branch office, like a subsidiary company, is also a legal entity, but it is treated as an extension of the parent company. The branch office must carry the same name as the parent company, unless there is a conflict with an existing Singapore company. As a Branch office is viewed as a non-resident company, it is not accorded the same benefits as a subsidiary company. It does not enjoy tax incentives and any liabilities incurred in Singapore have to be borne by the parent company. Consequently, a branch office is a less attractive option for many foreign companies.

A foreign company that is exploring Singapore as a possible business location and is not ready to fully commit its resources may choose to set up a representative office. A representative office is a temporary setup without a legal status. Unlike its aforementioned counterparts, a representative office is not allowed to conduct commercial activities like perform profit-oriented transactions, raise invoices, obtain letters of credit and lease a warehouse. It may, however, conduct market research and feasibility studies on behalf of its parent company. It may, for the purpose of determining the suitability of Singapore as a business location, hire up to five employees. A representative office must be renewed on an annual basis with ACRA and may exist for up to three years. Thereafter, it must upgrade to a subsidiary company or a branch office, or cease operations.

A foreign company should carefully consider its intention of setting up its presence in Singapore and explore the best option with which to achieve it. Choosing the right route will ensure that it puts its best foot forward in what may be the start of a long-lasting business relationship with the Asia Pacific region.

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Leave Company Incorporation To The Experts

Singapore has consistently been described as one of the best places to do business in. With the proliferation of the Internet and easy access to information, more people than before are entering the world of business. It helps that more young people are gaining the entrepreneurial mindset today. According to records from the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), between 4,661 and 6,369 business entities were set up every month between January and June 2016. While the Singapore government makes it easy for aspiring business owners to set up legal corporate entities themselves, it pays to plan carefully. This is especially important when dealing with Private Limited companies, where the legal obligations on the part of company owners are much more complex than those of sole proprietors and partners.

It is very easy for anyone to set up a Private Limited company on BizFile, ACRA’s one-stop business portal for business owners and the public. Provided the name chosen for the company does not contravene rules set by the government and the aspiring owner has all the company and personal details on hand, a company can be set up within an hour on BizFile. It costs only $15 to register a company name and $300 to incorporate the company. Technology has made this initial setup process hassle-free, seamless and simple. What many people do not realise is that while it is extremely easy to jump onto the business bandwagon, it is also extremely easy to land into trouble when legal obligations come their way later.

ACRA has statutory obligations in place that require companies to meet. The Singapore Companies Act mandates that every company has to appoint at least one local Company Secretary within six months of incorporation. It also has to hold its first Annual General Meeting (AGM) within 18 months. While these requirements sound straightforward, fulfilling them might not be so. When a business owner is busy running the day-to-day affairs of the business, it is easy to overlook such legal aspects. This is especially true for a new business owner working alone. When the business is new and the owner Whis the sole Director, salesperson, marketer and operations person, many things will appear to overwhelm him or her. When one is chasing sales to meet month-end closing, the last thing that one wants to worry about is conducting an AGM. Sadly, if legal obligations are not fulfilled, penalties may be imposed on the business.

Conducting an AGM is more than just sitting down and reminiscing about the company’s activities in the past year. Someone will have to prepare the meeting agenda, the meeting will have to follow a structured format and minutes will have to be taken. Eventually, a report will have to be produced and circulated to the shareholders. An AGM is a serious affair that will be set in stone in the annals of the company. There are other matters that new business owners will have to worry about too, like establishing and maintaining statutory registers and filing changes within the company with ACRA. It would help the business owners greatly if such specific tasks like transferring and issuing of shares, appointments and resignation of officers and even the changes in the Memorandum of Articles and Association (MA&A), were recorded by a company dedicated to these tasks.

It makes good business sense to leave such administrative tasks to an outsourced company secretarial services provider. Doing so offloads the legal burden from the business owners, ensures they do not miss any statutory deadlines and allows them to focus on growing the company. In the long term, this ensures the growth, profitability and sustainability of the company.

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GST Claim Procedure For Eligible Companies

The Goods & Services Tax (GST) was implemented in Singapore on 1 April 1994. Similar to the Value Added Tax (VAT) in other countries, the GST is a tax levied on domestic consumption of goods and services. It is intended as a means to allow the government to collect revenue while keeping income taxes affordable for the general population. At 7%, Singapore’s GST rate is one of the lowest in the world. Businesses that have annual turnovers in excess of $1 million have to collect GST on the sale of their products and services. As they are collection agents acting on behalf of the government, they have up to a month after their quarterly tax filings to transfer the tax money collected to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).

Businesses, like consumers, have to pay taxes on the purchases of goods and services, if the vendors are GST-registered entities. Unlike consumers, however, businesses are able to claim the taxes paid in the purchase of such taxable supplies. While consumers are always the last parties in the tax chain and therefore have to absorb GST in their purchases, businesses are not and they are in a position to produce taxable goods and services for other businesses and the eventual consumers. Provided they satisfy conditions set by IRAS, businesses can claim GST incurred in their purchases, known as input tax.

A company is able to claim input tax incurred in its purchases, as the purchases made will contribute to the production of taxable supplies for their customers. An importer of iron ore, for example, is able to claim the input tax incurred in the import of this raw material, as it will sell the products to steel manufacturers, who will pay GST for their purchases. Likewise, an ice cream chain that pays GST to its supplier of flour and eggs will be able to claim the taxes paid to it, because it produces ice cream that attract GST for its retail customers.

IRAS allows input tax claims for the purchase of non-residential properties too. A company that acquires commercial and industrial property is able to claim input tax, because the property will be used in the production of taxable goods and supplies. When a food manufacturer pays a property developer GST for the purchase of a strata-titled food factory, the food factory will be used to manufacture processed food that will find its way to supermarket shelves. As the manufacturer collects GST from the supermarkets and this tax will be paid to IRAS, the tax incurred in the initial property purchase can be claimed. IRAS also allows the claiming of GST incurred in property conveyancing, as well as other professional services like property valuation. Although realtors encourage business owners and investors to incorporate companies and have them GST-registered when they purchase commercial and industrial properties, IRAS has guidelines in place to ensure that the system of input tax claims is not abused. Among other things, they ensure that individuals do not claim GST for the sole purpose of costs savings.

Each company registered with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) has a prescribed accounting period. This is usually a quarter that ends on 31 March, 30 June, 30 September or 31 December. At the end of the accounting period, the company submits the GST tax return to IRAS. They submit the figures for output tax (tax collected for the sale of goods and services) and input tax. In the example of the iron ore importer, it will have paid input tax to Singapore Customs (IRAS’s tax collection agent) and collected output tax from the steel manufacturers. The ice cream chain will have paid input tax to the food distributor and collected output tax from the consumers. As for the food manufacturer, the input tax will have been paid to the property developer and output tax will have been collected from the supermarkets. During the collection of taxes by all commercial vendors, a tax invoice is provided in place of an invoice or receipt, which are used only when the vendors are non-GST-registered. However, in the case of tax collection by Singapore Customs, the tax is accounted for in the import permit.

In all cases, the companies claiming input tax must ensure that their basis of claiming input tax on the date of posting the suppliers’ tax invoices or import permits into their accounting systems is applied consistently for all their GST returns. In addition, they have to ensure that they have the original tax invoices or import permits at the point of claiming, and that they have internal controls in place to prevent double-claiming of input tax. Needless to say, the claimants can only claim input taxes incurred during the associated accounting periods. This is the reason companies should invest in the services of a professional accounting firm. A responsible outsourced accounting firm will ensure the correct matching of tax invoices or import permits with the correct accounting periods so that customers do not miss their GST refunds.

With a sound tax regime in place and with all companies playing their part in the marketplace, the companies and economy will only continue to grow.

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IRAS Tax Incentives For Singapore-Based Companies

Singapore has been actively attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country and encouraging entrepreneurship among its population. Various government agencies have been taking initiatives in their respective fields that incentivise business owners to take action. In particular, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), the nation’s tax authority, has been instrumental in sweetening the deal for companies contemplating expansion into Singapore, as well as people intending to go into business.

Singapore already has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world. Standing at 17%, companies can devote more of their profits toward their operations and grow themselves. This compares well with the tax rates of other countries like United Kingdom (20%), United States (40%) and Australia (30%). In fact, the Singapore corporate tax rate has been falling steadily over the past decade. From 20% in 2005, it fell to 18% in 2008, then to 17% in 2010. The low tax rate has not only successfully attracted many multinational companies to set up base in Singapore but also encouraged many people to enter the business world, safe in the knowledge that they do not pay overly high taxes.

In addition to the low corporate tax rate, IRAS, as the tax agency is commonly known, has in place a set of tax incentives that make Singapore an even more attractive place to do business in. Under the Tax Exemption Scheme For New Start-Up Companies, newly-incorporated companies enjoy full exemption on the first $100,000 normal chargeable income, and another 50% exemption on the next $200,000 normal chargeable income, for the first three years of operation. This scheme is applicable to all companies that are not involved in investment holding and not developing properties for sale, investment or both. IRAS recognises that the startup phase of any business is the most crucial stage, and that giving businesses a hand in paying their taxes will help reduce their financial burden.

Another scheme worth noting is known as the Corporate Income Tax Rebate. As the name implies, this rebate aims to help businesses defray the rising cost of doing business. The rebate level was previously set at 30%, however, in response to the challenging business environment, the government enhanced the scheme in 2016. Valid for the Years of Assessments 2016 and 2017, all companies enjoy a 50% rebate on the payable corporate tax. The rebate will be capped at $20,000 per Year of Assessment. It is hoped that by helping companies reduce their corporate tax burden, they will be able to restructure and improve their finances.

Apart from tax incentives, IRAS has other schemes that aid employers in one way or another in doing business. For example, to allow companies to cope with rising labour costs, IRAS now co-funds 40% of wage increases given to Singaporean citizen employees earning up to $4,000. Even though it is a temporary measure, the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) nonetheless helps companies in times of need. A popular grant that is given to companies is the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme. Intended to help defray their operating costs, the government pays companies 40% of qualifying expenses. An interesting tax incentive that is targeted at bigger companies is the Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Scheme. In a bid to encourage companies to grow via mergers and acquisitions, the government has raised the cap for qualifying M&A deals from $20M to $40M. In addition to providing a 25% tax allowance on such deals, stamp duty relief is also given.

The above is but a short list of incentives and grants given by the Singapore government to encourage the growth of businesses. The government is going all out to not only woo foreign companies but also to get its people to go into business. It is up to them to respond and make the right choice.

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Accounting and Tax Filing Outsourcing – Is It Worth The Effort?

Any business owner knows that accounting is an integral part of the business. Behind the glitzy facade of power dinners, slick presentations and press announcements, lies the set of numbers that tells the tales of a company’s performance. The accounts give the business owner an account of what have transpired in the last several months. They are an important indication of the company’s financial health. To leverage the opportunities that abound in the accounting market, companies have appeared that assist clients with their bookkeeping and tax filing needs. While the lure of passing on mundane, day-to-day tasks of tracking the numbers is tempting, companies need to consider if outsourcing this critical business function works for them.

A common pitch used by outsourcing vendors is “Outsource your work to us and free up your time to work on your core business.” While accounting and tax filing outsourcing does relieve businesses of their back-end tasks and allow them to focus on sales, things may not be simple as they look. Beyond the promise of increased efficiency, one has to decide if the process of outsourcing really gives the company savings in time, which have to be considered in relation to increased costs. If the company is new in business, the low sales volume may not justify the effort and expense in passing the job to the vendor. The costs incurred alone in the outsourcing process may be all it takes to wipe out any profit gained during the month. Added to this is the time spent in collating and compiling the figures for the vendor. If the time spent in collecting revenue and expense figures from the various departments exceed the savings in time achieved by outsourcing, then outsourcing may be counterproductive. If however, the figures are already properly recorded and readily available, and the outsource fee charged is reasonable, then outsourcing may be a good option. An outsource vendor will be able to produce, in a timely manner, a comprehensive set of figures for Management to review. This will be useful when the executives look at the profitability of the company and decide on its future direction.

Another factor that should be considered is the available skills of the staff. Good accountants are always in demand, and top companies jostle with one another to bring the brightest accountants on board. Faced with such tough competition, a new company may not have the financial resources to hire the best brains to crunch its numbers. In this case, outsourcing may be the next best option. The issue of talent is especially pertinent in today’s market. In 2013, the Singapore government revamped the accounting trade, in a bid to raise the level of professionalism in this industry. A new statutory board known as Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC) now oversees the profession, while all new accountants have to go through the rigourous Singapore Qualification Programme (Singapore QP). Hiring an accounting firm allows the customer to bring in qualified professionals to ensure its numbers are in order so that it stays in line with legal requirements. This is especially helpful when companies have to remember to file taxes after the end of their financial years. Using outsourced accounting services ensures they will never miss their deadlines.

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), Singapore’s governing body with oversight of accounting and corporate governance matters, has a compliance rating in place, which it uses to rate all companies registered with it. A colour-coded rating system gives each company a positive or negative rating, with the corresponding code displayed against the company name during public searches on ACRA’s Bizfile portal. A positive rating is awarded when a public company holds its Annual General Meeting (AGM) every year and within 15 months of the previous AGM, or in the case of a newly-incorporated company, 18 months of incorporation. In addition, the company must file its annual returns within 30 days of the AGM. Getting a positive rating also requires that during the AGM, the accounts laid must not be more than six months old for a private company, and not more than four months old for a public company. Having a reputable accounting firm handle a company’s accounts ensures that a company achieves a positive compliance rating. This goes a long way towards giving the company credibility in the market and making it attractive to potential investors, working partners and even potential buyers, who assess companies with criteria like good corporate governance and financial self-discipline.

Engaging an accounting firm to handle one’s bookkeeping and tax filing has its benefits, but there are several factors to consider before signing on the dotted line. Handled properly, it will be beneficial, and will ensure that the company stays relevant to the market, and is sustainable for the long term. It will allow the company to build its market credibility and reach greater heights.

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Hire a Qualified Accountant For Your Bookkeeping Needs

Hiring a qualified accountant

Every business owner knows the importance of bringing sales into the company and every entrepreneur realises the importance of growing the organisation. To achieve these aims, a business needs to track its figures. Figures do not only help one keep track of incoming and outgoing payments, they also allow Management to review monthly and quarterly performance to check on the health of the company. Accounting becomes a crucial and handy tool to help business with these important tasks.

Contrary to popular belief, accounting is more than punching numbers into a balance sheet or a profit-and-loss statement. While it is certainly true that basic data entry – a simple process using something even as rudimentary as a spreadsheet – suffices for a one-man setup running a blog shop, things become a lot more complicated when the business takes the form of a Private Limited company. It becomes even more so when multiple shareholders possess interests in the business. Running a Private Limited company entails keeping proper accounting records, so that revenue and expenses are properly accounted for and that annual filing is performed expeditiously and with accuracy. In an age where financial mismanagement plagues many established organisations and corporate governance is more important than ever, it is imperative that companies hire qualified accountants to take care of their financial matters.

There have been many cases in which aspiring entrepreneurs, driven by passion and enthusiasm, enter the world of business but do not ensure their back-end systems are adequately set up. In their misguided rush to incorporate their companies, they do not only fail to put operational structures in place, but also, more importantly, overlook the need to create proper accounting systems. This is especially true for small businesses providing personal services. Revenue and expenses are not recorded properly or at all, money is indiscriminately withdrawn from the corporate bank accounts to pay for the owners’ personal expenses, and there is absolutely no synchronisation between company accounts and bank statements. The entire business descends into a financial quagmire and when the time comes for annual filing, the business owners are hardly in a position to do so. By the time warning letters and threats of fines and legal proceedings arrive, it may be too late to reverse the course. It is thus very important for business owners to recognise the need for proper accounting early in the process.

Since the Singapore government created the Singapore Qualification Programme (Singapore QP) and the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC) in 2013, the level of professionalism in the accounting landscape has been raised. The qualifying examinations are now more rigourous and entry into this profession, more difficult, than before. The SAC, as the statutory board with oversight of the accountancy profession in Singapore, leads initiatives that raise the bar in this knowledge-based economy and make Singapore a global accountancy hub. Put together, these developments point to the creation of a robust system that upholds the high standards of corporate governance in the country. Notwithstanding the initiatives from the government, the intended aims can only be achieved if individual companies play their part to make themselves useful and responsible corporate citizens. By hiring properly-qualified Chartered Accountants of Singapore (CA Singapore), business owners ensure that their accounting needs are seen to with the highest standards of accountability and accuracy. With a sound accounting system in place, their businesses will be able to grow and add value to the business ecosystem and the economy at large.

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Banks in Cambodia: High interest rates on deposits in microcredit that can go from 4% to 10% per annum

Mekong Bank

For companies doing business in Cambodia, banks offer high interest rates on deposits tied to microcredit, which can range from 4% to 10% annual net (after deducting taxes) on short and medium-term deposits (3-6 -12 months). Often the Microcredit is confused with the small loan that is granted in Europe and in the rest of the world, with the typical consumer financing for goods and services (TV, home appliances, furniture, travel, etc.) that the consumer can buy in installments.

Microcredit, we intend to explain in this page, however, is granted only in third world countries, and consists of very small loans (from $100 up to a maximum of $2,000 USD).

Microcredit allows a huge range of people in third world countries to have access to a loan to start a micro economic activity (start a taxi service on scooter, preparing pancakes to the market with a cart, take a rotary tiller or water pump for their land etc.).

Lending money to the poor is less risky than lending it to the rich. This may sound strange but it has been observed through studies that have lasted years, that individuals living in extreme poverty in the countries of the third world, even if it has no real guarantees the “poor” will become a solvent debtor, can be trusted if put in a position to repay the debt.

The interest rates that are paid off with microcredit are far more than a normal loan disbursed. The loan is not returned month by month, but rather ‘week to week. It may be a few dollars, but so many drops that create a real rain of money has generated and is still generating wealth not only for those who receive the loan, but especially for those that deliver the loan. In short, to invest today in banks and institutions that provide microcredit can be very beneficial and safe. You may have an interest rate that until a few months ago could reach up to 10% annually (sometimes more).

For more information on incorporating a company in Cambodia, contact us now!