Quarterly E-Newsletter April 2020

A Message from the Managing Partner

Mr Helmi Talib, Managing Partner of the Helmi Talib Group

The first quarter of the year 2020 has certainly witnessed unprecedented challenges with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, creating a rippling effect in the economy which is likely to have a lasting impact. Given the situation, it is of paramount importance to stand together during these difficult times both as an organization and in our individual capacity to do what we can to take care of the health and safety of each one of us.

Keeping in line with the recent “circuit-breaker” measures introduced by the Singapore Government, we have been keeping a close eye on the developments and have translated their guidelines into practice. These include health and safety measures that facilitate work from home arrangements for our staff and social distancing in line with government recommendations that are being put in place to counter the spread of the new virus.

With an elaborate Business Continuity Plan in place, we are confident in our ability to continue to deliver quality services in line with our company’s values. Digital solutions implemented over the years have been extensively useful to facilitate business continuity through various measures such as Zoom Conferencing and other online channels to connect with and ensure efficient, on time delivery of services promised to our clients. It is crucial to exercise vigilance and caution to ensure that the situation does not worsen, while continuing to maintain our level of productivity at its best.

Here at the Helmi Talib Group we hold optimism as one of our core values and face the challenges of today with the confidence that tomorrow will be better. With the dedication and commitment of our team, we will continue to deliver the very best to our clients adhering to the safety precautions put forth by the government.

With updates coming out every day, we have yet to see the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global scale. Nevertheless, let us be hopeful that it is not all gloom and doom; humanity and businesses have survived many challenges in the past and will continue to do so!

 
The Dawn of a New Year!

The Helmi Talib Group with the partners of Ahuja Valecha at Tiffany Cafe

The Helmi Talib Group celebrated Chinese New Year with festive merriment-at the Tiffany Café, Furama City Centre Hotel- relishing in an array of fresh seafood, mouth-watering cuisines, topped with some delightfully rich desserts.

The event kicked off with fun filled activities and light-hearted games that were made doubly special by the presence of the partners of Ahuja Valecha (Pune, India) and fellow IAPA members- Mr. Lalith Valecha, Mr. Deepak Ahuja, and Mr. Vishal Solanki.

In addition, our January babies got to celebrate their birthdays with pomp and splendour along with the whole team.

This year, The Helmi Talib Group decided to show its commitment to the society on occasion of the festive season by spending some quality hours with the senior citizens of our community.

Teaming up with Fei Yue Community Services, the staff members at the Helmi Talib Group took time off to celebrate the festive occasion with over 40 senior citizens at Dew Court. It was a day well spent with music performances by the elderly, along with exciting games and prizes that were won! The attendees engaged in the traditional Lo Hei ceremony and stayed on for lunch sponsored by the Helmi Talib Group.

The HT Group staff celebrating Chinese New Year in association with Fei Yue
 

Thank you to all at the Helmi Talib Group who volunteered their time to come together and make this event a grand success!

 

A Token of Gratitude 

Celebrating International Women’s Day!

Here at the Helmi Talib Group, we value the hard-work and dedication of each one of our staff members and this International Women’s Day we specially dedicated the occasion to mark our appreciation towards our women folk.

Honoring our 43-female staff-members with colorful, long-stemmed Gerbera flowers, the Helmi Talib Group thanked them for their efforts at the company.

Striking the #eachforequal pose

In support of creating a gender equal world and celebrating this special day, our staff members also struck the #eachforequal pose to motivate others and celebrate women empowerment!

Impact of Covid-19 on Reporting

Entities and Auditors

 

With wide-ranging COVID-19 travel restrictions in place for an undetermined period, auditors are encountering unanticipated barriers to obtaining the information needed to perform audit procedures and form conclusions when audited entities have operations in affected jurisdictions, or if there are financial reporting-related functions located therein.

Such audited entities’ financials and, potentially, their ability to report on their financials externally may be affected.

Depending on the manner, and extent to which, audited entities are impacted by COVID-19, planned audit procedures may no longer be capable of providing the anticipated audit evidence thus requiring auditors to make modifications to their audit approaches.

An example may be a significant decline in response rates for bank and debtor confirmations. Auditors may also find that they need to perform additional procedures to evaluate the appropriateness of management’s assessment of the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern and any asset impairment resulting from the direct impact of COVID-19 or the indirect impact of uncertainty in the business and wider economic environments.

Regulatory response to Covid-19 and reporting relief

Regulators and authorities across the Asia-Pacific have recognised that listed entities may face difficulties in meeting their reporting timelines due to impediments presented by COVID-19, and that the same extends to auditors and the ability for audits to be completed on time.

Regulators have therefore provided relief to reporting entities and auditors, largely in the form of extensions of reporting deadlines or providing reporting entities and auditors with the ability to apply for time extensions.

Figure: A snapshot of regulatory response to COVID-19 in Asia Pacific and major jurisdictions globally.

Hong Kong SARSecurities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Exchange (HKEX) announced that companies which are unable to publish preliminary results on time should inform the HKEX including travel restrictions and their impact on reporting, the financial information that can still be reported on, and whether the accuracy, completeness and presentation of the financial information have been adversely impacted.
JapanFinancial Services Agency announced it will allow companies to delay submitting mandatory reports if they cannot meet the deadlines. Tokyo Stock Exchange announced plans to allow affected companies to postpone the announcement of their yearly and quarterly earnings reports. Companies will be asked to disclose potential impacts to their business.
Mainland ChinaThe People’s Bank of China, the Ministry of Finance, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange announced that issuers with difficulty in meeting their 2019 annual report and 2020 Q1 reporting deadlines can apply to stock exchanges for extensions. CSRC indicated that audit firms that experience difficulties in completing the audit on time may also apply for extensions.
SingaporeSingapore Stock Exchange announced that affected companies can apply for an extension of two months to convene their Annual General Meetings for approval of their audited FY Dec 2019 financial results.
South KoreaSecurities & Futures Committee announced that it will consider applications from companies and auditors for extensions to reporting deadlines. On approval, an additional 45 days will be granted.
TaiwanFinancial Supervisory Commission and Stock Exchange announced that affected companies are permitted to apply for filing extensions. Extensions will be granted on a case by case basis.
ThailandSecurities and Exchange Commission announced it will allow affected listed companies to apply for filing extensions. Extensions will be granted on a case by case basis.
United KingdomThe UK Financial Reporting Council published guidance for companies on disclosure of risks and other reporting consequences. It is also discussing with auditors impacts on their ability to review component audits in China and the consequences to delivering timely audit opinions.
United StatesSecurities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) issued a joint statement addressing impacts on issuers’ disclosures and indicating that relief may be made available on a case-by-case or broader basis ascircumstances merit.

 

Communaiction between the auditor and the reporting entity put to test

Under such testing circumstances, the ability of reporting entities and auditors to communicate in a proactive and effective manner with each other is being put to the test. Close coordination among audit engagement teams, specialists and clients is as key as ever.

Auditors should be communicating with their clients to understand the challenges brought about by COVID-19 including impacts on financials including going concern, areas of the financials that are not impacted, effects on the entity’s ability to report externally on its financial, and related disclosures planned by the entity.

Audit committees should be communicating with their auditors to understand whether and what impediments are present to the performance of the audit such as, difficulties in accessing premises to perform procedures and inability to obtain access to components due to travel restrictions, and how the auditor plans to address these including what alternative audit procedures are planned and any impact on the audit opinion.

COVID-19 will continue to test the ability of reporting entities, auditors and regulators to remain nimble in face of the evolving challenges to ensure external reporting obligations are discharged, and that shareholders and investors’ interests continue to be safeguarded.

InTheBlack.com Article: Impact of Covid-19on Reporting Entities and Auditors
Published: 13th March 2020
Source: https://www.intheblack.com/

Announcements

WELCOME: The Helmi Talib Group welcomed Daniel Chen Xin Quan to our Audit Team in February.

Hailed by his friends as lively and easy-going, Daniel spreads positivity with whomever he interacts. His friendly nature could get you to strike light-hearted conversations with him and enjoy some pleasant company. During his free time, you will most likely see Daniel in the kitchen making some mouth-watering dishes that would satiate your palette; or relaxing by the coast while fishing.

Should he be ever-so-lucky to win the lottery, this young chap would use his money to invest smart and save for the future. For this reason, if he were to have dinner with any person on this planet, Daniel would choose none other than Warren Buffett. Is there anyone better to give some insightful tips about investment and finance?

Welcome aboard Daniel.

WELCOME: The Helmi Talib Group welcomed Eugene Basa to our Audit team in March. 
 
Quirky and fun, 24-year-old Eugene can certainly liven up the mood with some hearty music and entertaining conversations! An enthusiastic gamer and movie buff, he enjoys playing “Mobile Legends” and watching Netflix during his free time.
 
Eugene has it all planned out if he were to strike it big and win the lottery! Top of his list would include travelling around the world with his family, giving back to his community in the Philippines, and being his own boss by opening a business.
 
This Valentine baby (his birthday is on 14th Feb) is all ready to build his career at the Helmi Talib Group and make new friends.
 
We look forward to seeing more of his fun-side here at the Helmi Talib Group!

WELCOME: The Helmi Talib Group is pleased to welcome Nachammai Lakshmanan as Audit Associate to our team.

Energetic and bubbly, Nachu finds herself drawn to the challenge of working in the Audit industry, which led her to pursue a career here at The Helmi Talib Group.

An ardent cricket fan, she would be honoured to sit opposite Virat Kohli and enjoy a hearty meal, if ever a chance presents itself.

During her free time, Nachu finds pleasure in keeping in touch with old friends, indulging in some quiet reading, or even cooking a scrumptious meal.

Say hello to Nacchamai and get to know her cheerful personality!

WELCOME: The Helm Talib Group is pleased to welcome Monica Satish as Audit Associate to our team.
 
After moving to Singapore last September, Monica is all set to explore this city and the excitement it offers.
 
With a jovial smile brimming with warmth, Monica loves to engage in fruitful conversations with her friends over a cup of tea or coffee. Her favourite pastime includes reading books and watching insightful movies of all genres.
 
Any Harry Potter fans here? Well make room for one more! Having read all the series multiple times, it is no surprise that she would choose Daniel Radcliffe to have dinner with, if lucky enough.
 
Winning the lottery would have Monica set on travelling the world, with Switzerland being her first stop. Relaxing amidst serene lakes and picturesque mountains is certainly a dream vacation!
 
Welcome to the team Monica.

FAREWELL: We bid farewell to Sze Ron who has been a committed Audit Associate with the Helmi Talib Group since February 2019. We extend our appreciation for his contributions and will cherish the time Ron spent with us.

We wish him all the best in his future endeavors!

FAREWELL: Farewell to our Audit Assistant Manager, Nandini Sahasranaman, whose hard work and integrity have been deeply appreciated during her time at the Helmi Talib Group.

We thank her for bringing her best to work every single day!

FAREWELL: We bid farewell to Nihaad Talib, our Practise Development and Operations Manager who has been instrumental in achieving several milestones for the company.

We deeply appreciate the level of professionalism and commitment put forth by her to bring about positive results in the projects she undertook.