Introduction to Teaching English in Japan

Would you like the chance to spend some time in Japan but feel turned off by whistle-stop package tourist trips? If so, teaching English may be the answer. There is no better way to get to know a country than by living and working there. By teaching English you become a part of Japanese society, rather than just an observer looking in.

Teaching English is big business in Japan. Despite the collapse of the so-called bubble economy Japan remains one of the richest and most sophisticated nations on the planet, and this status is largely due to its success in overseas trade and investment. Thus, to get ahead in Japanese society, proficiency in English is a significant advantage. Add to that the fact that being able to speak English is simply considered cool and the huge demand for English teachers becomes clear.

Don’t Japanese people learn English at school?

Yes they do. Usually for 6 years or more. The problem is that, unlike most of the school curriculum, English isn’t taught particularly well. Japanese schools tend to follow traditional teaching methods in which the teacher stands at the front and lectures the class. Students are expected to absorb rather than question. The method produces excellent results for subjects like history and mathematics, but not for communicative, participative skills like language. School English education is likely to consist of lots of reading and writing, lots of grammar practice, but very little – if any – spoken communication.

Do I need to speak Japanese?

Not at all. Of course, if you can pick up a little nihongo (Japanese) it will make your daily life easier, but it won’t help one bit as a teacher. The reason is that the most effective way of teaching language is to use only the target language. Thus the only language used in English lessons is English.

How do I start?

Well, you could simply buy a ticket to Japan and start looking for work. Unfortunately, without a work permit, that strategy is illegal. Unless you have a Japanese spouse you need to find a job that will sponsor you for a visa. It is possible to travel to Japan as a tourist and approach a few of the numerous schools advertising for teachers asking if they are prepared to sponsor your visa application.

It helps to undergo some TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) training before looking for work. Not only will this give you some basic teaching skills and confidence, but it also shows potential employers you are serious about teaching and not just a backpacker looking for some financial re-fuelling.

TEFL courses are advertised in most English speaking countries. The more useful ones are provided by working English schools and offer face-to-face teaching practice with real learners.

Accommodation

If you are employed by the JET program or one of the big English school companies they will more than likely arrange accommodation for you. You are of course free to find your own housing if you so wish.

Living in school-found accommodation has the advantage of an English speaking contact to sort out repairs or other problems. The disadvantage is that it’s difficult to quit a job that may not be for you while living in their accommodation. I have also heard of at least one school that charges its teachers a significant premium over market rental rates for use of its accommodation – so beware!

There are several English speaking accommodation agencies advertising in the free English language press, and these generally provide decent accommodation, but at a price.

An alternative favored by many single English teachers are the so-called “gaijin houses” (literally foreigner’s house). These are basically hostels that rent out basic, but adequately comfortable, rooms mainly to non-Japanese clientele. Usually bathroom, kitchen and sometimes communal sitting room are shared. Gaijin house advertisements are to be found in the free English language press.

Branding Yourself For Success In Network Marketing

Branding oneself is critical if you are going to be prosperous in network marketing or MLM and more specifically if you wish to stay in this business for the longterm.

A great deal of people are actually asking me this question:

'I would like to enroll individuals into my company, how will branding myself as a leader help me to achieve this'?

People that ask this type of question bought to understand that enrolling individuals into your organization is a process and you can not neglect any steps within the process and anticipate to enroll individuals automatically.

If you decide to leverage the incredible power of the internet and market your business on the internet, you must realize that people do not know you so you will need to position your self as an MLM leader and that's where branding yourself becomes necessary.

When you are branding yourself on the internet, you are presenting yourself as an individual that has value to give and as someone who can provide solutions to other struggling network marketers.

A lot of people are in search of solutions and when they see that you have value to give, they will be naturally drawn to you and will turn out to be your lead which you can prospect and eventually sign up into your company.

If you consider large international companies, they continue to invest millions on marketing and advertising.

Why?

Mainly because they want to reinforce their brand in our minds.

In network advertising, you have to reinvigorate yourself in peoples' minds by branding yourself by means of giving value and supplying solutions to struggling network marketers.

Branding yourself is incredibly vital for these three reasons:

# 1 – People like to do business with people they like, know and trust

This is the main reason why we are taught in traditional network marketing to begin with family and friends.

However, when you have exhausted out your friends and family list, you must figure out how to tap into the market of individuals you do not know by branding yourself and standing out from all the other people pitching their businesses.

If you can invest some time into branding yourself as an MLM leader, you'll find it so much easier to attract leads to you and eventually sign them up into your company.

Always keep this in mind: people today join people, not companies.

# 2 – Regardless of what happens to your MLM company, you still have a business

What if your organization decides to close down for whatever reason, how would that affect your business?

If you have been focusing on marketing your company and not branding yourself, then you would be in a bad situation if your company does shut down for whatever reason.

However, if you have been branding yourself, it would not make a significant difference due to the fact that you would have built up a loyal following of individuals who want to work with you.

Therefore, if anything happened to your MLM company, a great percentage of the people on your list would wish to follow you wherever you go.

# 3 – Multiple income streams

In addition to your primary company, you are able to also make extra money on the internet from affiliate product sales.

Branding your self on the web will enable you to build a list of people that trust you so whenever you recommend a product that can help them, a good number of your list will purchase.

All because they already know you because of your brand and they would rather buy from you than someone they do not know.

So How Do You Begin Branding Yourself?

There are a variety of ways that can start to brand yourself on the web.

Blogging and article marketing and advertising are great ways to give value and brand yourself .

You can also cut videos on topics that will help your target audience.

Social media especially Facebook and twitter are also superb ways to brand yourself and develop your online presence.

Financial Reporting & Auditing in Singapore

The Accounting Profession of Singapore

The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS) is the national body representing the accounting profession in Singapore. It maintains a register of qualified accountants comprising mainly local graduates. Membership is open to members of the Institutes of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, Australia, Scotland, Ireland and a number of other accounting bodies. Generally, prior to being admitted as a full member, they must attend a week-long pre-admission course. Members are designated as certified public accountants (CPA).

The Public Accountants Board, whose council members are appointed by the Ministry of Finance, licenses and registers accountants who wish to practise. It also handles practice monitoring, disciplinary matters and regulations on professional conduct.

Accounting Records in Singapore

All companies incorporated under the Companies Act are required to maintain books of accounts that sufficiently explain the transactions and financial position of the company.

The books may be kept either at the company’s registered office or at another place the directors think fit. If the books are maintained outside Singapore, sufficient records must be maintained in Singapore to facilitate the preparation and/or audit of financial statements that reflect accurately the company’s financial position.

Sources of Accounting Principles

Financial Periods Commencing before 1 January 2003 The principal source of accounting principles in Singapore, namely Statements of Accounting Standards (SAS) and Interpretation of Statements of Accounting Standards (INT), are issued by ICPAS. These standards are essentially International Accounting Standards (IAS) modified for certain transitional provisions. They provide guidelines on the accounting measurements and disclosure requirements. Businesses may depart from such standards if the standards conflict with disclosure exemptions granted by law. Otherwise, ICPAS may take disciplinary action against any of its members who are in violation of the standards.

Rules on accounting measurements are generally established by SAS and INT. Disclosure requirements are governed by SAS, INT and the Companies Act.

ICPAS is a member of the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC). Compliance with IASC standards are not mandatory, but the institute supports the IASC objectives of formulating and publishing standards for observance during presentation of audited financial statements and promoting worldwide acceptance of such standards.

Financial Periods Commencing on or after 1 January 2003 With the implementation of section 37 of the Companies (Amendment) Act 2002, SAS issued by ICPAS will not be used with effect from annual financial periods commencing on or after 1 January 2003. Instead, Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (FRS), issued by the new accounting standards-setting body, the Council on Corporate Disclosure and Governance (CCDG), are now effective. FRS are essentially adopted from International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The previous SAS were adopted from the same set of IFRS (formerly referred to as IAS) but with modification to certain transitional provisions. Consequently, there are differences between FRS and SAS.

Interpretations of Standards are authoritative guidance on the application of the relevant standards. CCDG adopted all international interpretations as Interpretations of FRS (INT FRS) with effect from financial periods beginning on or after 1 January 2003.

Compliance with FRS is a statutory requirement whereby any non-compliance amounts to a breach of the Companies Act by the directors.

Financial Reporting in Singapore

The Companies Act requires that an audited set of financial statements, made up to not more than six months before every Annual General Meeting, is to be presented to the shareholders at the meeting. Generally if a company incorporated in Singapore has one or more subsidiaries, it must prepare consolidated financial statements unless it meets certain criteria as provided for in FRS 27 Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements. Currently, financial statements under the Companies Act consist of the balance sheet, income statement together with explanatory notes. With the Companies (Accounting Standards) Regulations 2002 coming into operation for financial periods on or after 1 January 2003, a complete set of financial statements will comprise the balance sheet, income statement, statement of changes in equity, cash flow statement and explanatory notes.

The financial statements must be accompanied by the directors’ and auditors’ reports and by a statement from the directors declaring that the financial statements show a true and fair view and that it is reasonable to believe that the company can reasonably pay its debts as they become due.

Companies which meet specific provisions in the Companies Act may be exempt from having their accounts audited but nevertheless must prepare financial statements that comply with the Companies Act.

Annual Requirements for Companies in Singapore

The Companies Act requires every company, except for those exempted in accordance with the provisions in the Act, to appoint one or more auditors qualified for appointment under the Accountants Act to report on the company’s financial statements. The auditors are to ascertain whether proper books of accounts have been kept and whether the financial statements agree with the company’s records. They will then report on the trueness and fairness of the financial statements to the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting.

Audit Exemption Starting with the financial year beginning on or after 15 May 2003, the following companies are no longer required to have their accounts audited. However, they are still required to prepare accounts (and consolidated accounts where applicable) that comply with FRS.

o Small exempt private companies An exempt private company with revenue in a financial year below S$5m is exempted from appointing auditors and from audit requirements. Revenue is defined according to the statutory accounting standards, i.e. the FRS.

o Dormant companies A dormant company is exempted from appointing auditors and from the audit requirements if it has been dormant either (a) from the time of its formation or (b) since the end of the previous financial year. A company is considered dormant during a period in which no accounting transaction occurs, and the company ceases to be dormant on the occurrence of such a transaction. For this purpose, transactions arising from the following are disregarded:

  • Taking of shares in the company by a subscriber to the memorandum
  • Appointment of company secretary
  • Appointment of auditor
  • Maintenance of a registered office
  • Keeping of registers and books
  • Fees, fines or default penalties paid to the Registrar of Companies

What Does the Word Website Designer Stand For?

Today anyone seems to call themselves web designer just because the learned to create a web site.

Is it traditional graphic design involved or is it just experts on programs like Flash, Dreamweaver, etc. who call themselves designers?

One guy looking for work told me he had a web design education and when I looked at his work it was like 5 pages crap made in FrontPage!

For me as an art director and graphic designer it all seems a bit strange. I have spent years in art- and advertising classes, over 30 years in the advertising business in Sweden and Spain and I’m still not sure I can use that title. Even if I have designed hundreds of websites last 10 years.

So be aware when you looking for help, with internet anyone seems to be whatever they like and advertise their services, trust them or not. You will never know for sure.

Today I saw the following ad in a local magazine: “We design web sites for 130EUR”. That guy must be something of a superman. Or is the education these days so fantastic that you can learn it all in a few years?

The “Graphic design” education is just a small part in building your web site.

The natural way was (back in the 80:s in Stockholm) that your advertising agency produced your website and designed it so it fit your company’s profile. A few years later a lot of digital production companies started, but still with people educated in the advertising business.

Short after that anyone with money could buy a computer, copy machines and some colour printers and start a Copy shop without any education in advertising. Unfortunately they after a while also offered help in layout and design.

That’s where we are today. Anyone with a computer can offer you anything online.

It’s up to you to find out who they are.