Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 585

Search results for: Biological Assets

585 Some Issues of Measurement of Impairment of Non-Financial Assets in the Public Sector

Authors: Mariam Vardiashvili

Abstract:

The economic value of the asset impairment process is quite large. Impairment reflects the reduction of future economic benefits or service potentials itemized in the asset. The assets owned by public sector entities bring economic benefits or are used for delivery of the free-of-charge services. Consequently, they are classified as cash-generating and non-cash-generating assets. IPSAS 21 - Impairment of non-cash-generating assets, and IPSAS 26 - Impairment of cash-generating assets, have been designed considering this specificity.  When measuring impairment of assets, it is important to select the relevant methods. For measurement of the impaired Non-Cash-Generating Assets, IPSAS 21 recommends three methods: Depreciated Replacement Cost Approach, Restoration Cost Approach, and  Service Units Approach. Impairment of Value in Use of Cash-Generating Assets (according to IPSAS 26) is measured by discounted value of the money sources to be received in future. Value in use of the cash-generating asserts (as per IPSAS 26) is measured by the discounted value of the money sources to be received in the future. The article provides classification of the assets in the public sector  as non-cash-generating assets and cash-generating assets and, deals also with the factors which should be considered when evaluating  impairment of assets. An essence of impairment of the non-financial assets and the methods of measurement thereof evaluation are formulated according to IPSAS 21 and IPSAS 26. The main emphasis is put on different methods of measurement of the value in use of the impaired Cash-Generating Assets and Non-Cash-Generation Assets and the methods of their selection. The traditional and the expected cash flow approaches for calculation of the discounted value are reviewed. The article also discusses the issues of recognition of impairment loss and its reflection in the financial reporting. The article concludes that despite a functional purpose of the impaired asset, whichever method is used for measuring the asset, presentation of realistic information regarding the value of the assets should be ensured in the financial reporting. In the theoretical development of the issue, the methods of scientific abstraction, analysis and synthesis were used. The research was carried out with a systemic approach. The research process uses international standards of accounting, theoretical researches and publications of Georgian and foreign scientists.

Keywords: Non-cash-generating assets, cash-generating assets, recoverable value, recoverable service amount, value in use.

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584 IAS 41 Implementation Challenges – The Case of Romania

Authors: Liliana Feleagă, Niculae Feleagă, Vasile Răileanu

Abstract:

Although agriculture is an important part of the world economy, accounting in agriculture still has many shortcomings. The adoption of IAS 41 “Agriculture” has tried to improve this situation and increase the comparability of financial statements of entities in the agricultural sector. Although controversial, IAS 41 is the first step of a consistent transition to fair value assessment in the agricultural sector. The objective of our work is the analysis of IAS 41 and current accounting agricultural situation in Romania. Accounting regulations in Romania are in accordance with European directives and, in many respects, converged with IFRS referential. Provisions of IAS 41, however, are not reflected directly in Romanian regulations. With the increase of forest land transactions, it is expected that recognition and measurement of biological assets under IAS 41 to become a necessity.

Keywords: Accounting Agricultural, Biological Assets, Fair value, IAS 41

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583 Multi-Faceted Growth in Creative Industries

Authors: Sanja Pfeifer, Nataša Šarlija, Marina Jeger, Ana Bilandžić

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to explore the different facets of growth among micro, small and medium-sized firms in Croatia and to analyze the differences between models designed for all micro, small and medium-sized firms and those in creative industries. Three growth prediction models were designed and tested using the growth of sales, employment and assets of the company as dependent variables. The key drivers of sales growth are: prudent use of cash, industry affiliation and higher share of intangible assets. Growth of assets depends on retained profits, internal and external sources of financing, as well as industry affiliation. Growth in employment is closely related to sources of financing, in particular, debt and it occurs less frequently than growth in sales and assets. The findings confirm the assumption that growth strategies of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in creative industries have specific differences in comparison to SMEs in general. Interestingly, only 2.2% of growing enterprises achieve growth in employment, assets and sales simultaneously.

Keywords: Creative industries, growth prediction model, growth determinants, growth measures.

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582 Many-Sided Self Risk Analysis Model for Information Asset to Secure Stability of the Information and Communication Service

Authors: Jin-Tae Lee, Jung-Hoon Suh, Sang-Soo Jang, Jae-Il Lee

Abstract:

Information and communication service providers (ICSP) that are significant in size and provide Internet-based services take administrative, technical, and physical protection measures via the information security check service (ISCS). These protection measures are the minimum action necessary to secure the stability and continuity of the information and communication services (ICS) that they provide. Thus, information assets are essential to providing ICS, and deciding the relative importance of target assets for protection is a critical procedure. The risk analysis model designed to decide the relative importance of information assets, which is described in this study, evaluates information assets from many angles, in order to choose which ones should be given priority when it comes to protection. Many-sided risk analysis (MSRS) grades the importance of information assets, based on evaluation of major security check items, evaluation of the dependency on the information and communication facility (ICF) and influence on potential incidents, and evaluation of major items according to their service classification, in order to identify the ISCS target. MSRS could be an efficient risk analysis model to help ICSPs to identify their core information assets and take information protection measures first, so that stability of the ICS can be ensured.

Keywords: Information Asset, Information CommunicationFacility, Evaluation, ISCS (Information Security Check Service), Evaluation, Grade.

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581 Pension Plan Member’s Investment Strategies with Transaction Cost and Couple Risky Assets Modelled by the O-U Process

Authors: Udeme O. Ini, Edikan E. Akpanibah

Abstract:

This paper studies the optimal investment strategies for a plan member (PM) in a defined contribution (DC) pension scheme with transaction cost, taxes on invested funds and couple risky assets (stocks) under the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck (O-U) process. The PM’s portfolio is assumed to consist of a risk-free asset and two risky assets where the two risky assets are driven by the O-U process. The Legendre transformation and dual theory is use to transform the resultant optimal control problem which is a nonlinear partial differential equation (PDE) into linear PDE and the resultant linear PDE is then solved for the explicit solutions of the optimal investment strategies for PM exhibiting constant absolute risk aversion (CARA) using change of variable technique. Furthermore, theoretical analysis is used to study the influences of some sensitive parameters on the optimal investment strategies with observations that the optimal investment strategies for the two risky assets increase with increase in the dividend and decreases with increase in tax on the invested funds, risk averse coefficient, initial fund size and the transaction cost.

Keywords: Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process, portfolio management, Legendre transforms, CARA utility.

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580 Performance Prediction Methodology of Slow Aging Assets

Authors: M. Ben Slimene, M.-S. Ouali

Abstract:

Asset management of urban infrastructures faces a multitude of challenges that need to be overcome to obtain a reliable measurement of performances. Predicting the performance of slowly aging systems is one of those challenges, which helps the asset manager to investigate specific failure modes and to undertake the appropriate maintenance and rehabilitation interventions to avoid catastrophic failures as well as to optimize the maintenance costs. This article presents a methodology for modeling the deterioration of slowly degrading assets based on an operating history. It consists of extracting degradation profiles by grouping together assets that exhibit similar degradation sequences using an unsupervised classification technique derived from artificial intelligence. The obtained clusters are used to build the performance prediction models. This methodology is applied to a sample of a stormwater drainage culvert dataset.

Keywords: Artificial intelligence, clustering, culvert, regression model, slow degradation.

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579 Approaches to Determining Optimal Asset Structure for a Commercial Bank

Authors: Svetlana Saksonova

Abstract:

Every commercial bank optimises its asset portfolio depending on the profitability of assets and chosen or imposed constraints. This paper proposes and applies a stylized model for optimising banks' asset and liability structure, reflecting profitability of different asset categories and their risks as well as costs associated with different liability categories and reserve requirements. The level of detail for asset and liability categories is chosen to create a suitably parsimonious model and to include the most important categories in the model. It is shown that the most appropriate optimisation criterion for the model is the maximisation of the ratio of net interest income to assets. The maximisation of this ratio is subject to several constraints. Some are accounting identities or dictated by legislative requirements; others vary depending on the market objectives for a particular bank. The model predicts variable amount of assets allocated to loan provision.

Keywords: asset structure, commercial bank, model, optimisation

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578 The Effect of Risky Assets to Operating Efficiencies for Listed Securities Firms in Taiwan Using the Data Envelopment Analysis

Authors: Ying-Hsiu Chen, Pao-Peng Hsu, Mou-Yuan Liao, Shu-Min Hsieh

Abstract:

This paper employs a the variable returns to scale DEA model to take account of risky assets and estimate the operating efficiencies for the 21 domestic listed securities firms during the period 2005-2009. Evidence is found that on average the brokerage securities firms- operating efficiencies are better than integrated securities firms. Evidence is also found that the technical inefficiency from inappropriate management constitutes the main source of the operating inefficiency for both types of securities firms. Moreover, the scale economies prevail in brokerage and integrated securities firms, in other words, which exhibit the characteristic of increasing returns to scale.

Keywords: Data Envelopment Analysis, Risky Assets, PureTechnical Efficiency, Scale Efficiency, Scale Economies.

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577 Quality Function Deployment Application in Sewer Pipeline Assessment

Authors: Khalid Kaddoura, Tarek Zayed

Abstract:

Infrastructure assets are essential in urban cities; their purpose is to facilitate the public needs. As a result, their conditions and states shall always be monitored to avoid any sudden malfunction. Sewer systems, one of the assets, are an essential part of the underground infrastructure as they transfer sewer medium to designated areas. However, their conditions are subject to deterioration due to ageing. Therefore, it is of great significance to assess the conditions of pipelines to avoid sudden collapses. Current practices of sewer pipeline assessment rely on industrial protocols that consider distinct defects and grades to conclude the limited average or peak score of the assessed assets. This research aims to enhance the evaluation by integrating the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and the Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) methods in assessing the condition of sewer pipelines. The methodology shall study the cause and effect relationship of the systems’ defects to deduce the relative influence weights of each defect. Subsequently, the overall grade is calculated by aggregating the WHAT’s and HOW’s of the House of Quality (HOQ) using the computed relative weights. Thus, this study shall enhance the evaluation of the assets to conclude informative rehabilitation and maintenance plans for decision makers.

Keywords: Condition assessment, DEMATEL, QFD, sewer pipelines.

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576 Determinants of Investment in Fixed Assets in Electric Power Industry - An Econometric Analysis

Authors: S. L. Tulasi Devi, R. N. Rao

Abstract:

This paper focuses attention on specific aspects of entrepreneurial decisions relating to investment, both in the total fixed investments and plant & machinery (separately). Demand and financial factors, internal and external, are considered in the investment analysis. Finally the influence of determinants of fixed investment and investment plans are examined in Electric Power industry in India.

Keywords: Determinants, Electric Power Industry, Fixed Assets, Econometric Analysis.

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575 Improving Cyber Resilience in Mobile Field Hospitals: Towards an Assessment Model

Authors: Nasir Baba Ahmed, Nicolas Daclin, Marc Olivaux, Gilles Dusserre

Abstract:

The Mobile field hospital is critical in terms of managing emergencies in crisis. It is a sub-section of the main hospitals and the health sector, tasked with delivering responsive, immediate, and efficient medical services during a crisis. With the aim to prevent further crisis, the assessment of the cyber assets follows different methods, to distinguish its strengths and weaknesses, and in turn achieve cyber resiliency. The work focuses on assessments of cyber resilience in field hospitals with trends growing in both the field hospital and the health sector in general. This creates opportunities for the adverse attackers and the response improvement objectives for attaining cyber resilience, as the assessments allow users and stakeholders to know the level of risks with regards to its cyber assets. Thus, the purpose is to show the possible threat vectors which open up opportunities, with contrast to current trends in the assessment of the mobile field hospitals’ cyber assets.

Keywords: Assessment framework, cyber resilience, cyber security, Mobile Field Hospital.

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574 An Empirical Analysis and Comparative Study of Liquidity Ratios and Asset-Liability Management of Banks Operating in India

Authors: Amit Kumar Meena, Joydip Dhar

Abstract:

This paper is focused on the analysis and comparison of liquidity ratios and asset liability management practices in top three banks from public, private and foreign sector in India. The analysis is based upon the liquidity ratios calculation and the determination of maturity gap profiles for the banks under study. The paper also compares these banks maturity gap profiles with their corresponding group’s maturity gap profiles. This paper identifies the interest rate sensitivity of the balance sheet items of these banks to determine the gap between rate sensitive assets and rate sensitive liabilities. The results of this study suggest that overall banks in India have very good short term liquidity position and all banks are financing their short term liabilities by their long term assets.

Keywords: ALM, Liquidity ratios, Rate sensitive Assets, Rate Sensitive Liabilities.

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573 Intellectual Capital and Competitive Advantage: An Analysis of the Biotechnology Industry

Authors: Campisi Domenico, Costa Roberta

Abstract:

Intellectual capital measurement is a central aspect of knowledge management. The measurement and the evaluation of intangible assets play a key role in allowing an effective management of these assets as sources of competitiveness. For these reasons, managers and practitioners need conceptual and analytical tools taking into account the unique characteristics and economic significance of Intellectual Capital. Following this lead, we propose an efficiency and productivity analysis of Intellectual Capital, as a determinant factor of the company competitive advantage. The analysis is carried out by means of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and Malmquist Productivity Index (MPI). These techniques identify Bests Practice companies that have accomplished competitive advantage implementing successful strategies of Intellectual Capital management, and offer to inefficient companies development paths by means of benchmarking. The proposed methodology is employed on the Biotechnology industry in the period 2007-2010.

Keywords: Data Envelopment Analysis, Innovation, Intangible assets, Intellectual Capital, Malmquist Productivity Index.

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572 Exploring the Effect of Accounting Information on Systematic Risk: An Empirical Evidence of Tehran Stock Exchange

Authors: Mojtaba Rezaei, Elham Heydari

Abstract:

This paper highlights the empirical results of analyzing the correlation between accounting information and systematic risk. This association is analyzed among financial ratios and systematic risk by considering the financial statement of 39 companies listed on the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) for five years (2014-2018). Financial ratios have been categorized into four groups and to describe the special features, as representative of accounting information we selected: Return on Asset (ROA), Debt Ratio (Total Debt to Total Asset), Current Ratio (current assets to current debt), Asset Turnover (Net sales to Total assets), and Total Assets. The hypotheses were tested through simple and multiple linear regression and T-student test. The findings illustrate that there is no significant relationship between accounting information and market risk. This indicates that in the selected sample, historical accounting information does not fully reflect the price of stocks.

Keywords: Accounting information, market risk, systematic risk, efficient market hypothesis, EMH, Tehran Stock Exchange, TSE.

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571 An Empirical Analysis of Earnings Management in Australia

Authors: Lan Sun, Subhrendu Rath

Abstract:

This is a comprehensive large-sample study of Australian earnings management. Using a sample of 4,844 firm-year observations across nine Australia industries from 2000 to 2006, we find substantial corporate earnings management activity across several Australian industries. We document strong evidence of size and return on assets being primary determinants of earnings management in Australia. The effects of size and return on assets are also found to be dominant in both income-increasing and incomedecreasing earnings manipulation. We also document that that periphery sector firms are more likely to involve larger magnitude of earnings management than firms in the core sector.

Keywords: Earnings management, discretionary accruals, income-increasing/decreasing manipulation, dual economy sector

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570 Bank Business Models and The Changes in CEE Countries

Authors: I. Erins, J. Erina

Abstract:

The aim of this article is to assess the existing business models used by the banks operating in the CEE countries in the time period from 2006 till 2011. In order to obtain research results, the authors performed qualitative analysis of the scientific literature on bank business models, which have been grouped into clusters that consist of such components as: 1) capital and reserves; 2) assets; 3) deposits, and 4) loans. In their turn, bank business models have been developed based on the types of core activities of the banks, and have been divided into four groups: Wholesale, Investment, Retail and Universal Banks. Descriptive statistics have been used to analyse the models, determining mean, minimal and maximal values of constituent cluster components, as well as standard deviation. The analysis of the data is based on such bank variable indices as Return on Assets (ROA) and Return on Equity (ROE).

Keywords: Banks, Business model, CEE, ROA, ROE.

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569 Cost Benefit Analysis and Adjustments of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Airline Industry

Authors: Roman Asatryan

Abstract:

The decision-making processes in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) among firms in the airlines industry borders on the benefits that accrue to firms through those investments. The crux of the matter is how firms can quantify the benefits derived from such investments. This paper analyses the cost benefit adjustment strategies for firms in the airline industry in their CSR strategy adoption and implementation. The paper discusses the CBA model in order to understand the ways airlines can reduce costs and increase returns on CSR, or balance the cost and benefits. The analysis indicates that, economic concepts especially the CBA are useful, though they are not without challenges. This paper concludes that the CBA model gives a basic understanding of the motivations for investing in intangible assets like CSR. It sets the tone for formulating relevant hypothesis in empirical studies in investment in CSR and other intangible assets in business operations.

Keywords: Cost Benefit Analysis, Corporate Social Responsibility, airline industry.

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568 Analysis and Prototyping of Biological Systems: the Abstract Biological Process Model

Authors: Antonio Di Leva, Roberto Berchi, Gianpiero Pescarmona, Michele Sonnessa

Abstract:

The aim of a biological model is to understand the integrated structure and behavior of complex biological systems as a function of the underlying molecular networks to achieve simulation and forecast of their operation. Although several approaches have been introduced to take into account structural and environment related features, relatively little attention has been given to represent the behavior of biological systems. The Abstract Biological Process (ABP) model illustrated in this paper is an object-oriented model based on UML (the standard object-oriented language). Its main objective is to bring into focus the functional aspects of the biological system under analysis.

Keywords: Biological processes, system dynamics, systemmodeling, UML.

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567 Goodwill in the Current Greek Accounting Environment

Authors: Efthymios Gravas, Anastasios Alexandridis, Antonios Stavropoulos

Abstract:

The growing interest in the issue of intangible assets not only in the scientific community but also in some professional bodies internationally can be explained by several points of view. From the business perspective, enterprises are increasingly motivated by external and internal forces to measure and proactively manage their intangibles. With respect to the issue of intangibles, goodwill has been debated in many countries throughout the world. Despite the numerous efforts and the existence of international accounting standards there is not yet a common accepted accounting treatment for goodwill. This study attempts on the one hand to impress the accounting treatment of goodwill internationally, on the other hand analyses the major subjects in relation to the accounting treatment of goodwill in Greece, since 2005, year where the international accounting standards have been in use for the Greek listed companies. The results indicate that the accounting treatment for the goodwill in Greece, despite the effort for accounting harmonization in Europe from 2005, sustains many differences especially for the no listed companies.

Keywords: Intangible Assets, Goodwill, International Accounting Standards, Greek Accounting System and Law

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566 Nutrition and Food Safety as Strategic Assets

Authors: Daniel C. S. Lim, W. Y. Tan

Abstract:

The world is facing a growing food crisis. The concerns of food nutritional value, food safety and food security are becoming increasingly real. There is also a direct relationship to the risk of diseases, particularly chronic diseases, to the food we consume. So, there are increasing concerns about the modern day food ecosystem creating foods that can provide the nutritional components for organ function sustenance, as well as, taking a serious view on diet-related diseases. This paper addresses some of the above concerns and gives an overview of the current global situation relating to food nutrition and safety. The paper reviews nutritional aspects of food today compared to those of the last century, compares whole foods found in supermarkets versus those organically grown, as well as population behaviour towards food choices. It provides scientific insights into the effects of some of the global trends such as climate change and other changes environmental changes, and presents what individuals and corporations are doing to use the latest nutritional technologies as strategic assets. Finally, it briefly highlights some of the innovative solutions that are being applied to address several of the above concerns.

Keywords: Food crisis, food safety, nutritional aspects of food today compared to those of the last century, global trends.

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565 Clarification of the Essential of Life Cycle Cost upon Decision-Making Process: An Empirical Study in Building Projects

Authors: Ayedh Alqahtani, Andrew Whyte

Abstract:

Life Cycle Cost (LCC) is one of the goals and key pillars of the construction management science because it comprises many of the functions and processes necessary, which assist organisations and agencies to achieve their goals. It has therefore become important to design and control assets during their whole life cycle, from the design and planning phase through to disposal phase. LCCA is aimed to improve the decision making system in the ownership of assets by taking into account all the cost elements including to the asset throughout its life. Current application of LCC approach is impractical during misunderstanding of the advantages of LCC. This main objective of this research is to show a different relationship between capital cost and long-term running costs. One hundred and thirty eight actual building projects in United Kingdom (UK) were used in order to achieve and measure the above-mentioned objective of the study. The result shown that LCC is one of the most significant tools should be considered on the decision making process.

Keywords: Building projects, Capital cost, Life cycle cost, Maintenance costs, Operation costs.

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564 Performance Management of Tangible Assets within the Balanced Scorecard and Interactive Business Decision Tools

Authors: Raymond K. Jonkers

Abstract:

The present study investigated approaches and techniques to enhance strategic management governance and decision making within the framework of a performance-based balanced scorecard. The review of best practices from strategic, program, process, and systems engineering management provided for a holistic approach toward effective outcome-based capability management. One technique, based on factorial experimental design methods, was used to develop an empirical model. This model predicted the degree of capability effectiveness and is dependent on controlled system input variables and their weightings. These variables represent business performance measures, captured within a strategic balanced scorecard. The weighting of these measures enhances the ability to quantify causal relationships within balanced scorecard strategy maps. The focus in this study was on the performance of tangible assets within the scorecard rather than the traditional approach of assessing performance of intangible assets such as knowledge and technology. Tangible assets are represented in this study as physical systems, which may be thought of as being aboard a ship or within a production facility. The measures assigned to these systems include project funding for upgrades against demand, system certifications achieved against those required, preventive maintenance to corrective maintenance ratios, and material support personnel capacity against that required for supporting respective systems. The resultant scorecard is viewed as complimentary to the traditional balanced scorecard for program and performance management. The benefits from these scorecards are realized through the quantified state of operational capabilities or outcomes. These capabilities are also weighted in terms of priority for each distinct system measure and aggregated and visualized in terms of overall state of capabilities achieved. This study proposes the use of interactive controls within the scorecard as a technique to enhance development of alternative solutions in decision making. These interactive controls include those for assigning capability priorities and for adjusting system performance measures, thus providing for what-if scenarios and options in strategic decision-making. In this holistic approach to capability management, several cross functional processes were highlighted as relevant amongst the different management disciplines. In terms of assessing an organization’s ability to adopt this approach, consideration was given to the P3M3 management maturity model.

Keywords: Outcome based management, performance management, lifecycle costs, balanced scorecard.

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563 Liquidity Risk of Banks in Light of a Dominant Share of Foreign Capital in the Polish Banking Sector

Authors: Karolina Patora

Abstract:

This article investigates liquidity risk management by banks, which has gained significant importance since the global financial crisis of 2008. The issue is of particular interest for countries like Poland, in which foreign capital plays a dominant role. Such an ownership structure poses certain risks to the local banking sector, which faces an increased probability of the withdrawal of funding or assets’ transfers abroad in case of a crisis. Both these factors can have a detrimental influence on the liquidity position of foreign-owned banks and hence negatively affect the financial stability of the whole banking sector. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of a dominating share of foreign investors in the Polish banking sector on the liquidity position of commercial banks. The study hypothesizes that the ownership structure of the Polish banking sector, in which there are banks predominantly controlled by foreign investors, does not pose a threat to the liquidity position of Polish banks. A supplementary research hypothesis is that the liquidity risk profile of foreign-owned banks differs from that of domestic banks. The sample consists of 14 foreign-owned banks and 5 domestic banks owned by local investors, which together constitute approximately 87% of the banking sector’s assets. The data covers the period of 2004–2014. The results of the regression models show no evidence of significant differences in terms of the dynamics of changes of the liquidity buffers between the foreign-owned and domestic banks, although the signs of the coefficients might suggest that the foreign-owned banks were decreasing the holdings of liquid assets at a slower pace over the examined period, compared to the domestic banks. However, no proof of the statistical significance of these findings has been found. The supplementary research hypothesis that the liquidity risk profile of foreign-controlled banks differs from that of domestic banks was rejected.

Keywords: Financial stability, foreign-owned banks, liquidity position, liquidity risk.

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562 Enhancing the Effectiveness of Air Defense Systems through Simulation Analysis

Authors: F. Felipe

Abstract:

Air Defense Systems contain high-value assets that are expected to fulfill their mission for several years - in many cases, even decades - while operating in a fast-changing, technology-driven environment. Thus, it is paramount that decision-makers can assess how effective an Air Defense System is in the face of new developing threats, as well as to identify the bottlenecks that could jeopardize the security of the airspace of a country. Given the broad extent of activities and the great variety of assets necessary to achieve the strategic objectives, a systems approach was taken in order to delineate the core requirements and the physical architecture of an Air Defense System. Then, value-focused thinking helped in the definition of the measures of effectiveness. Furthermore, analytical methods were applied to create a formal structure that preliminarily assesses such measures. To validate the proposed methodology, a powerful simulation was also used to determine the measures of effectiveness, now in more complex environments that incorporate both uncertainty and multiple interactions of the entities. The results regarding the validity of this methodology suggest that the approach can support decisions aimed at enhancing the capabilities of Air Defense Systems. In conclusion, this paper sheds some light on how consolidated approaches of Systems Engineering and Operations Research can be used as valid techniques for solving problems regarding a complex and yet vital matter.

Keywords: Air defense, effectiveness, system, simulation, decision-support.

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561 Exploring the Role of Private Commercial Banks in Increasing Small and Medium Size Enterprises’ Financial Accessibility in Developing Countries: A Study in Bangladesh

Authors: Khondokar Farid Ahmmed, Robin Bown

Abstract:

It is widely recognized that the formal financing of Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) by Private Commercial Banks (PCBs) is restricted. Due to changing financial market competition, SMEs are now important customers to PCBs in the member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Various initiatives in enhancing the efficiency of risk assessment of PCBs have failed in increasing financing accessibility in the traditional financing system where information asymmetry is a key constraint. In this circumstance, PCBs need to undertake a holistic approach. Holistic approach refers to methods that attempt to fundamentally change established traditions. To undertake holistic approach, this study intends to find the entire established financing culture between PCBs and SMEs in a new lens beyond the tradition on the basis of two basic questions: “What is the traditional lending culture between PCBs and SMEs” and “What could be potential role of PCBs to develop that culture where focusing on SME financing to PCBs". This study considered formal SME financing in Bangladesh by focusing on SMEs applying for their first loan. Bangladesh is a member country of ADB. The data collection method is semi-structured and we utilized face-to-face interviews with in-depth branch managers, higher officials and owner-managers of SME customers of PCBs and higher officials of SME Foundation and the Bangladesh central bank. Discourse analysis method was used for data analysis on the frame of thematic discussion fully based on participants’ views. The research found that branch managers and loan officers have a high level of power in assessing and financing decision-making. There is a changing attitude in PCB sector in requiring flexible collateral assets. Branch managers (Loan Officers) consider value of business prospect of owner-mangers as complementary of collateral assets. However, the study found the assessment process of business prospect is entirely unstructured and linked with socio-cultural settings that does not support PCBs’ changing manner in terms of collateral requirement. The study redefined and classified collateral assets to include all financing constructs in a structure. The degree of value of the collateral assets determines the degree of business prospects. This study suggested applying an outside classroom-learning paradigm such as “knowledge tour” to enhance the value of the kinds of collateral assets. This is the scope of PCBs in increasing SMEs’ financing eligibility in win-win basis. The findings and proposition could be effective in other ADB member countries and audiences in the field.

Keywords: CCA, financing, information asymmetry, PCA, PCB, financing.

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560 The Relationship between Inventory Management and Profitability: A Comparative Research on Turkish Firms Operated in Weaving Industry, Eatables Industry, Wholesale and Retail Industry

Authors: G. Sekeroglu, M. Altan

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Working capital is identified as firm’s all current assets. Inventories which are one of the working capital elements are very important among current assets for firms. Because, profitability is an indicator for firms’ financial success is provided with minimum cost and optimum inventory quantity. So in this study, it is investigated as comparatively that the effect of inventory management on the profitability of Turkish firms which operated in weaving industry, eatables industry, wholesale and retail industry in between 2003 – 2012 years. Research data consist of profitability ratios and inventory turnovers ratio calculated by using balance sheets and income statements of firms which operated in Borsa Istanbul (BIST). In this research, the relationship between inventories and profitability is investigated by using SPSS-20 software with regression and correlation analysis. The results achieved from three industry departments which exist in study interpreted as comparatively. Accordingly, it is determined that there is a positive relationship between inventory management and profitability in eatables industry. However, it was founded that there is no relationship between inventory management and profitability in weaving industry and wholesale and retail industry.

Keywords: Profitability, regression analysis, inventory management, working capital.

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559 User-Driven Product Line Engineering for Assembling Large Families of Software

Authors: Zhaopeng Xuan, Yuan Bian, C. Cailleaux, Jing Qin, S. Traore

Abstract:

Traditional software engineering allows engineers to propose to their clients multiple specialized software distributions assembled from a shared set of software assets. The management of these assets however requires a trade-off between client satisfaction and software engineering process. Clients have more and more difficult to find a distribution or components based on their needs from all of distributed repositories.

This paper proposes a software engineering for a user-driven software product line in which engineers define a Feature Model but users drive the actual software distribution on demand. This approach makes the user become final actor as a release manager in software engineering process, increasing user product satisfaction and simplifying user operations to find required components. In addition, it provides a way for engineers to manage and assembly large software families.

As a proof of concept, a user-driven software product line is implemented for Eclipse, an integrated development environment. An Eclipse feature model is defined, which is exposed to users on a cloud-based built platform from which clients can download individualized Eclipse distributions.

Keywords: Software Product Line, Model-driven Development, Reverse Engineering and Refactoring, Agile Method

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558 Secondary School Students- Perceptions about Biological Issues in South Korea

Authors: Jung-Hyun Kim, Kew-Cheol Shim, Shin-Cheol Song, Kyoungho Kim, Nam-Il Kim, Jinho Bae, Keum-Hyun So

Abstract:

The purpose of present paper was to investigate perceptions of Korean secondary school students about social issues related to biological sciences. Twenty issues were selected based on topics of articles in the newspaper from 2005 to 2010. The issues were categorized into biotechnology, health-disease and environment domains. Subjects were 541 high school students (male 253 and female 288). On the survey, students were asked to answer on 5-point Lickert scales how they thought of the effect of biological phenomena or events related to biological issues on the individual life and the society. They perceived that the biological issues would be more effectible on the society than on the individual life. Female students had a little more perceptions than males.

Keywords: biological issue, biological sciences, perception, secondary school

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557 Design of an Ensemble Learning Behavior Anomaly Detection Framework

Authors: Abdoulaye Diop, Nahid Emad, Thierry Winter, Mohamed Hilia

Abstract:

Data assets protection is a crucial issue in the cybersecurity field. Companies use logical access control tools to vault their information assets and protect them against external threats, but they lack solutions to counter insider threats. Nowadays, insider threats are the most significant concern of security analysts. They are mainly individuals with legitimate access to companies information systems, which use their rights with malicious intents. In several fields, behavior anomaly detection is the method used by cyber specialists to counter the threats of user malicious activities effectively. In this paper, we present the step toward the construction of a user and entity behavior analysis framework by proposing a behavior anomaly detection model. This model combines machine learning classification techniques and graph-based methods, relying on linear algebra and parallel computing techniques. We show the utility of an ensemble learning approach in this context. We present some detection methods tests results on an representative access control dataset. The use of some explored classifiers gives results up to 99% of accuracy.

Keywords: Cybersecurity, data protection, access control, insider threat, user behavior analysis, ensemble learning, high performance computing.

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556 Effect of Influent COD on Biological Ammonia Removal Efficiency

Authors: S. H. Mirhossaini, H. Godini, A. Jafari

Abstract:

Biological Ammonia removal (nitrification), the oxidation of ammonia to nitrate catalyzed by bacteria, is a key part of global nitrogen cycling. In the first step of nitrification, chemolithoautotrophic ammonia oxidizer transform ammonia to nitrite, this subsequently oxidized to nitrate by nitrite oxidizing bacteria. This process can be affected by several factors. In this study the effect of influent COD on biological ammonia removal in a bench-scale biological reactor was investigated. Experiments were carried out using synthetic wastewater. The initial ammonium concentration was 25mgNH4 +-N L-1. The effect of COD between 247.55±1.8 and 601.08±3.24mgL-1 on biological ammonia removal was investigated by varying the COD loading supplied to reactor. From the results obtained in this study it could be concluded in the range of 247.55±1.8 to 351.35±2.05mgL-1, there is a direct relationship between amount of COD and ammonia removal. However more than 351.35±2.05 up to 601.08±3.24mgL-1 were found an indirect relationship between them.

Keywords: Ammonia biological removal, Nitrification, InfluentCOD.

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