The Emerging Role (Future) Of Accounting

1. INTRODUCTION

Accounting has evolved as human beings have evolved and as the concepts of the accounting subject are directly coined out from its most fundamental principle of conservatism, it is not difficult to see why the style of accounting at every point in time has a direct link with the age. As man has developed from a primitive age to a modern interdependence age, living has advanced from being subsistent as a hunter-gatherer to a knowledge driven globalised world concept of ‘effectiveness turning to greatness’ and all along with this evolution, self accounting with the abacus has developed through stewardship accounting to financial accounting and now managerial accounting; which has a focus on decision making.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) of the US which generally standardised and strengthened the globally adopted Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) took significant strides in the year 2012 to come together with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in a manner termed as ‘International Convergence’. Such a convergence is expected to gradually harmonise the GAAPs and the IFRS until they become one and the same in a bid to stream line corporate/company reports into a uniform process globally.

1.1 Statement of the Problem

There is no absolute certainty as to what the future holds for the Accounting Profession. It thus seems however, that the future age which definitely would be one of scientific advancement, would move man from greatness to something worthier for the time. Spiritualism, Environmentalism and Developmentalism could be key factors in the future age. This paper is to find out if Accounting itself would be more of a reality providing accurate solutions to financial problems where man’s ability to value natural capital fairly would give rise to a significant asset on the balance sheet in contrast to the industrial age when even man himself was regarded as labour and not being considered as important as the machines he operated.

2. LITERATURE REVIEW

This paper was approached from a content analysis view point – both conceptual and relational. A content analysis is “a research technique for the objective, systematic, and quantitative description of manifest content of communications” – (Berelson, 52). The conceptual analysis was simply to examine the presence of the problem, i.e. whether there is a stronger presence of positive or negative words used with respect to the specific argument while the relational analysis built on the conceptual analysis by examining the relationships among concepts. As with other sorts of inquiry, initial choices with regard to what is being studied determined the possibility of this particular paper.

2.1 Evolution of Accounting Theory

According to investopedia.com, Accounting Theory in the light of its evolution can be defined as the review of both historical foundations of accounting practice as well as the way in which accounting practices are verified and added to the study and application of financial principles. Accounting as a discipline is believed to have existed since the 15th Century. From that time to now businesses and economies have continued to evolve greatly. Accounting theory must adapt to new ways of doing business, new technological standards and gaps that are discovered in reporting mechanisms hence, it is a continuously evolving subject. As professional accounting organisations help companies interpret and use accounting standards, so do the Accounting Standards Board help continually create more efficient practical applications of accounting theory. Accounting is the foundation of efficient and effective business management and intelligent managerial decision making, without which businesses and trade world-wide would operate blindly and fatally. It is therefore necessary to link how it has evolved to its future role.

2.2 The Origin of Accounting

Luca Pacioli wrote a Maths book in 1494 (ehow) that consisted of a chapter on the mathematics of business. As this book is thought to be first official book on accounting, Luca Pacioli has severally been regarded as ‘the father of accounting’. In his Maths book, Pacioli explained that the successful merchant needed 3 things: sufficient cash or credit; an accounting system that can tell him how he is doing; and a good book keeper to operate it. Pacioli’s theory still holds today, it included both journals and ledgers and it is believed to have popularised the use of the double entry accounting that had been in place since the late 1300s.

2.2.1 The First Change in Accounting

During the depression of 1772, the Accounting profession went beyond book keeping to cost accounting. The theory and the idea were transformed into a method determining whether a business is operating efficiently or using an excess of labour and resources. The new theory of cost accounting allowed a trained book-keeper or an accountant to use the book kept to extract financial reports to show the efficiency represented by such data. This new idea led to the survival of businesses during the depression; business that would otherwise have failed without an intelligent management decision making informed by a cost accounting breakthrough.

2.2.2 The American Revolution/ British Courts Influence

The end of the American Revolution saw the first United States (US) governmental accounting system being created in 1789 and it was established to account for and manage the treasury of the US. The double entry practice and theory were adopted. The British courts ruled that they needed professional accountants to make financial information in relation to court cases. Chartered accounting bodies/ concepts were introduced in Britain (and in the US in particular, the Certified Public Accountant – CPA). In 1887, the first standardised exam emerged with Frank Broaker becoming US’s first CPA.

2.3 Modern Cost Accounting

This was first established by General Motors (GM) Company in 1923 and it developed methods that helped cut its costs and streamlined operations and this remained relevant for over 50 years. The new accounting techniques developed included return on investment, return on equity and GM’s flexible/adjustable budget concept.

2.4 Accounting Concepts and Conventions

This was established in US between 1936 and 1938 by the Committee on Accounting Procedure (CAP) thereby standardising Accounting practices for all companies throughout the US. In 1953, the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) was updated to new standards, CAP became Accounting Principles Board (APB) in 1959 and later in 1973, APB (having suffered from poor management) was replaced by Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) with greater powers and opinion for its professional stance.

2.5 International Financial Reporting Standards

FASB issued almost 200 pronouncements between 1973 and 2009 thereby establishing the foundation of Accounting Standards in use presently and is now making current moves to harmonise all accounting principles of GAAP with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). It is widely believed that development of accounting profession in any nation and around the globe is a mixed effort of both accounting theoreticians and practicing accountants. Thus, the framework of accounting is a harmony of efforts whereby professional accounting bodies are usually in the lead of a path to regulation and standardisation of issues relating to accounting.

2.6 The Nigerian Scenario

In Nigeria, the case is not different from what has already been discussed. Most of the country’s accounting standards (concepts and conventions) were inherited from the British colonial masters. And because the world has indeed become a large global village with globalised accounting bodies supervising and making sure that all member countries are abreast with current Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, Nigeria has also tagged along making several public sector and private sector reforms the most recent and famous of which include the approval by the Federal Government in July 2010 to adopt International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) for the public sector and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for the private sector as a conscious effort to ensure a uniform chart of reporting system throughout the country by both the public sector and private sector.

2.7 International Convergence of Accounting Standards

This concept is both a goal and a path taken to reach such a goal. The FASB believed that the ultimate goal of convergence is a single set of high-quality, international accounting standards that, companies world-wide would use for both domestic and cross-border financial reporting. To this end, conscious efforts are being made by the FASB and the IASB to jointly eliminate the differences between the ‘GAAP’ and the ‘IFRS’. One such conscious effort was made on the April 5th 2012 when an update report was submitted to the Financial Stability Board Plenary on Accounting Convergence. The ever increasing demand by global capital markets driven by investors’ desire for high-quality internationally comparable financial information is as a result of the usefulness it is expected to immediately provide for decision making and thereafter accurate solutions to problem solving. The IASB was established 1st April 2001 as successor to International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) and on March 1st 2001 the IASB, which is an independent accounting standard-setter based in London, England assumed the responsibilities for Accounting Standardisation. The IASB is responsible for issuing many accounting standards and pronouncements known as the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

3. PRESENTATION OF FINDINGS

To give a pictorial view to this paper, two (2) illustrations are used to make presentations (interpretations) of the findings. Illustration.1 traces the Evolution of Accounting; its principles, roles, concepts, professionalism, standardisation and internationalisation. Illustration.2 on the one hand relates Accounting evolution with Human evolution and on the other hand it broadens the understanding of the reader with regards to the subject matter. The reader (user) of this paper easily discovers a past-present-future view of the Role of Accounting and it purports to postulate finally what the future of Accounting could (or should) be. Self Accounting is not a terminology found in the literature of Accounting but is used here to depict any primitive Accounting system which was maintained by traders long before double-entry. Self Accounting, thus, was the past of Accounting when the role of Accounting was merely to have records of Incomes and Expenses, show Liabilities and not necessarily showing Assets and profits as distinguished from the personal or private earnings/estates of a trader. Assets at times might have been recorded as expenses. These are assumable because most businesses operated (and still operate) as sole-ownerships. The Present role of Accounting encompasses; stewardship, financial reporting and managerial decision making. These three provide the nexus of what Accounting is today. The stewardship aspect is so referred to because rich merchants in Europe and the Americas at that time trained their slaves to render book-keeping services. So the merchants themselves did not have to do the tasks. Financial Accounting was developed to give standard to financial reporting especially for the users of such reports who are largely to the businesses concerned. Managerial Accounting evolved to provide records that would aid the decision making process of the managers and owners of businesses. Generally all three roles of accounting as at present assist stakeholders to make good judgments regarding their dealings with businesses. These stakeholders may or ‘may not’ have rights to receive the reports so discussed. The stakeholders include; creditors and government (having rights to receive only financial reports); the shareholders, investors and management (who make use of both the financial reports and the managerial reports); the employee and the management team (who are the users of all the reports: book-keeping, financial reports and managerial reports); and the competitors, resident community and customers – who do not have rights to receive such reports but are able to retrieve financial reports (annual reports) to aid their decisions with regards any business of interest to them.

Having accurate records (reports) support good decision making but sometimes bad interpretation and judgment of the reports and their recorded results may lead to bad decisions taken. The three roles of accounting presently have been the bed-rock with which accounting standardisation of principles and procedures have evolved to date. The Emerging Role (Future) of Accounting then must be anticipated with keen readiness with regards to what should be probable. Illustration.2 would do justice to this concept.

Illustration.1- The Evolution of Accounting in the US (1300 – 2014)

Stewardship (prior 1300)

-Slaves trained to render basic book-keeping

Double Entry (1300)

-Introduction of Double Entry principles

Book-keeping improved (1494)

-Financial Reporting begins

Cost Accounting (1772)

-Managerial Accounting for Decision Making begins

Double Entry (1789)

-Principle of Conservatism fully adopted

Professionalism (1850)

-Concepts/Chartered bodies introduced

AICPA formed in US (1887)

-Providing standards and operational guidelines

-Certification process begins

Qualifying Exams (1897)

-First standardised exams introduced

Cost Accounting Revamped (1923)

-Modern cost accounting methods developed by General Motors Company and remained relevant beyond 1973

Concepts and Conventions (1936)

-Conservatism expanded into other concepts and conventions

-US Committee on Accounting Procedure (CAP) establishes standard accounting practices

CAP Evolves (1953)

-New standards of GAAP fully established

CAP further evolves (1959)

-CAP becomes APB (Accounting Principles Board)

APB evolves (1973)

-Due to poor management and inability to Accounting theory as desired, APB is replaced by FASB

FASB established (1973)

-Financial Accounting Standards Board replaces APB and makes over 200 pronouncements up to 2009

-The foundation of accounting Standards all over the world further strengthened

Influence from the England (2001)

-IASB established as an independent ‘International Accounting Standards-Setter’ based in London, England

-IASB assumes responsibilities from IASC on March 1st 2001

FASB and the International Convergence (2012-2014)

-GAAP (established by the FASB) is being considered for merger into the IFRS (established by the IASB)

3.1 Reality Accounting versus the Future Role of Accounting?

What is Reality Accounting and what then should Reality Accounting encompass? Wikipedia.com defines reality as the totality of all things, structures (actual and conceptual), events (past or present) and phenomena whether observable or not. Reality is thus seen as a term that links ideologies to world views or part of them (conceptual frameworks). Reality Accounting is close to ‘Fair Value Accounting’, which is both a basis and theory of accounting. And it seems to be transforming into the Future Role of Accounting. In Financial Accounting, it is easily seen that accounting reflects corporate and economic realities as they are, though it is common sense to know that accounting cannot adequately reflect reality particularly in relation to the technical limitation of double-entry bookkeeping and Fair Value Accounting. As part of the changes emanating from Reality Accounting, a new concept of ‘Natural Capital’ has surfaced. At the Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development organised by the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development (UNCSD), which took place in Brazil on 20-22 June 2012. At the Conference, a Natural Capital declaration was made such that Natural capital is now understood to be comprising of all Earth’s natural assets (soil, air, water, flora and fauna) and the ecosystem services resulting from them, which make human life possible. It estimated that ecosystem goods and services from natural capital are worth trillions of US dollars per year and constitute food, fibre, water, health, energy, climate security and other essential services for everyone.

3.2 The Concept of Natural Capital

Neither the services, nor the stock of Natural Capital that provides them, are adequately valued compared to social and financial capital despite being fundamental to all that exists. The daily use of Natural Capital remains grossly undetected within our financial system. There is therefore the need to use Natural Capital in a manner that is sustainable. All stakeholders, including the private sector and governments must begin to appreciate and account for the use of Natural Capital and recognise the true cost of its economic growth as well as sustaining human wellbeing now and in the future.

3.3 Natural Capital Framework

Natural Capital though treated as a free good but must be seen as part of a global pool of wealth for which governments must act now and wisely to create a framework that shall regulate, reward or tax the private sector for its use. Reliable policy frameworks that can report the value, use and depletion of natural capital must be the intent of any government desirous of making a good start with this new accounting phenomenon. Deeper economic influence is given to accounting under Reality Accounting since all that are regarded as real are only truly real in their consequence and not in their physical. Therefore the value of Natural Capital for instance would be the value ascertained after considering various factors that give rise to such valuation. These factors include the size, presence of mineral resources, location, other natural resources, presence of plant and animal life etc.

Illustration.2- The Emerging Role (Future) of Accounting

HUMAN AGE………….HUMAN EVOLUTION…………………………….ACCOUNTING EVOLUTION

Primitive age………..Hunter – gatherer……………………………..Self Accounting

(Independence)……(Subsistent living)……………………………..(Abacus)



Colonial age…………Colonialisation…………………………………Stewardship Accounting

(Dependent age)…..(Being efficient)……………………………….(Book-keeping)



Modern Age………….Technology driven by Industrialisation…….Financial Accounting

(Independence)…….(Being effective)………………………………(Financial Reporting)



Modern Age………….Technology driven by Knowledge…………..Management Accounting

(Interdependence)…(From effectiveness to greatness)…………(Decision making)

?↓

The Future Age………Technology driven by advancements……..Reality Accounting?

(Efficiency…………….Environmentalism?…………………………..(Not as a tool for decision

based on……………..Developmentalism?………………………….making but providing

Interdependence……Spiritualism?…………………………………..accurate solutions to

…………………………(From greatness to what?)………………….financial problems)

4.0 CONCLUSION

As man seeks greater heights in a modern world full of scientific and research discoveries, Accountants must ponder what the emerging role of their profession must be. From merely providing information on the wellbeing of a business to financial reporting as a corporate responsibility and now decision making managerial approach for future forecasts, what then does that future hold for accounting or how is accounting expected to remain professional and relevant in that future which seems would be molded by environmental and developmental challenges all over the globe. As accurate records and reports have supported good decision making though sometimes bad interpretation and judgment of the reports and their recorded results have led to bad decisions taken, the present roles of accounting, which have formed the bed-rock with which accounting standardisation of principles and procedures have evolved are now facing evident changes.

Under the scope of Reality Accounting, it is clearly observed that concepts such as International Convergence, Natural Capital, Environmentalism, Developmentalism and Fair Value Accounting will sooner than latter set the path for the future of accounting.

This paper is to stimulate academic arguments for or against the subject matter in order to bring to the awareness of accountants about a subconscious change that is already taking place. It is recommended therefore that seasoned researchers should come forth with further ideas, summaries and reviews that can boost a clear pathway for the future of accounting.

REFERENCES

1. http://www.investopedia.com (Accounting Theory)

2. http://www.eHow.com (The History of Accounting Theory)

3. Berelson, Bernard. Content Analysis in Communication Research. New York: Free Press, 1952

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How to Put Your DISH Network Remote in Limited Mode

Stephanie’s younger brother was playing in her room while she was at work. He played with all of her music and touched her television along with the DISH Network remote control. After a long day of work Stephanie sat down that night to watch some television. She pressed the remote’s channel up button to change the satellite channel. But the remote changed the Television instead, and all she could see was snow and not the program she wanted to watch.

The remote was not in the satellite mode which led to a frustrating night after a long day at work. Turns out her brother touched every button on the satellite remote control. The remote instantly became inoperable. Stephanie’s little brother last pushed the AUX Mode button at the top of the remote. Now when she uses the control it thinks its controlling a device that’s programmed to AUX.

Setting up Limited Mode on a remote control can prevent you from changing the channel accidentally. For those of you who have integrated devices, this would inhibit full functionality of those other devices. Programming this feature may reduce frustration, a phone call and home visit.

Limited Mode:

For customers that only need Power, Mute and Volume for the TV (or VCR) operation, program the remote control to operate in Limited Mode. This prevents you from accidentally changing the TV channel away from where the satellite programming is located.

There are two ways to set up this mode, depending on the model: “Regular” or “Easy” modes are available on the latest replacement remote including the 6.4 and 5.4 along with previous versions.

Regular Limited:

On the 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 4.0, 5.0, 5.3, 5.4, 6.0, 6.2, 6.3, and 6.4 remotes, programming limited mode is as easy as adding the number 1 after the TV (or VCR) code when programming the mode button on the remote controller.

Programming Regular Limited:

The following procedure is used with the codes found in the back of the user guide that came with the receiver. Often manufacturer’s have multiple codes for each type of equipment they sell. If power scan was used, refer to reading out the remote control codes in the user’s guide. The following instructions show programming with the TV code. VCR codes are programmed the same way using the VCR mode button.

  1. Press and hold the TV mode button until all the mode buttons light up at the top, then release.
  2. Enter the three digit TV code from the user’s manual guide.
  3. Press the number 1 ( set Limited Mode )
  4. Press the Pound (#) button

Easy Mode:

5.3, 6.3 and future successors support Easy Limited Mode. Remotes supporting Easy Limited Mode have a circle around the SAT button.

Easy Mode Setup

After programming one of the buttons: Press and hold that Mode button until all four mode buttons are lit, then release.

  1. Press the Page Up button once.
  2. Press the Pound (#) button.

Removing Limited Mode

To remove Limited on remotes supporting Easy Setup, press the Page Down button instead. This procedure can be done for TV mode, VCR mode, and TV’s and VCR’s programmed into AUX mode.

Remove this feature by reprogramming your device without entering “1” at the end of the program.

The Evolution of Python Language Over the Years

According to several websites, Python is one of the most popular coding languages of 2015. Along with being a high-level and general-purpose programming language, Python is also object-oriented and open source. At the same time, a good number of developers across the world have been making use of Python to create GUI applications, websites and mobile apps. The differentiating factor that Python brings to the table is that it enables programmers to flesh out concepts by writing less and readable code. The developers can further take advantage of several Python frameworks to mitigate the time and effort required for building large and complex software applications.

The programming language is currently being used by a number of high-traffic websites including Google, Yahoo Groups, Yahoo Maps, Linux Weekly News, Shopzilla and Web Therapy. Likewise, Python also finds great use for creating gaming, financial, scientific and educational applications. However, developers still use different versions of the programming language. According to the usage statistics and market share data of Python posted on W3techs, currently Python 2 is being used by 99.4% of websites, whereas Python 3 is being used only by 0.6% of websites. That is why, it becomes essential for each programmer to understand different versions of Python, and its evolution over many years.

How Python Has Been Evolving over the Years?

Conceived as a Hobby Programming Project

Despite being one of the most popular coding languages of 2015, Python was originally conceived by Guido van Rossum as a hobby project in December 1989. As Van Rossum’s office remained closed during Christmas, he was looking for a hobby project that will keep him occupied during the holidays. He planned to create an interpreter for a new scripting language, and named the project as Python. Thus, Python was originally designed as a successor to ABC programming language. After writing the interpreter, Van Rossum made the code public in February 1991. However, at present the open source programming language is being managed by the Python Software Foundation.

Version 1 of Python

Python 1.0 was released in January 1994. The major release included a number of new features and functional programming tools including lambda, filter, map and reduce. The version 1.4 was released with several new features like keyword arguments, built-in support for complex numbers, and a basic form of data hiding. The major release was followed by two minor releases, version 1.5 in December 1997 and version 1.6 in September 2000. The version 1 of Python lacked the features offered by popular programming languages of the time. But the initial versions created a solid foundation for development of a powerful and futuristic programming language.

Version 2 of Python

In October 2000, Python 2.0 was released with the new list comprehension feature and a garbage collection system. The syntax for the list comprehension feature was inspired by other functional programming languages like Haskell. But Python 2.0, unlike Haskell, gave preference to alphabetic keywords over punctuation characters. Also, the garbage collection system effectuated collection of reference cycles. The major release was followed by several minor releases. These releases added a number of functionality to the programming language like support for nested scopes, and unification of Python’s classes and types into a single hierarchy. The Python Software Foundation has already announced that there would be no Python 2.8. However, the Foundation will provide support to version 2.7 of the programming language till 2020.

Version 3 of Python

Python 3.0 was released in December 2008. It came with a several new features and enhancements, along with a number of deprecated features. The deprecated features and backward incompatibility make version 3 of Python completely different from earlier versions. So many developers still use Python 2.6 or 2.7 to avail the features deprecated from last major release. However, the new features of Python 3 made it more modern and popular. Many developers even switched to version 3.0 of the programming language to avail these awesome features.

Python 3.0 replaced print statement with the built-in print() function, while allowing programmers to use custom separator between lines. Likewise, it simplified the rules of ordering comparison. If the operands are not organized in a natural and meaningful order, the ordering comparison operators can now raise a TypeError exception. The version 3 of the programming language further uses text and data instead of Unicode and 8-bit strings. While treating all code as Unicode by default it represents binary data as encoded Unicode.

As Python 3 is backward incompatible, the programmers cannot access features like string exceptions, old-style classes, and implicit relative imports. Also, the developers must be familiar with changes made to syntax and APIs. They can use a tool called “2to3” to migrate their application from Python 2 to 3 smoothly. The tool highlights incompatibility and areas of concern through comments and warnings. The comments help programmers to make changes to the code, and upgrade their existing applications to the latest version of programming language.

Latest Versions of Python

At present, programmers can choose either version 3.4.3 or 2.7.10 of Python. Python 2.7 enables developers to avail improved numeric handling and enhancements for standard library. The version further makes it easier for developers to migrate to Python 3. On the other hand, Python 3.4 comes with several new features and library modules, security improvements and CPython implementation improvements. However, a number of features are deprecated in both Python API and programming language. The developers can still use Python 3.4 to avail support in the longer run.

Version 4 of Python

Python 4.0 is expected to be available in 2023 after the release of Python 3.9. It will come with features that will help programmers to switch from version 3 to 4 seamlessly. Also, as they gain experience, the expert Python developers can take advantage of a number of backward compatible features to modernize their existing applications without putting any extra time and effort. However, the developers still have to wait many years to get a clear picture of Python 4.0. However, they must monitor the latest releases to easily migrate to the version 4.0 of the popular coding language.

The version 2 and version 3 of Python are completely different from each other. So each programmer must understand the features of these distinct versions, and compare their functionality based on specific needs of the project. Also, he needs to check the version of Python that each framework supports. However, each developer must take advantage of the latest version of Python to avail new features and long-term support.

Harri has an avid interest in Python and loves to blog interesting stuff about the technology. He recently wrote an interesting Python blog on http://www.allaboutweb.biz/category/python/.

Small Business Idea for Bangladesh

Bangladesh is quickly growing as a small business center. There’s plenty of small and micro business opportunities. Setting up and running a business is full of challenges, but opportunities always welcome those who are ready to take challenges.

Below is a list of manageable business ideas.

1- Grocery Store with Delivery Service: Something that saves time of busy people has great business potential. Starting a small grocery store with delivery option can be a very good business.

2- Tea & Breakfast Corner: Tea being most popular drink everywhere in Bangladesh has a huge business potential in cities like Dhaka. With breakfast and snacks to supplement you can set up a small scale yet profitable business. You can be different from other uneducated tea seller by cleaner and better looking tea cups. Your tea stall should have a touch of creativity.

3- Fast Food Spot: Fast food is as popular in Dhaka as in any other city in Bangladesh. A small food cart with an initial investment of TK.10,000-Tk.25,000 can have a good scope in just any busy location.

4- Fresh Juice Kiosk: It’s one of the low cost business idea that can be established within TK. 5,000 – 7,000. However, success depends on the product you offer and you must have the business set up on right location.

5- Organic Food Production & Delivery: Since a large population in Dhaka is most concerned about their health, they love buying organic. If you own a small or large area for cultivation, or you can rent one, starting organic gardening is one of the profitable ideas. You can grow one on your roof-top.You can grow and deliver at doorstep for their best experience and your profits.

6- Small Bakery: Let it be a small town or a large metropolis, Bakery is bought everyday by people making it an evergreen business. You may find a lot of them already operating, however with a twist you can enter in the market and grab your share, by offering custom cakes, fast delivery, taking large orders, partnering with corporate for bulk orders and so on!

7- Home Cooked Food Delivered on Doorstep: Desiring for freshly cooked homemade food during lunchtime is common among working class and there’s a large population in Bangladesh that would love the idea!

8- Catering Business: Let it be a business, religious or personal event, they all need the best catering. Starting one will surely need investment, but it’s not that high!

9- Bed & Breakfast: If you are owner of a big property and have many extra rooms in your house then consider letting them out to the tourists. This will help you to earn quick cash for your unused space. This is more apt in case the property is located in cultural heritages lush landscapes, airport and places of tourist interests.

10- Everything Tk. 1-99 Gift Shop: Everyone loves to give and receive gifts but often budget constraints do not allow. With a budget gift shop you allow more people to enjoy the occasions and so you get more profits!

11- Tailoring: Though it’s more of ladies tailoring, a huge male population also wants the services. Starting such a business with a partner whereby one is specialist in ladies tailoring while other is best at men’s clothing can be profitable!

12- Photography & Videography: Showcase your photography skills with quick portfolio or do some voluntarily photography at various wedding and corporate events to get noticed.

13- Home Based Gym: If you’ve a spare room in your house and can invest in some machines, it’s one profitable business idea, however your training shall be class apart.

14- Tutoring: Let it be tutoring primary classes or college students, the potential is always there if you are good at explaining the concepts!

15- Mobile Phones/Gadgets Repair: A large section of people who do not buy new device or gadget till the time they have a working device in their hand would love this service Though there’re too many existing already, why not to promote your business online, get reviews and become an authentic repair company!

16. Website Business: You can start a web development business. All you need is a desktop or a laptop and a quite place to unleash your creativity. Of course, you need to attain the necessary skills to be a web developer. It can be a very profitable business without investing much.

17- Tech/Gadgets Shop: There is a big market for tech and gadgets at every place throughout the world and thus opening a business which sells tech products is a smart choices. Irrespective of the type of business, it will require PCs and its accessories.

18- Online Retailing: Buying products from a wholesale market and then selling the same online is good money making proposition. You can take use of ads to find new customers. You just need to brainstorm what people may be looking for.

19- Webpreneur: Becoming one in a city like Dhaka is none too difficult, because it has all the technology and infrastructure to let you explore the web and build up your own empire online. Let it be a local information website, city deals website or just anything that creates value for locals or for a broader community, bring it on!

20- Software Firm: Dhaka is the most fertile ground for software companies to grow. If you’re a good programmer and or have a couple of more experts with you, you can actually setup a fast growing software company in Bangladesh.

21- Small Scale Cloth Shop: People in Bangladesh do buy readymade clothes, but a huge population prefers buying the material to get it stitched according to their specifications. This is why the cloth shops are more popular than readymade garments. It can be quite profitable if you start small and target a specific economic group!

22- Readymade Garments: Well, this one will need a good investment to start, however, the profitability is in finding the cost effective supplier and cheap transportation.

23- Photo Copier: The service is much needed in the commercial hubs or else nearby educations institutes. And, all these places do have such services already, but still you can find some hotspots near public courts, government offices etc.

24- Computer Repairing Service: If you have knowledge and skill, you don’t just need any investment, but yes do spend a little amount on getting your business card and start meeting more and more people who can be your potential customers!

25- Digital Studio: Though smartphone cameras do a lot, people prefer professional photographers to shoot their events. Much of households and businesses require services of a digital studio, and so it can be highly profitable if you have the skill. However, you need an initial investment of at least Tk. 100,000 to set up the computer, UPS, photo quality printer and of course a good digital camera.

26- Online Trading Business: You can buy long life items from wholesale and sell them online, i.e. jewelry, cosmetics, accessories, cloth materials, T shirts and whatever else you can find from your research on local market!

27- Blogging: All you need to have is good writing skills and subject knowledge and blogging can prove to be a great business. Though it suits almost everyone, stay at home mommies/housewives and students can make better use of it!

Hispanics Become Second Largest USA Consumer Market

Hispanics now make up the second largest consumer group in the USA after non-Hispanic whites, who are the largest group with 200 million. One in every six U.S. residents is now Hispanic. The 2010 Census is expected to count 50 million Hispanics, whose population in America has increased 42% over the past 10 years, compared to 5% growth for the rest of the population.

Obviously this will have a major impact on many companies’ decisions involving Hispanic website localization and translation into Spanish for online marketing materials. But the issues are more complex, as U.S. Hispanics represent a swiftly changing demographic, where the English language is gaining strength, yet Latino branding and identity holds sway.

A return to a market with “traditional values?” A recent article in Advertising Age speculates that one of the most remarkable aspects of U.S. Hispanic consumers is how closely they resemble the idealized “nuclear family” image of the 1950s. Hispanics are young, with a median age equivalent to that of the general populace in the USA in the 1950s, and are more inclined than the rest of the population to live in large, traditional, married-with-children families with lots of participation from grandparents.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hispanics are more likely to eat family meals at home and spend less on alcohol. Like the nuclear families of the 1950s, Hispanics are moving to the suburbs, tend to be community-oriented and have high aspirations for their children. This presents potential for a growing and strong market for the same consumer goods and services that the nation consumed as a whole when baby boomers were young. Ironically the highly strategic Hispanic market is gaining significant strength just as baby boomers are moving into retirement.

Hispanics make up a changing, youthful market segment Hispanics will likely account for a boost in consumer spending as baby boomers begin moving into retirement in large numbers around 2015. Over one third of Hispanics are children under 18 years of age, and 91% of Hispanic children were born in the USA. In contrast, only 47% of Hispanic adults were born in the U.S., which has great implications on how Hispanics overall will acculturate. Youthful, U.S.-born Hispanics typically attend public schools, rapidly gaining English language skills and adapting to U.S. culture more quickly than their parents did.

Over the next 10 years, as millions of bilingual Hispanic teens come of age and enter the workforce as young adults, their consumer behavior is likely to move closer to that of other non-Hispanic young adults. The large size and heavy geographic concentration of this segment of the Hispanic population makes it likely that Hispanic culture will remain strong, even among U.S.-born children.

Language and cultural branding issues One of the biggest challenges for online marketing professionals is how to reach young, acculturated bilingual Hispanics, who choose products differently than their parents (who didn’t grow up in the USA) and don’t spend as much time with Spanish-language media.

Yet, young bilingual Hispanics still feel a deep sense of Latino identity. The message? Even English-only campaigns aimed at this group will need carefully selected Latino branding, icons and psychographics for years to come.

The English language is making gains as the language that U.S. Hispanics are most comfortable speaking. Recent research reveals that 27% of Hispanics are most comfortable speaking the English language with another 17% comfortable in both the English language and the Spanish language. This means that 44% of the demographic (nearly half) is currently at ease in English. As the large, youthful portion of this consumer segment, born in the USA, reaches maturity, preference for and comfort with English will only increase.

Who are Hispanics and what kind of Spanish language do they speak? GPI has previously written about this topic in our blog “Why You Need a Localized Website for the U.S. Hispanic Market.” Although the majority of U.S. Hispanics identify with Mexico for ethnic origin, a large portion identify with ten other countries that extend as far south as Colombia and Peru. Our previous blog covers specifics about primary cultural values and factors in consumer decision-making that are predominant in the U.S. Hispanic market. The same blog also covers how to translate to a “universal” form of Spanish that works for Hispanics from different countries.

Why will Hispanic identity and Latino values persist? Globalization has created a connection to countries of origin for immigrants in the USA that was impossible in any previous period of history. Immigrants from all parts of the world are now able to maintain unbroken communication with family and friends in their place of origin via Skype, inexpensive Internet connections, even affordable mobile phone calling plans. Thanks to recent economic downturns, international airfares have never been more affordable.

Satellite and cable TV frequently provide channels devoted to home-country languages and culture. These affordable means of communication and cultural contact are having a transformative impact on U.S. culture; note the global cues in fast-evolving domestic trends in fashion, food and music. For example, look at the impact India’s Bollywood-style musicals have had on mainstream music videos.

Hispanic demographic is geographically concentrated Latino values and Hispanic consumer preferences are also reinforced by the fact that this domestic consumer market is highly concentrated in a few regions of the country. Over 50% of U.S. Hispanics reside in California and Texas. In fact, state-level research in California indicated 3 years ago that Hispanics made up one third of that state’s population and are expected to become a majority in California by 2042. The other six states with more than one million Hispanics are Florida, New York, Illinois, Arizona, New Jersey and Colorado.

This is actually a benefit to those companies targeting the domestic Hispanic market with traditional media, as print advertising and broadcast time can be purchased on a selective, regional basis with maximum impact. Hispanics are a more lucrative target market than many other, more geographically scattered ethnic groups.

Youthful Hispanic population has large households On average, the Hispanic population is 10 years younger than the general population of non-Hispanics. The U.S. Hispanic median age is just under 28 years old; 75% of adult Hispanics are age 18-49 compared to 56% of non-Hispanics.

Hispanics boast the largest household size of any population segment in the USA. The average Hispanic family has 4.0 members compared with 2.9 members in the average white, non-Hispanic family. Only 4% of adult Hispanics live alone compared to 15% of white non-Hispanics.

Positive impact of Hispanic consumers on the U.S. economy As mentioned before, in the middle of this decade millions of baby boomers will begin moving into retirement. That means that this traditionally lucrative market segment will be substantially reducing its consumer spending. At the same time, a large portion of the youthful Hispanic population will be coming of age, entering the workforce and the marketplace. Hispanic consumers will play a key role in replacing retiring baby boomers in the consumer marketplace and will contribute to a potential upswing in retail spending and economic growth.

Take-away message Over the next 15 years, the importance of domestic websites in Spanish may decrease somewhat. However, globalization and the high concentration of Hispanics in certain regions of the country will reinforce Latino identity for generations to come, requiring skillful branding and Hispanic website imagery that appeals to these highly strategic consumers.

10 Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs

Running a one-person business is a creative, flexible and challenging way to become your own boss and chart your own future. It is about creating a life, as it is about making a living. It takes courage, determination and foresight to decide to become an entrepreneur. From the relatively safe cocoon of the corporate world, where paychecks arrive regularly, you will be venturing into the unchartered territories of business.

Is there a way to determine whether you can be a successful entrepreneur, or you are better off to work for somebody else? Alas, there is no formula for success. However, most successful entrepreneurs share these ten characteristics. Check if you possess any one of them:

1. Think success. To attain the kind of success that you want, you need to dream big. Every success story starts with big dreams. You need to have big dreams for yourself – which you want to be somebody rich, famous or fulfilled. You need to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. But it doesn’t stop in dreaming alone. You should actively visualize success in your mind that you can almost feel it, touch it or it is within your reach. Play this image back at every opportunity. What does it feel to triple your current income? How will your life change? What will your business look like if you achieved the million-dollar mark?

Successful entrepreneurs possess an attitude of openness and faith that you can have what you want if you can simply envision it as the first step on the path of action to acquiring it. Management gurus have taught us the power of visualization – seeing yourself in your mind as having accomplished your dreams. If you want to be a successful writer, envision yourself signing books for a throng of people who have lined up to have your autograph. If you want to be rich, picture yourself in luxurious surroundings holding a fat bank account. And the process of envisioning success for you should be a constant activity! You need to think that you are successful (or will be one) every single waking hour.

A personal development coach shared me her secret to help her continuously visualize her goals for the moment: when climbing stairs, recite your goal with every step you take. So if you want more money, say “I will have money” in every step of the stairs. This technique will reinforce your goal and keep it fresh in your consciousness.

2. Be passionate with what you do. You start a business to change any or all part of your life. To attain this change, you need to develop or uncover an intense, personal passion to change the way things are and to live life to the fullest. Success comes easily if you love what you do. Why? Because we are more relentless in our pursuit of goals about things that we love. If you hate your job right now, do you think you will ever be successful at it? Not in a million years! You may plod along, even become competent at the tasks, but you will never be a great success at it. You will achieve peak performance and do what you have to do to succeed only if you are doing something that interests you or something that you care about.

Entrepreneurs who succeed do not mind the fact that they are putting in 15 or 18 hours a day to their business because they absolutely love what they do. Success in business is all about patience and hard work, which can only be attained if you are passionate and crazy with your tasks and activities.

3. Focus on your strengths. Let’s face it; you cannot be everything to everybody. Each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses. To be effective, you need to identify your strengths and concentrate on it. You will become more successful if you are able to channel your efforts to areas that you do best. In business, for example, if you know you have good marketing instincts, then harness this strength and make full use of it. Seek help or assistance in areas that you may be poor at, such as accounting or bookkeeping. To transform your weakness to strength, consider taking hands-on learning or formal training.

4. Never consider the possibility of failure. Ayn Rand, in her novel The Fountainhead, wrote, “It is not in the nature of man – nor of any living entity, to start out by giving up.” As an entrepreneur, you need to fully believe in your goals, and that you can do it. Think that what you are doing will contribute to the betterment of your environment and your personal self. You should have a strong faith in your idea, your capabilities and yourself. You must believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have the ability to recognize and fulfill them. The more you can develop faith in your ability to achieve your goals, the more rapidly you can attain it. However, your confidence should be balanced with calculated risks that you need to take to achieve greater rewards. Successful entrepreneurs are those who analyze and minimize risk in the pursuit of profit. As they always say, “no guts, no glory.”

5. Plan accordingly. You have a vision, and you have enough faith in yourself to believe that you can achieve your vision. But do you know how to get to your vision? To achieve your vision, you need to have concrete goals that will provide the stepping-stone towards your ultimate vision. Put your goals in writing; not doing so just makes them as intangible fantasies. You need to plan each day in such a way that your every action contributes to the attainment of your vision. Do you foresee yourself as the next Martha Stewart of hand-made home furnishings? Perhaps today, you need to see an artist to help you conceptualize the new line of hand-made linens that you hope to launch. Intense goal orientation is the characteristic of every successful entrepreneur. They have a vision, and they know how to get there. Your ability to set goals and make plans for your accomplishment is the skill required to succeed. Plan, plan and plan – because without which failure is guaranteed.

6. Work hard! Every successful entrepreneur works hard, hard and hard. No one achieves success just by sitting and staring at the wall every single day. Brian Tracy puts it out this way, “You work eight hours per day for survival; everything over eight hours per day is for success.” Ask any successful businessperson and they will tell you immediately that they had to work more than 60 hours per week at the start of their businesses. Be prepared to say goodbye to after-office drinks every day, or a regular weekend get-away trip. If you are in a start-up phase, you will have to breathe, eat and drink your business until it can stand on its own. Working hard will be easy if you have a vision, clear goals, and are passionate with what you do.

7. Constantly Look for Ways to Network. In business, you are judged by the company you keep – from your management team, board of directors, and strategic partners. Businesses always need assistance, more so small businesses. Maybe the lady you met in a trade association meeting can help you secure funding, or the gentleman at a conference can provide you with management advise. It is important to form alliances with people who can help you, and whom you can help in return. To succeed in business, you need to possess good networking skills and always be alert to opportunities to expand your contacts.

8. Willingness to Learn. You do not need to be a MBA degree holder or PhD graduate to succeed in your own business. In fact, there are a lot of entrepreneurs who did not even finish secondary education. Studies show that most self-made millionaires have average intelligence. Nonetheless, these people reached their full potentials achieved their financial and personal goals in business because they are willing to learn. To succeed, you must be willing to ask questions, remain curious, interested and open to new knowledge. This willingness to learn becomes more crucial given the rapid changes in technologies and ways of doing business.

9. Persevere and have faith. No one said that the road to success is easy. Despite your good intentions and hard work, sometimes you will fail. Some successful entrepreneurs suffered setbacks and resounding defeats, even bankruptcy, yet managed to quickly stand up to make it big in their fields. Your courage to persist in the face of adversity and ability to bounce back after a temporary disappointment will assure your success. You must learn to pick yourself up and start all over again. Your persistence is the measure of the belief in yourself. Remember, if you persevere, nothing can stop you.

10. Discipline yourself. Thomas Huxley once said, “Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you like it or not.” Self-discipline is the key to success. The strength of will to force yourself to pay the price of success – doing what others don’t like to do, going the extra mile, fighting and winning the lonely battle with yourself.

Importance of Windows Hosting

There are times when one needs to look at ways to acquire windows hosting with asp.net. This option has several benefits. It is these which make it an important tool for those interested in making use of technologies and other features, which are only supported through the Windows operating system. This will give you the ability to come up with applications for the web, which are both powerful and more functional. When this happens, the software resources will be used more efficiently. Some of its most renowned features include the script framework.

It has been pointed out that anyone looking into ways through which to come up with some of the finest web applications, meeting the latest standards, is possible through windows hosting with asp.net. Any person developing web applications for the very first time, will find this hosting platform quite effective. It not only allows you to develop, but to test your application as well within the right environment. The hosting experience comes equipped with rich features at fairly low costs.

The AJAX framework is another feature found within window based hosting with asp.net which makes it quite important. This hosting plan provides an environment in which seamless integration can be carried out with Microsoft SQL. The server databases give you the greatest opportunity for creation of some of the most dynamic websites. Even where a particular web application was developed using some archaic technology, it can be supported in Windows using this hosting plan; that is, the asp.net solution. It is found in the current and modern version 4.0.

The windows based hosting with asp.net plan makes it easier to upgrade from the 2003 to 2008, or even the latest operating systems or versions. It is a process that makes it simpler for certified professionals to monitor release of service packs as well as any security updates available at any given moment. It is a simple process through which any device, which is useful in this type of web hosting plan, can be properly and effectively maintained. Servers which come installed with RAID cards, enable faster set-up of backup hard disk in cases where the original one crushes or fails.

There are a number of companies, which provide both shared windows and dedicated or reseller hosting plans for those in need. These plans are offered at competitive rates and prices so that as many people as possible will find them to be affordable and within easy reach. Shared hosting can be found in 4GB, 8GB or even 16GB hard disk space or even lesser 1GB, 2GB etc. Reseller hosting is availed in a way, which gives one the ability to choose between a plans that can support 10, 20 or up to 30 different websites.

The moment you subscribe to the windows based hosting with asp.net plan, you will find that you are given anything up to 2GB of email storage capacity per domain. However, a number of hosting companies and plans allow you to upgrade up to 5GB of mail storage. This is possible when you pay some extra fees. Other services you will receive here include secure FTPS, in addition to shared SSL, either for free or at a fee. It may allow for unlimited FTP uses, though this feature depends with the hosting company from whom you are acquiring these services.

Ease of Use

Irrespective of the windows hosting with asp.net plan one opts for, one aspect you will be assured of is ease of use. Furthermore, these come with abundance of disk space in addition to the provision of a setup process which can support hundreds of email accounts. Moreover, what makes this hosting plan slightly easier to use, is the fact that it allows for monthly transfers which range from 240GB to unlimited.

Reliability

There is no question that all the features stated above, enable Windows hosting with ASP.Net to offer a higher level of reliability to the site, client and users of the website.

Samsung Nexus S: Effective With All Mobile Deals

Consumers have been always delighted by the mobile manufacturer Samsung with its numerous technically advanced handsets. The company has recently added another member to its family by with the name Samsung Nexus S unified with several multimedia features and applications which enable consumers to experience the advanced technologies incorporated in the handset. This new innovation by Samsung has been enriched with several high-tech features which make it a modern device. Consumers can avail this handset with several Samsung Nexus S deals.

This superb phone has a large 4.0 inches of Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors, with a picture resolutionof 480 x 800 pixels, added with other features like Oleophobic surface, Contour Display with curved glass screen, Multi-touch input method, Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate, Touch-sensitive controls, Proximity sensor for auto turn-off, Three-axis gyro sensor. A large internal memory of 16GB is imbibed in the handset availing you with a huge storage space for your favorite videos as well as music and other data.

Technically refined camera of 5 MP with a high resolution of 2560 x 1920 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, Geo-tagging, touch focus is loaded in the gadget. Document editor (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF), Social networking integration, Google Search, Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa integration, Image/video editor, MP4/DivX/WMV/H.264/H.263 player, Digital compass, MP3/WAV/eAAC+/AC3/FLAC player and many more features come preloaded in the phone. Samsung Nexus S works on Android OS, v2.3 Gingerbread supported with a 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor.

Mobile phone users will find Samsung Nexus S in the form of contract deals, pay as you go and SIM free deals. All these deals are provided by the top service providers like O2, orange, T-mobile, 3mobile, Vodafone and Virgin making your desired handset affordable with a reasonable price. All these deals are available with many profitable and valuable free gifts and incentives. All these deals are available on various online mobile shops where users can compare all the deals and than pick the best one.

Social Entrepreneurship: Indian Women Shine In Social Ventures

Social entrepreneurship is a vast field of work that deals with identifying a social problem and then giving it an entrepreneurial solution. On doing this, the main goal of a social entrepreneur is to bring positive changes in the society.

Women have always been associated with social entrepreneurship in some form. The work of Florence Nightingale practically gave birth to the concept of nursing as we know in the modern world, and can be cited as one of the best examples of women’s contribution to social entrepreneurship.

The Rise of Women Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship is now a booming sector. Everywhere, women are leaving fat paychecks to jump on the entrepreneur bandwagon for their personal satisfaction. Some do it just to hone their passion while others do it to bring about a social change. The latter are known as social entrepreneurs. They use their intelligence to merge business with social welfare.

The statistics and surveys speak volumes about the relationship of women and social entrepreneurship in today’s world. In the United States alone, 38 percent of all the companies are owned by women, thus contributing annual sales of about $ 3.6 trillion to the economy.

Similar figures show up in the Europe and Asian corporate sectors, blurring the concept of gender discrimination to a large extent. Many women have even made it to impressive power lists compiled by the likes of Forbes and Fortune magazine.

But if you think that they’re doing well only in clichéd “feminine” sectors like cosmetics and fashion designing, then you’re in for surprise. Some of the crème de la crème positions of multinational banks, soft drink companies and stock-broking organizations are occupied by women. And they do not just talk profits.

Many of the top contributors of NGOs and other non-profit organizations are female entrepreneurs. Even these NGOs are run by socially-driven women who invest their contributions in various causes.

Indian Women In Social Ventures

India is fast growing in this aspect and being one of the most populated countries in the world, the demand and scope of social entrepreneurship is greater here than anywhere else.

Our country has no dearth of inspiring initiatives and shining examples set by women social entrepreneurs. Here are some examples of Indian women who have initiated social ventures.

Ela Bhatt founded the grassroot development initiative, SEWA, which worked for the simultaneous social and economic empowerment of women at the grassroots level. She is also the leader of the International Labour Cooperative Women’s Microfinance movement.

Shilpi Kapoor’s initiative, Breakbarrier Technologies, aims to make technology solutions accessible to the differently abled

Neelam Chhibber’s Industree Crafts, works for the emancipation of local artisans by connecting them to viable markets.

Revathi Roy started ForShe, a taxi service run entirely by women.

Vijaya Patsala founded Under The Mango Tree, an organization that promotes beekeeping among women farmers, and with the goal of making women more financially independent and self-sustained.

Women have always been passionate about the society around them. This is evident by their active participation in NGOs and other non-profit organizations. But with their growing confidence and exposure to the world around them, they are now taking their passion to a higher and broader level by running large-scale, successful social ventures.

The Golden Age For Software Testing In China

The China’s Computer Market 2008 Forecast Report has been released recently. It showed that in the first three quarters of 2007, the software industry in China has registered sales revenue of $50 billion, up 23.6% on pcp, accounting for 10.95% of the entire electronics and information industry’ sales revenue. As the software market matures, people have higher and higher expectations over software features, quality and reliability. In October 2005, Ministry of Labour and Social Security formally listed computer software product tester (software test engineer) as one of the new professions. In only two years’ time, software testing has become a powerful dark horse in the software industry.

Steadily rising status

“In the early 1990s, software industry was still at an infant stage in China. Most software projects were very simple, the whole code writing and development process could be handled by one person. As industry competition intensified, software companies were gradually evolving from one-man-band small shops to software engineering co-operations. Although division of labour could improve software development efficiency and functional varieties, it also lead to increasing number of bugs between modules and deteriorating qualities,” said Mr Wang Yazhi from CONCEPT Information Technology Ltd, a major software development company in Beijing. Quality impairment would not only damage a software firm’s competitiveness, it could also lead to massive economic loss for software users or even personal injuries, such as medical accidents.

As China’s software enterprises continue to prosper, the importance of software testing has also been increasingly appreciated by software companies. Many large and medium software companies have begun recruiting professional staff to take care of software testing. Ms Ran Chunjuan, a former testing manager in Wuhan Superidea Technology Ltd, said that “in Superidea, the ratio between software testers and developers is 1:4. Although this is still well behind the international best practice of 1:1, it is still a great improvement from 1:8 a few years ago.”

Industry experience appreciated

In addition to lifting the number of software testing staff, many companies are demanding higher staff quality as well, especially in areas of professional testing experience and thinking ability. “A tester without professional training can still work out 3-5 testing methods, but not necessarily detect bugs. Even if bugs are discovered, he might not be able to express the problems in proper languages, which could increase developers’ workload. Those well-trained testers can work out 10-20 testing methods, such as boundary value analysis, equivalence classes and cause-effect diagrams, to maximally discover any bugs. Professional testers can also articulate testing documents in standardised languages, thus improving the recovery rates of software problems,” said Mr Liu Fei, a former testing manager in Qualcomm. Many companies in China have now established independent testing departments, working along with R&D departments.

As companies’ software testing knowledge deepens, work scope for testing staff is expanding from system testing phase to unit testing and integration testing phases. “This requires software testers to have in-depth knowledge about the businesses a product is involved in,” said a testing manager from Founder Group, one of China’s largest software companies, “for example, when we test software for banking applications, we have to first understand the specific users in the bank. Some operators only use keyboards in the office, but if we don’t know about this and design it as a mouse-friendly control, banks will not buy, it no matter how well the software works.” Therefore it could be forecast that the status for software testers who possess technical experience and customer demand knowledge will further enhance.

A sellers’ market

“The software testing industry is at a growth stage,” said Prof Zheng Renjie, a software testing expert. The current hot market for software testers is mainly due to the rapid development in software industry itself, “companies are demanding better quality software, which has in turn stimulated demand for software testers. But talent supply and talent training are lagging behind the dramatic changes in market demand, hence a telent shortage.”

At present, software testing talent shortfall in China has exceeded 200,000, and it is rising to the 300,000 threshold. According to statistics, total software tester supply from nationwide IT training institutions is less than 10,000 per year, thus it can be foreseen that the testing talent shortage could last another 5-10 years. At the same time, talent shortage has given leverage to tester remunerations. According to a remuneration report from 51Job.com in China, starting salary for software testing engineers ranges from $400 – 650 per month, and it could increase to $1200 – 1650 for engineers with 2 to 3 years’ experience, higher than the remuneration for many developers with similar service years. As the talent supply shortage continues into 2008, software testers’ remuneration is looking for more gains.

Education and training

The shortage in software testers in China has not only lifted the remuneration levels, not also created a boom for educational and training institutions. Even two years ago, several prominent IT professional training institutions had realised the importance of software testing positions, and organized a few domestic and international software testing experts to co-develop training courses, which have successfully cultivated lots of software testing talents in the past two years. Currently in China, apart from overseas recruitment and company internal training, external professional training is also an important channel for producing software testers, amounted to 12% of total talent supply. As companies are paying more attention to labour costs control, more professional talents are expected to come from external training institutions.

While professional IT training is booming, tertiary education institutions also began to test the water. In August 2007, the first software testing education forum was held in Shanghai by various government bureaus and universities, explicitly marking “software testing” a core area in software engineering courses in China. But Dr Chen Honggang, who had been involved in development and testing of projects such as Windows95, Internet Explorer 4.0/5.0 and SQL Server 2000, commented that although universities can ease some pressures on software testing talent educations, based on overseas experience, professional training will still be the main channel for supplying software testing talents.