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Understand Basic Accounting Concepts and Stay a Step Ahead With CIA

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

When it comes to studying for professional exams, you can’t go wrong by proactively researching some of the basic ideas and concepts behind each module. One area where you can particularly benefit from a little extra study is accounting, especially when you reach part three of the CIA curriculum.

Part three incorporates a financial management module covering financial and management accounting, with topics including accounting terminology, financial statements and how they’re used, basic accounting concepts, and underlying principles.

Why do you need to cover these topics ahead of class?

Here’s why you should take control of your learning, and get a grasp of these accounting basics in advance:

  • You’ll save time in class - the instructor will be able to progress through the course without having to explain numerous basic accounting terms and concepts
  • You can stay motivated and not become demoralised by falling behind your peers
  • Confidence in your own abilities and understanding will increase
  • A clear appreciation of the basic concepts underpins your entire learning experience, and helps you apply the concepts in practical assignments
  • It helps you to understand the subject rather than simply learning facts
  • Your chances of success increase greatly when you undertake independent study. It’s an important element of your time as a student, and allows you to gain a wider perspective of the subject as a whole.

Becoming a Certified Internal Auditor represents a magnificent achievement, and provides a significant boost to your career. As with most areas of study, however, when you’re proactive in seeking out relevant information, the curriculum becomes easier to manage.

Learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals by looking through our website. We offer clear instruction and comprehensive ongoing support to help all our students succeed.



Pre-CFA Exam Words Of Wisdom

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

Becoming a CFA charterholder is likely to be the longest and most difficult process most candidates have experienced in their educational lives so far. On average, a candidate will study for 300 hours for each level of the exam. This typically takes 6 months bearing in mind that most candidates also have a full time job.

Nailing the exam first time around for each level is far more likely if some straightforward study tips are followed:


Produce a timetable that covers the detail of what you will study and when. You need to fit in approximately 300 hours of study, which will include reading, retention activities, and mock exams. It is useful to build in some additional slack of approximately 5-10% to allow for unexpected events such as being extra busy at work or being unwell.

Consider a professional programme

You may want to undertake review days, or seek more detailed support. Consider what will work for you, do your research, select a provider, and schedule that into your overarching plan.

Find what works for you

We all learn and retain information in different ways. Some candidates may be able to read material once and commit it to memory. Others may need to use flash cards to retain information. Find out what works for you early on and utilise that technique throughout your studies.

Do practice papers in exam conditions

The CFA exam is arduous – prepare for that by undertaking practice papers in exam conditions. I cannot recommend highly enough taking a day out to do the full six hour exam in the two sections, with the set middle break.

Avoid panic cramming

If you have followed the tips above, there will be no need to panic cram. It will not only stress you out, but it may cloud the systematic learning you have undertaken.

In Summary

If becoming a CFA charterholder was easy, many more people would be pursuing it. To be successful, a methodical approach to study and exam preparation is fundamentally important. For more advice and tips, take a look at our website.


What to do if you Fail an Exam?

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

Nobody sets out to fail an exam – and the reality is that failure can be difficult to cope with. However professional certification exams are tough! Lots of candidates fail. If it unfortunately happens to you, the first thing to do is take a step back and put it into perspective - you will not be the first or the last to be doing a retake. We have helped many students pass after failure and these are our top tips for success:

Get your head straight

Don’t try and blame anyone or anything else for your failure. It has happened. Take a bit of breathing room and a bit of time to relax and reflect.

Review what went wrong

If you can access your exam script and marks, review that in detail. This will allow you to quickly and easily see you where you went wrong and the particular areas you will need to give extra focus to. Also address in your mind any specific exam technique issues you experienced – such as running out of time to finish the paper.

Seek advice

There are training companies out there who are incredibly experienced in coaching candidates through retakes, with impressive success rates. Furthermore, they typically have a huge bank of resources such as sample questions that you can access.  Have a think about what additional resources you might need.

Make a plan

Now that you have considered what went wrong last time, and have hopefully sought some professional advice, you need to plan your study time. Be realistic in what you can achieve, bearing in mind you probably also have a full time role. Ensure you have time to cover all of the content – give more time to areas where you felt you were weak the first time around.

Do lots of practice papers

This in my view is fundamentally important. Even if you have done the papers before, do them again. Make sure you do them under exam conditions as this will identify any issues with your exam technique.

In Summary

Failure can be very tough to manage but with some perspective you can get back on the proverbial horse and work hard to ensure it does not happen a second time around.


Climate Change: The Important Role of Supply Chain

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

Al Gore said “Solving the climate crisis is within our grasp, but we need people like you to stand up and act.” In fact if you read what many of the key proponents of climate change say, they talk about individuals taking responsibility, because as a collective humans are typically waiting for somebody else to be the one to make the change. However, we can easily conclude that the biggest global businesses have a disproportionately large role to play in reducing their emissions. But, how do we hold them accountable? There are various global initiatives and legislation to limit climate change. Furthermore at a micro level, customers must take responsibility for supporting businesses who are environmentally responsible, and walking away from those who aren’t.

But what about supply chains?

This is a very interesting point as the supply chain has an incredibly important role in either reducing or increasing the emissions that an organisation is ultimately responsible for. It starts with the buying organisation deciding upon their expectations in terms of emissions. Usually this is written down in some kind of corporate social responsibility policy. Then all vendors within the supply chain are expected to comply with these standards as a minimum. Very often this is covered contractually and adherence is audited on a periodic basis.

The good news

There are organisations such as BP who are standing up and fighting against climate change – in fact BP are viewed as one of the fiercest corporate opponents. They have formulated specific actions and policies to address climate change. In fact, according to research by Influence Map, almost half of the world’s top 100 companies are actively trying to subvert climate change. This is being done through a combination of lobbying, advertising, and influencing.

In Summary 

Supply chain managers undertaking professional qualifications will obtain robust knowledge of promoting corporate social responsibility through the supply chain. However we must recognise that they may only implement this with support from the organisational leadership team.


Can Bankers Really Benefit from Social Media?

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

You probably wouldn't think that the world of banking goes hand in hand with social media, after all, customers come to you, rather than the other way around. However, the truth of the matter is that all businesses can use social media to their advantage, and this also includes bankers. As with all industries, there is competition out there and staying ahead of the game is imperative. These are some of the way you can use social media to improve and grow your business.

Promote new products

Social media is a great way to let your current customers know about any new products you have released, such as new loans, credit cards or bank accounts. It is a quick and easy (not to mention free) way of reaching the masses and it can be highly effective for branding.

Better customer service

There is a certain (and perhaps unjustified) impression of bankers sitting in their ivory towers, with no connection to their customers and this is something which can be greatly improved through the use of social media. Social media offers bankers the chance to really engage with their customers and become much more personable in their approach. Customer service levels can be greatly improved and this means more happy customers and increased business.

Increase brand awareness

Do customers know who you are and what you offer? If not, it is definitely time to incorporate a social media marketing strategy into your business. Social media doesn't offer instant success, it takes time to build your brand so people become aware of who you are and what you do. If you stay consistent with your social media efforts, your brand awareness will grow and so too will your customers.

Reach a younger audience

With 99% of young people between 16 and 24 using social media regularly (once a week or more) and spending double the time spent by adults, it makes sense to use it as a means of attracting this audience. Engaging with social media users in this group and promoting your products and services with great content are just two of the ways to get younger people on board. A great brand and good marketing tools can really help you reach the younger audience and with this audience most likely to be taking out loans and credit cards, it makes sense to use a targeted approach to get them onboard.

If you'd like to find out more about digital marketing and how it can help support your business, get in touch with us at Morgan and we'll be happy to help!


SHRM Recertification: Exam or Development Credits? You Decide!

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

As an HR professional, you will know how quickly the industry changes and understand the need to keep up to date with changes to the legislation and key trends.

If you want to become a true leader in your field, obtaining a SHRM certification will show that you not only have extensive knowledge in HR, which will benefit your organisation, but you also know how to apply this knowledge to real life situations in the workplace. With the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP, you can show that you have a desire to grow within the industry, which can be highly appealing for employers.

Should I re-certify?

If you are reading this article, you probably already have the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certification, but you may be a bit confused about how to re-certify. In order to re-certify, you must be able to show that you are committed to personal development and learning within the HR field. There are two ways to do this; you can either gain the 60 required SHRM professional development credits over a three year period (known as the recertification cycle) or you would need to retake the exam.

Achieving your credits

Of course, the most attractive option out of the two is to gain the points. Unless you are one of the few people who enjoy taking exams! There are three possible avenues you can choose to gain the credits; advance your organisation, advance your education and advance your profession. Advance your education is split into two: self-led and instructor led.

  • Instructor-led – there is no limit to the amount of points you can achieve through instructor-led activities, which may include attending courses, workshops and seminars.
  • Self-led – you can achieve up to 30 professional development credits through self-led activities, which may include reading relevant e-books and/or watching webcasts.

You can also gain 20 professional development credits within your organisation by demonstrating HR capabilities within the key HR competencies. These credits are awarded for your contribution to advance your organisation and showing that you can meet or exceed your goals.

In addition to this, you can also earn credit by demonstrating the ways in which you advance your profession in various ways, including speaking at conferences and researching, writing and publishing on key topics. You can gain as many as 30 professional development credits through advancing your profession.

The time is now!

It is important to keep on top of your accreditations, if you wish to pursue a career in HR and we are on hand to help you. Get in touch to find out more about re-certified.


Pass the CPA REG Exam First Time

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

The CPA Regulation (REG) exam is designed to test a candidate’s knowledge of taxation at a federal level and the law in a business context. Therefore this section tends to be a cause for concern for candidates who either don’t have taxation experience or don’t have a natural ability to memorise lots of tax facts. The aim is of course to pass first time, which is why we have pulled together our top tips.

Be clear on the exam structure and timings

There are 5 testlets making up the REG exam. The first two are multiple choice, each containing 38 questions. After these have been submitted, there is a 15 minute optional break which does not contribute to the overall exam time of 4 hours. After the break there are the remaining three testlets which are task based simulations. Testlet three has 2 simulations, and testlet four and five have 3 simulations each.

The REG exam is 4 hours in total with no restrictions on how to use your time. Therefore it is important to consider in advance how much time you should spend on each section. The best way to do this is by doing practice exams. As a rule of thumb the multiple choice questions take 1.5 hours and the task based simulations take 2.5 hours.

Know the scoring weights

The concepts tested and their relevant weights are as follows:

Federal tax procedures and professional ethics and responsibilities – 10-20%

Business law – 10-20%

Federal property transaction taxation – 12-22%

Federal individual taxation – 15-25%

Federal entity taxation – 28%-38%

Whilst these weights gives a relative indication of the importance of a section from a scoring perspective, it does not provide the insight to permit a candidate to not study all of the topics on the syllabus.

50% of the score is attributed to the multiple choice questions, and the remaining half to the task based simulations.

Quick tips

Here are a few of our top quick tips to pass REG first time:

  • Practice as many multiple choice questions as you can
  • Be ready to memorize a lot of tax facts
  • Break up tax studying with something else
  • Take a revision class

In Summary

As with any exam, preparation is key to success. However, there are of course specific attributes of any exam that need to be considered and planned for. This will help you to plan not only your revision time, but also your performance within the exam itself. Explore our various tools and resources designed to help you pass the exam from the first attempt!


6 Must Watch Films for Finance Professionals

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

Movies are a huge part of modern culture and a fair number have focussed on the lives of finance professionals – some legit, some far from it. Many of these films actually bio interesting individuals in the profession. So here are our 8 top watches for finance professionals.

  • The Accountant (2016)

Starring Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick, this crime thriller follows a small-town Illinois CPA who has high functioning autism and makes him living out of ‘uncooking the books’ of criminal organisations globally who are experiencing internal embezzlement.

  • Wall Street (1987)

Gordon Gecko is a bad guy investor whose famed line is ‘greed is good’. For Gecko there could never be enough wealth and he embodied everything that was selfish and excessive about Wall Street in the 1980s.

  • Shawshank Redemption (1994)

His finance expertise saves banker Andy Dufrense from some pretty dangerous situations after he ends up in prison after being convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. He uses his accounting acumen to negotiate a number of benefits for himself and his fellow inmates.

  • Ghostbusters (1984)

Accountant Louis Tully is desperate to date his neighbour Dana Barrett who is played by Sigourney Weaver. However Dana’s is preoccupied as her apartment is haunted by a demi God called Zuul and there is a gateway to another dimension in the freezer. Who you going to call?

  • The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

A black comedy biopic of Jordan Belfort who is played by Leonardo DiCaprio. This movie directed by the critically acclaimed Martin Scorsese was a box office hit. It follows Belfort’s debaucherous time as a stockbroker on Wall Street. It recounts his firm’s engagement in prolific fraud and corruption.

  • Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)

A comic but not flattering portrayal of the accounting profession as Joe Pesci plays a money laundering accountant who is a fall guy for cop duo Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.

In Summary

As with all things Hollywood, the portrayal of professions is typically at the extreme. These films are all very watchable in different ways, and should be particularly interesting for the finance students and professionals out there.


What to Look for in a City When You’re Relocating for Work

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

If you take a job with an international organisation, you are likely – at some point during your career – to be asked to relocate, either within the same country, or overseas. Alternatively, you might fancy a complete change and take the decision to change cities yourself. Either way, you should have a checklist of wants and needs to follow to make sure that your move goes as smoothly as possible, and enables you to hit the ground running in your new job.

  • If you’re moving your family as well as yourself – then an area with good schools, a low crime rate, and plenty of family-oriented social activities will be essential. Look also for good and quick transport links (bear in mind it can take as long to get across some big international cities as it can to travel to another town a couple of hundred miles away!), and most importantly, housing that is in line with your salary.
  • Green space and culture – open countryside might be many miles away, but most cities will have green space in the form of parks, cycle routes, or public gardens. Theatres, cinemas and restaurants may also be central to how you like to spend your free time, so dig out guidebooks and do your research online.
  • Look for a thriving business district – even if your new city home is the chosen location for big trade, a business district of smaller, one or two-location family run firms or sole traders operating out of shared workspaces can lend a buzz to a city like nothing else.

Of course, relocating for now might be nothing more than a dream for the future, especially if you’re just starting out in your chosen career. Some pathways, such as accountancy, logistics, or digital marketing, offer the kind of transferrable skills that could take your career to just about anywhere in the world. Why not use this time to contact us and see what courses we can offer you to take you where you want to be?


Top 5 Traits of a Supply Chain Leader

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

The most successful supply chain leaders typically exhibit a number of common traits. These are our top 5:

  • Avoid analysis paralysis

There is a lot of data to review in the bid to make a decision. For example during a tender process there will likely be stacks of papers with offers from the bidders. It is important to work diligently through the information but to avoid analysis paralysis and never move forward to a decision. A good way to do this is to have structures for decision making. In our tender example a pre-agreed scoring matrix is a good idea.

  • A skilled negotiator

A fundamental aspect of the role of any supply chain leader is the art of negotiation. This is a skill that can be learnt through courses, training, and practice. However it is evident that some supply chain professionals do have more of a natural aptitude for negotiation than others. Typically they exhibit attributes including active listening, persuasion, and utilising the art of silence. They also look to create win win situations as opposed to a win for them and a lose for the other party.

  • Honest and ethical

Leaders should set an example and that should be one of honesty, integrity, and good ethics. A supply chain rife with corruption will ultimately fail, either due to customers finding out and taking their business elsewhere, or because there is a legal infringement and the authorities step in.

  • A robust technical foundation

The best supply chain leaders will have a strong academic foundation which very often includes the CSCP professional qualification. This provides an excellent basis to further a career in leadership.

  • Put the right things first

There will always be a lot to do – contract renewals, new negotiations, disputes to manage. The skill is in prioritising what is most important to the organisation at that point in time and directing resource to that.

In Summary

Each supply chain leader will have a slightly different mix of skills that allow them to be successful. However the 5 skills above are in our opinion among the most important and typically found in those that stand out in the industry.