International Science Index
An Introduction to the Concept of Environmental Audit: Indian Context
Phenomenal growth of population and industry exploits the environment in varied ways. Consequently, the greenhouse effect and other allied problems are threatening mankind the world over. Protection and up gradation of environment have, therefore, become the prime necessity all of mankind for the sustainable development of environment. People in humbler walks of life including the corporate citizens have become aware of the impacts of environmental pollution. Governments of various nations have entered the picture with laws and regulations to correct and cure the effects of present and past violations of environmental practices and to obstruct future violations of good environmental disciplines. In this perspective, environmental audit directs verification and validation to ensure that the various environmental laws are complied with and adequate care has been taken towards environmental protection and preservation. The discipline of environmental audit has experienced expressive development throughout the world. It examines the positive and negative effects of the activities of an enterprise on environment and provides an in-depth study of the company processes any growth in realizing long-term strategic goals. Environmental audit helps corporations assess its achievement, correct deficiencies and reduce risk to the health and improving safety. Environmental audit being a strong management tool should be administered by industry for its own self-assessment. Developed countries all over the globe have gone ahead in environment quantification; but unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness about pollution and environmental hazards among the common people in India. In the light of this situation, the conceptual analysis of this study is concerned with the rationale of environmental audit on the industry and the society as a whole and highlights the emerging dimensions in the auditing theory and practices. A modest attempt has been made to throw light on the recent development in environmental audit in developing nations like India and the problems associated with the implementation of environmental audit. The conceptual study also reflects that despite different obstacles, environmental audit is becoming an increasing aspect within the corporate sectors in India and lastly, conclusions along with suggestions have been offered to improve the current scenario.
Innovation in Information Technology Services: Framework to Improve the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Information Technology Service Management Processes, Projects and Decision Support Management
In a dynamic market of Information Technology (IT) Service and with high quality demands and high performance requirements in decreasing costs, it is imperative that IT companies invest organizational effort in order to increase the effectiveness of their Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) processes through the improvement of ITSM project management and through solid support to the strategic decision-making process of IT directors. In this article, the author presents an analysis of common issues of IT companies around the world, with strategic needs of information unmet that provoke their ITSM processes and projects management that do not achieve the effectiveness and efficiency expected of their results. In response to the issues raised, the author proposes a framework consisting of an innovative theoretical framework model of ITSM management and a technological solution aligned to the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) good practices guidance and ISO/IEC 20000-1 requirements. The article describes a research that proves the proposed framework is able to integrate, manage and coordinate in a holistic way, measurable and auditable, all ITSM processes and projects of IT organization and utilize the effectiveness assessment achieved for their strategic decision-making process increasing the process maturity level and improving the capacity of an efficient management.
Non-Revenue Water Management in Palestine
Water is the most important and valuable resource not only for human life but also for all living things on the planet. The water supply utilities should fulfill the water requirement quantitatively and qualitatively. Drinking water systems are exposed to both natural (hurricanes and flood) and manmade hazards (risks) that are common in Palestine. Non-Revenue Water (NRW) is a manmade risk which remains a major concern in Palestine, as the NRW levels are estimated to be at a high level. In this research, Hebron city water distribution network was taken as a case study to estimate and audit the NRW levels. The research also investigated the state of the existing water distribution system in the study area by investigating the water losses and obtained more information on NRW prevention and management practices. Data and information have been collected from the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) and Hebron Municipality (HM) archive. In addition to that, a questionnaire has been designed and administered by the researcher in order to collect the necessary data for water auditing. The questionnaire also assessed the views of stakeholder in PWA and HM (staff) on the current status of the NRW in the Hebron water distribution system. The important result obtained by this research shows that NRW in Hebron city was high and in excess of 30%. The main factors that contribute to NRW were the inaccuracies in billing volumes, unauthorized consumption, and the method of estimating consumptions through faulty meters. Policy for NRW reduction is available in Palestine; however, it is clear that the number of qualified staff available to carry out the activities related to leak detection is low, and that there is a lack of appropriate technologies to reduce water losses and undertake sufficient system maintenance, which needs to be improved to enhance the performance of the network and decrease the level of NRW losses.
An Electronic and Performance Test for the Applicants to Faculty of Education for Early Childhood in Egypt for Measuring the Skills of Teacher Students
The current study presents an electronic test to measure teaching skills. This test is a part of the admission system of the Faculty of Education for Early Childhood, Cairo University. The test has been prepared to evaluate university students who apply for admission the Faculty. It measures some social and physiological skills which are important for successful teachers, such as emotional adjustment and problem solving; moreover, the extent of their love for children and their capability to interact with them. The test has been approved by 13 experts. Finally, it has been introduced to 1,100 students during the admission system of the academic year 2016/2017. The results showed that most of the applicants have an auditory learning style. In addition, 97% of them have the minimum requirement skills for teaching children.
Problems Occurring in the Process of Audit by Taking into Consideration their Theoretic Aspects against the Background of Reforms Conducted in a Country: The Example of Georgia
The purpose of this article is an examination of the meaning of theoretic aspects of audit in the context of solving of specific problems of the audit. The audit’s aim is the estimation of financial statements by the auditor, i.e. if they are prepared according to the basic requirements of current financial statements. By examination of concrete examples, we can clearly see problems created in an audit and in often cases, those contradictions which can be caused by incompliance of matters regulated by legislation and by reality. An important part of this work is the analysis of reform in the direction of business accounting, statements and audit in Georgia and its comparison with EU countries. In the article, attention is concentrated on the analysis of specific problems of auditing practice and ways of their solving by taking into consideration theoretical aspects of the audit are proposed.
Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Profiles among Students’ Representative Council of Malaysian Public Universities
This quantitative research is aimed to identify the level of leadership quality and emotional intelligence for members of Students' Representatives Council (SRC) of Malaysian Public Universities (MPU). The variables include the leadership quality and emotional quotient (EQ). 238 SRC members in MPU were selected as subjects of the study. Data were collected using two instruments i.e. Malaysian Emotional Quotient Inventory (MEQI) and Ayu-Noriah Leadership Audit Trail Inventory (Ayu-Noriah, LATI). Data were analyzed using descriptive (mean and percentage). Research findings showed that the subjects scored highly in four out of five EQ domains (Self-Regulations, Self-Motivation, Empathy and Social Skills). However, the subjects scored medium to low in Self-Awareness. Analysis on the sub domains (a total of 28 sub domains) showed that the subjects scored high in 17 sub domains for EQ, whilst another 11 were at medium level. The overall analysis indicates that the subjects have high level of EQ. Findings on their leadership qualities showed that they obtained high scores in all seven factors that were measured i.e. Strategy and Leadership Model, Recruit, Review Performance and Honor, Deploy Strategically, Developing, Engage and Retain and Built HR Capabilities/Line Ownership. The overall score for leadership qualities was found to be high.
Analysis of Delays during Initial Phase of Construction Projects and Mitigation Measures
A perfect start is a key factor for project completion on time. The study examined the effects of delayed mobilization of resources during the initial phases of the project. This paper mainly highlights the identification and categorization of all delays during the initial construction phase and their root cause analysis with corrective/control measures for the Kuwait Oil Company oil and gas projects. A relatively good percentage of the delays identified during the project execution (Contract award to end of defects liability period) attributed to mobilization/preliminary activity delays. Data analysis demonstrated significant increase in average project delay during the last five years compared to the previous period. Contractors had delays/issues during the initial phase, which resulted in slippages and progressively increased, resulting in time and cost overrun. Delays/issues not mitigated on time during the initial phase had very high impact on project completion. Data analysis of the delays for the past five years was carried out using trend chart, scatter plot, process map, box plot, relative importance index and Pareto chart. Construction of any project inside the Gathering Centers involves complex management skills related to work force, materials, plant, machineries, new technologies etc. Delay affects completion of projects and compromises quality, schedule and budget of project deliverables. Works executed as per plan during the initial phase and start-up duration of the project construction activities resulted in minor slippages/delays in project completion. In addition, there was a good working environment between client and contractor resulting in better project execution and management. Mainly, the contractor was on the front foot in the execution of projects, which had minimum/no delays during the initial and construction period. Hence, having a perfect start during the initial construction phase shall have a positive influence on the project success. Our research paper studies each type of delay with some real example supported by statistic results and suggests mitigation measures. Detailed analysis carried out with all stakeholders based on impact and occurrence of delays to have a practical and effective outcome to mitigate the delays. The key to improvement is to have proper control measures and periodic evaluation/audit to ensure implementation of the mitigation measures. The focus of this research is to reduce the delays encountered during the initial construction phase of the project life cycle.
Ontology-Driven Generation of Radiation Protection Procedures
In this article, we present the principle and suitable methodology for the design of a medical ontology that highlights the radiological and dosimetric knowledge, applied in diagnostic radiology and radiation-therapy. Our ontology, which we named «Onto.Rap», is the subject of radiation protection in medical and radiology centers by providing a standardized regulatory oversight. Thanks to its added values of knowledge-sharing, reuse and the ease of maintenance, this ontology tends to solve many problems. Of which we name the confusion between radiological procedures a practitioner might face while performing a patient radiological exam. Adding to it, the difficulties they might have in interpreting applicable patient radioprotection standards. Here, the ontology, thanks to its concepts simplification and expressiveness capabilities, can ensure an efficient classification of radiological procedures. It also provides an explicit representation of the relations between the different components of the studied concept. In fact, an ontology based-radioprotection expert system, when used in radiological center, could implement systematic radioprotection best practices during patient exam and a regulatory compliance service auditing afterwards.
A Self Organized Map Method to Classify Auditory-Color Synesthesia from Frontal Lobe Brain Blood Volume
Absolute pitch is the ability to identify a musical note without a reference tone. Training for absolute pitch often occurs in preschool education. It is necessary to clarify how well the trainee can make use of synesthesia in order to evaluate the effect of the training. To the best of our knowledge, there are no existing methods for objectively confirming whether the subject is using synesthesia. Therefore, in this study, we present a method to distinguish the use of color-auditory synesthesia from the separate use of color and audition during absolute pitch training. This method measures blood volume in the prefrontal cortex using functional Near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and assumes that the cognitive step has two parts, a non-linear step and a linear step. For the linear step, we assume a second order ordinary differential equation. For the non-linear part, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to create an inverse filter of such a complex system as the brain. Therefore, we apply a method based on a self-organizing map (SOM) and are guided by the available data. The presented method was tested using 15 subjects, and the estimation accuracy is reported.
Risk in the South African Sectional Title Industry: An Assurance Perspective
The sectional title industry has been a part of the property landscape in South Africa for almost half a century, and plays a significant role in addressing the housing problem in the country. Stakeholders such as owners and investors in sectional title property are in most cases not directly involved in the management thereof, and place reliance on the audited annual financial statements of bodies corporate for decision-making purposes. Although the industry seems to be highly regulated, the legislation regarding accounting and auditing of sectional title is vague and ambiguous. Furthermore, there are no industry-specific auditing and accounting standards to guide accounting and auditing practitioners in performing their work and industry financial benchmarks are not readily available. In addition, financial pressure on sectional title schemes is often very high due to the fact that some owners exercise unrealistic pressure to keep monthly levies as low as possible. All these factors have an impact on the business risk as well as audit risk of bodies corporate. Very little academic research has been undertaken on the sectional title industry in South Africa from an accounting and auditing perspective. The aim of this paper is threefold: Firstly, to discuss the findings of a literature review on uncertainties, ambiguity and confusing aspects in current legislation regarding the audit of a sectional title property that may cause or increase audit and business risk. Secondly, empirical findings of risk-related aspects from the results of interviews with three groups of body corporate role-players will be discussed. The role-players were body corporate trustee chairpersons, body corporate managing agents and accounting and auditing practitioners of bodies corporate. Specific reference will be made to business risk and audit risk. Thirdly, practical recommendations will be made on possibilities of closing the audit expectation gap, and further research opportunities in this regard will be discussed.
Designing a Motivated Tangible Multimedia System for Preschoolers
The paper examined the capability of a prototype of a tangible multimedia system that was augmented with tangible objects in motivating young preschoolers in learning. Preschoolers’ learning behaviour is highly captivated and motivated by external physical stimuli. Hence, conventional multimedia which solely dependent on digital visual and auditory formats for knowledge delivery could potentially place them in inappropriate state of circumstances that are frustrating, boring, or worse, impede overall learning motivations. This paper begins by discussion with the objectives of the research, followed by research questions, hypotheses, ARCS model of motivation adopted in the process of macro-design, and the research instrumentation, Persuasive Multimedia Motivational Scale was deployed for measuring the level of motivation of subjects towards the experimental tangible multimedia. At the close, a succinct description of the findings of a relevant research is provided. In the research, a total of 248 preschoolers recruited from seven Malaysian kindergartens were examined. Analyses revealed that the tangible multimedia system improved preschoolers’ learning motivation significantly more than conventional multimedia. Overall, the findings led to the conclusion that the tangible multimedia system is a motivation conducive multimedia for preschoolers.
An Analysis of Institutional Audits: Basis for Teaching, Learning and Assessment Framework and Principles
The dynamism in education, particularly in the area of teaching, learning and assessment has caused Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) worldwide to seek for ways to continuously improve their educational processes. HEIs use outcomes of institutional audits, assessments and accreditations, for improvement. In this study, the published institutional audit reports of HEIs in the Sultanate of Oman were analyzed to produce features of good practice; identify challenges along Teaching, Learning Assessment (TLA); and propose a framework that puts major emphasis in having a quality-assured TLA, including a set of principles that can be used as basis in succeeding an institutional visit. The TLA framework, which shows the TLA components, characteristics of the components, related expectation, including implementation tool/ strategy and pitfalls can be used by HEIs to have an adequate understanding of the scope of audit and be able to satisfy institutional audit requirements. The scope of this study can be widened by exploring the other requirements of the Institutional Audits in the Sultanate of Oman, particularly the area on Governance and Management and Student Support Services.
Sound Selection for Gesture Sonification and Manipulation of Virtual Objects
New sensors and technologies – such as microphones,
touchscreens or infrared sensors – are currently making their
appearance in the automotive sector, introducing new kinds of
Human-Machine Interfaces (HMIs). The interactions with such tools
might be cognitively expensive, thus unsuitable for driving tasks.
It could for instance be dangerous to use touchscreens with a
visual feedback while driving, as it distracts the driver’s visual
attention away from the road. Furthermore, new technologies in
car cockpits modify the interactions of the users with the central
system. In particular, touchscreens are preferred to arrays of buttons
for space improvement and design purposes. However, the buttons’
tactile feedback is no more available to the driver, which makes
such interfaces more difficult to manipulate while driving. Gestures
combined with an auditory feedback might therefore constitute an
interesting alternative to interact with the HMI. Indeed, gestures can
be performed without vision, which means that the driver’s visual
attention can be totally dedicated to the driving task. In fact, the
auditory feedback can both inform the driver with respect to the task
performed on the interface and on the performed gesture, which might
constitute a possible solution to the lack of tactile information. As
audition is a relatively unused sense in automotive contexts, gesture
sonification can contribute to reducing the cognitive load thanks
to the proposed multisensory exploitation. Our approach consists
in using a virtual object (VO) to sonify the consequences of the
gesture rather than the gesture itself. This approach is motivated
by an ecological point of view: Gestures do not make sound, but
their consequences do. In this experiment, the aim was to identify
efficient sound strategies, to transmit dynamic information of VOs to
users through sound. The swipe gesture was chosen for this purpose,
as it is commonly used in current and new interfaces. We chose
two VO parameters to sonify, the hand-VO distance and the VO
velocity. Two kinds of sound parameters can be chosen to sonify the
VO behavior: Spectral or temporal parameters. Pitch and brightness
were tested as spectral parameters, and amplitude modulation as a
temporal parameter. Performances showed a positive effect of sound
compared to a no-sound situation, revealing the usefulness of sounds
to accomplish the task.
Event Related Potentials in Terms of Visual and Auditory Stimuli
Event-related potential (ERP) is one of the useful tools for investigating cognitive reactions. In this study, the potential of ERP components detected after auditory and visual stimuli was examined. Subjects were asked to respond upon stimuli that were of three categories; Target, Non-Target and Standard stimuli. The ERP after stimulus was measured. In the experiment of visual evoked potentials (VEPs), the subjects were asked to gaze at a center point on the monitor screen where the stimuli were provided by the reversal pattern of the checkerboard. In consequence of the VEP experiments, we observed consistent reactions. Each peak voltage could be measured when the ensemble average was applied. Visual stimuli had smaller amplitude and a longer latency compared to that of auditory stimuli. The amplitude was the highest with Target and the smallest with Standard in both stimuli.
Retrofitting Measures for Existing Housing Stock in Kazakhstan
Residential buildings fund of Kazakhstan was built in the Soviet time about 35-60 years ago without considering energy efficiency measures. Currently, most of these buildings are in a rundown condition and fail to meet the minimum of hygienic, sanitary and comfortable living requirements. The paper aims to examine the reports of recent building energy survey activities in the country and provide a possible solution for retrofitting existing housing stock built before 1989 which could be applicable for building envelope in cold climate. Methodology also includes two-dimensional modeling of possible practical solutions and further recommendations.
A Study to Assess the Energy Saving Potential and Economic Analysis of an Agro Based Industry in Karnataka, India
Agro based industries in India are considered as the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME). In India, MSMEs contribute approximately 8 percent of the country’s GDP, 42 percent of the manufacturing output and 40 percent of exports. The toor dal (scientific name Cajanus cajan, commonly known as yellow gram, pigeon pea) is the second largest pulse crop in India accounting for about 20% of total pulse production. The toor dal milling industry in India is one of the major agro-processing industries in the country. Most of the dal mills are concentrated in pulse producing areas, which are spread all over the country. In Karnataka state, Gulbarga is a district, where toor dal is the main crop and is grown extensively. There are more than 500 dal mills in and around the Gulbarga district to process dal. However, the majority of these dal milling units use traditional methods of processing which are energy and capital intensive. There exists a huge energy saving potential in these mills. An energy audit is conducted on a dal mill in Gulbarga to understand the energy consumption pattern to assess the energy saving potential, and an economic analysis is conducted to identify energy conservation opportunities.
Improving the Management Systems of the Ownership Risks in Conditions of Transformation of the Russian Economy
The article analyzes problems of improving the management systems of the ownership risks in the conditions of the transformation of the Russian economy. Among the main sources of threats business owners should highlight is the inefficiency of the implementation of business models and interaction with hired managers. In this context, it is particularly important to analyze the relationship of business models and ownership risks. The analysis of this problem appears to be relevant for a number of reasons: Firstly, the increased risk appetite of the owner directly affects the business model and the composition of his holdings; secondly, owners with significant stakes in the company are factors in the formation of particular types of risks for owners, for which relations have a significant influence on a firm's competitiveness and ultimately determines its survival; and thirdly, inefficient system of management ownership of risk is one of the main causes of mass bankruptcies, which significantly affects the stable operation of the economy as a whole. The separation of the processes of possession, disposal and use in modern organizations is the cause of not only problems in the process of interaction between the owner and managers in managing the organization as a whole, but also the asymmetric information about the kinds and forms of the main risks. Managers tend to avoid risky projects, inhibit the diversification of the organization's assets, while owners can insist on the development of such projects, with the aim not only of creating new values for themselves and consumers, but also increasing the value of the company as a result of increasing capital. In terms of separating ownership and management, evaluation of projects by the ratio of risk-yield requires preservation of the influence of the owner on the process of development and making management decisions. It is obvious that without a clearly structured system of participation of the owner in managing the risks of their business, further development is hopeless. In modern conditions of forming a risk management system, owners are compelled to compromise between the desire to increase the organization's ability to produce new value, and, consequently, increase its cost due to the implementation of risky projects and the need to tolerate the cost of lost opportunities of risk diversification. Improving the effectiveness of the management of ownership risks may also contribute to the revitalization of creditors on implementation claims to inefficient owners, which ultimately will contribute to the efficiency models of ownership control to exclude variants of insolvency. It is obvious that in modern conditions, the success of the model of the ownership of risk management and audit is largely determined by the ability and willingness of the owner to find a compromise between potential opportunities for expanding the firm's ability to create new value through risk and maintaining the current level of new value creation and an acceptable level of risk through the use of models of diversification.
CyberSecurity Malaysia: Towards Becoming a National Certification Body for Information Security Management Systems Internal Auditors
Internal auditing is one of the most important activities for organizations that implement information security management systems (ISMS). The purpose of internal audits is to ensure the ISMS implementation is in accordance to the ISO/IEC 27001 standard and the organization’s own requirements for its ISMS. Competent internal auditors are the main element that contributes to the effectiveness of internal auditing activities. To realize this need, CyberSecurity Malaysia is now in the process of becoming a certification body that certifies ISMS internal auditors. The certification scheme will assess the competence of internal auditors in generic knowledge and skills in management systems, and also in ISMS-specific knowledge and skills. The certification assessment is based on the ISO/IEC 19011 Guidelines for auditing management systems, ISO/IEC 27007 Guidelines for information security management systems auditing and ISO/IEC 27001 Information security management systems requirements. The certification scheme complies with the ISO/IEC 17024 General requirements for bodies operating certification systems of persons. Candidates who pass the exam will be certified as an ISMS Internal Auditor, whose competency will be evaluated every three years.
Auditing of Building Information Modeling Application in Decoration Engineering Projects in China
In China’s construction industry, it is a normal practice to separately subcontract the decoration engineering part from construction engineering, and Building Information Modeling (BIM) is also done separately. Application of BIM in decoration engineering should be integrated with other disciplines, but Chinese current practice makes this very difficult and complicated. Currently, there are three barriers in the auditing of BIM application in decoration engineering in China: heavy workload; scarcity of qualified professionals; and lack of literature concerning audit contents, standards, and methods. Therefore, it is significant to perform research on what (contents) should be evaluated, in which phase, and by whom (professional qualifications) in BIM application in decoration construction so that the application of BIM can be promoted in a better manner. Based on this consideration, four principles of BIM auditing are proposed: Comprehensiveness of information, accuracy of data, aesthetic attractiveness of appearance, and scheme optimization. In the model audit, three methods should be used: Collision, observation, and contrast. In addition, BIM auditing at six stages is discussed and a checklist for work items and results to be submitted is proposed. This checklist can be used for reference by decoration project participants.
Developing an Audit Quality Model for an Emerging Market
The purpose of this paper is developing a model for audit quality, with regard to the contextual and environmental attributes of the audit profession in Iran. For this purpose, using an exploratory approach, and because of the special attributes of the auditing profession in Iran in terms of the legal environment, regulatory and supervisory mechanisms, audit firms size, and etc., we used grounded theory approach as a qualitative research method. Therefore, we got the opinions of the experts in the auditing and capital market areas through unstructured interviews. As a result, the authors revealed the determinants of audit quality, and by using these determinants, developed an Integrated Audit Quality Model, including causal conditions, intervening conditions, context, as well as action strategies related to AQ and their consequences. In this research, audit quality is studied using a systemic approach. According to this approach, the quality of inputs, processes, and outputs of auditing determines the quality of auditing, therefore, the quality of all different parts of this system is considered.
The Role of Acoustical Design within Architectural Design in the Early Design Phase
This research responded to anecdotal evidence that suggested inefficiencies within the Architect and Acoustician relationship may lead to ineffective acoustic design decisions. The acoustician spoken to believed that he was approached too late in the design phase. The approached architect valued acoustical qualities, yet, struggled to interpret common measurement parameters. The preliminary investigation of these opinions indicated a gap in the current New Zealand Architectural discourse and currently informs the creation of a 2016 Master of Architecture (Prof) thesis research. Little meaningful information about acoustic intervention in the early design phase could be found from past literature. In the information that was sourced, authors focus on software as an incorporation tool without investigating why the flaws in the relationship originally exist. To further explore this relationship, a survey was designed. It underwent three phases to ensure its consistency, and was delivered to a group of 51 acousticians from one international Acoustics company. The results were then separated between New Zealand and off-shore to identify trends. The survey results suggest that 75% of acousticians meet the architect less than 5 times per project. Instead of regular contact, a mediated method is adopted though a mix of telecommunication and written reports. Acousticians tend to be introduced later into New Zealand building project than the corresponding off-shore building. This delay corresponds to an increase in remedial action for each of the building types in the survey except Auditoria and Office Buildings. 31 participants have had their specifications challenged by an architect. Furthermore, 71% of the acousticians believe that architects do not have the knowledge to understand why the acoustic specifications are in place. The issues raised in this investigation align to the colloquial evidence expressed by the two consultants. It identifies a larger gap in the industry were acoustics is remedially treated rather than identified as a possible design driver. Further research through design is suggested to understand the role of acoustics within architectural design and potential tools for its inclusion during, not after, the design process.
Accounting Information Systems of Kuwaiti Companies: Obstacles and Barriers
The aim of this paper is to identify and discuss the obstacles to the ability of the accounting information systems of Kuwaiti companies to deal with electronic commerce, and then to propose appropriate solutions to overcome the barriers. The study revealed a remarkable decrease in external auditors who have professional certification. The results also showed an agreement regarding the accounting systems and the ability to deal with e-commerce, with a different degree of importance, despite the presence of obstacles to the ability of accounting systems in dealing with different companies.
Speaker Identification by Atomic Decomposition of Learned Features Using Computational Auditory Scene Analysis Principals in Noisy Environments
Speaker recognition is performed in high Additive White Gaussian Noise (AWGN) environments using principals of Computational Auditory Scene Analysis (CASA). CASA methods often classify sounds from images in the time-frequency (T-F) plane using spectrograms or cochleargrams as the image. In this paper atomic decomposition implemented by matching pursuit performs a transform from time series speech signals to the T-F plane. The atomic decomposition creates a sparsely populated T-F vector in “weight space” where each populated T-F position contains an amplitude weight. The weight space vector along with the atomic dictionary represents a denoised, compressed version of the original signal. The arraignment or of the atomic indices in the T-F vector are used for classification. Unsupervised feature learning implemented by a sparse autoencoder learns a single dictionary of basis features from a collection of envelope samples from all speakers. The approach is demonstrated using pairs of speakers from the TIMIT data set. Pairs of speakers are selected randomly from a single district. Each speak has 10 sentences. Two are used for training and 8 for testing. Atomic index probabilities are created for each training sentence and also for each test sentence. Classification is performed by finding the lowest Euclidean distance between then probabilities from the training sentences and the test sentences. Training is done at a 30dB Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). Testing is performed at SNR’s of 0 dB, 5 dB, 10 dB and 30dB. The algorithm has a baseline classification accuracy of ~93% averaged over 10 pairs of speakers from the TIMIT data set. The baseline accuracy is attributable to short sequences of training and test data as well as the overall simplicity of the classification algorithm. The accuracy is not affected by AWGN and produces ~93% accuracy at 0dB SNR.
The Role of the Internal Audit Unit in Detecting and Preventing Fraud at Public Universities in West Java, Indonesia
This study aims to identify the extent of the role of the Satuan Pengawas Intern (Internal Audit Unit) in detecting and preventing fraud in public universities in West Java under the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education. The research method applied was a qualitative case study approach, while the unit of analysis for this study is the Internal Audit Unit at each public university. Results of this study indicate that the Internal Audit Unit is able to detect and prevent fraud within a public university environment by means of red flags to mark accounting anomalies. These stem from inaccurate budget planning that prompts inappropriate use of funds, exacerbated by late disbursements of funds, which potentially lead to fictitious transactions, and discrepancies in recording state-owned assets into a state property management system (SIMAK BMN), which, if not conducted properly, potentially causes loss to the state.
Amplitude and Latency of P300 Component from Auditory Stimulus in Different Types of Personality: An Event Related Potential Study
The P300 from Event related potential (ERP) explains the psycho-physiological phenomenon in human body. The present study aims to identify the differences of amplitude and latency of P300 component from auditory stimuli, between ambiversion and extraversion types of personality. Ambivert (N=20) and extravert (N=20) undergoing ERP recording at the Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM) laboratory. Electroencephalogram data was recorded with oddball paradigm, counting auditory standard and target tones, from nine electrode sites (Fz, Cz, Pz, T3, T4, T5, T6, P3 and P4) by using the 128 HydroCel Geodesic Sensor Net. The P300 latency of the target tones at all electrodes were insignificant. Similarly, the P300 latency of the standard tones were also insignificant except at Fz and T3 electrode. Likewise, the P300 amplitude of the target and standard tone in all electrode sites were insignificant. Extravert and ambivert indicate similar characteristic in cognition processing from auditory task.
Practice of Social Audit in Hotel Companies: Case Study of Agadir, Morocco
The concern for increased rigor in social management has led more and more Moroccan business leaders to question the value of applying social audit as an essential tool in the management of human resources. Hotel companies are not excluded; in fact, they are expected to implement such an audit to develop sound and credible human resources management (HRM) policies. The main objective of this paper is to establish the relationship between the practice of social audit as a tool, and its impact on the tourism sector, especially on hotels at one of the Morocco’s first and most popular city for tourism, Agadir. This exploratory study of properties in Agadir has revealed that hotel executives are aware of the importance of social auditing to hone their decisions in the field of HRM.
Financial Statement Fraud: The Need for a Paradigm Shift to Forensic Accounting
The unrelenting series of embarrassing audit failures should stimulate a paradigm shift in accounting. And in this age of information revolution, there is need for a constant improvement on the products or services one offers to the market in order to be relevant. This study explores the perceptions of external auditors, forensic accountants and accounting academics on whether a paradigm shift to forensic accounting can reduce financial statement frauds. Through Neo-empiricism/inductive analytical approach, findings reveal that a paradigm shift to forensic accounting might be the right step in the right direction in order to increase the chances of fraud prevention and detection in the financial statement. This research has implication on accounting education on the need to incorporate forensic accounting into present day accounting curriculum. Accounting professional bodies, accounting standard setters and accounting firms all have roles to play in incorporating forensic accounting education into accounting curriculum. Particularly, there is need to alter the ISA 240 to make the prevention and detection of frauds the responsibilities of bot those charged with the management and governance of companies and statutory auditors.
3D Modelling and Numerical Analysis of Human Inner Ear by Means of Finite Elements Method
This paper presents a method to generate a finite element model of the human auditory inner ear system. The geometric model has been realized using 2D images from a virtual model of temporal bones. A point cloud has been gotten manually from those images to construct a whole mesh with hexahedral elements. The main difference with the predecessor models is the spiral shape of the cochlea with its three scales completely defined: scala tympani, scala media and scala vestibuli; which are separate by basilar membrane and Reissner membrane. To validate this model, numerical simulations have been realised with two models: an isolated inner ear and a whole model of human auditory system. Ideal conditions of displacement are applied over the oval window in the isolated Inner Ear model. The whole model is made up of the outer auditory channel, the tympani, the ossicular chain, and the inner ear. The boundary condition for the whole model is 1Pa over the auditory channel entrance. The numerical simulations by FEM have been done using a harmonic analysis with a frequency range between 100-10.000 Hz with an interval of 100Hz. The following results have been carried out: basilar membrane displacement; the scala media pressure according to the cochlea length and the transfer function of the middle ear normalized with the pressure in the tympanic membrane. The basilar membrane displacements and the pressure in the scala media make it possible to validate the response in frequency of the basilar membrane.
The Appropriateness of Antibiotic Prescribing within Dundee Dental Hospital
Background: The societal impact of antibiotic resistance is a major public health concern. The increase in incidence of resistant bacteria can ultimately be fatal. Objective: To analyse the appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing in Dundee Dental Hospital, ultimately improving the safety and quality of patient care. Methods: Two examiners independently crosschecked approximately fifty consecutive prescriptions, and corresponding patient case notes, for three data collection cycles between August 2014 – September 2015. The Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Program (SDCEP) Drug Prescribing for Dentistry guidelines was the standard utilised. The criteria: clinical justification, regime justification and review arrangements was measured, and compared to the standard. Results: Cycle one revealed 42% of antibiotic prescriptions were appropriate. Interventions included: multiple staff meetings, introduction of a checklist attached to the prescription pack, and production of patient leaflets explaining indications for antibiotics. Cycle two and three revealed 44%, and 30% compliance, respectively. Conclusion: The results of the audit have yet to meet target standards set out in prescribing guidelines. However, steps are being taken and change has occurred on a cultural level.
CAGE Questionnaire as a Screening Tool for Hazardous Drinking in an Acute Admissions Ward: Frequency of Application and Comparison with AUDIT-C Questionnaire
The aim of this audit was to examine the efficiency of alcohol history documentation and screening for hazardous drinkers at the Medical Admission Unit (MAU) of Northern General Hospital (NGH), Sheffield, to identify any potential for enhancing clinical practice. Data were collected from medical clerking sheets, ICE system and directly from 82 patients by three junior medical doctors using both CAGE questionnaire and AUDIT-C tool for newly admitted patients to MAU in NGH, in the period between January and March 2015. Alcohol consumption was documented in around two-third of the patient sample and this was documented fairly accurately by health care professionals. Some used subjective words such as 'social drinking' in the alcohol units’ section of the history. CAGE questionnaire was applied to only four patients and none of the patients had documented advice, education or referral to an alcohol liaison team. AUDIT-C tool had identified 30.4%, while CAGE 10.9%, of patients admitted to the NGH MAU as hazardous drinkers. The amount of alcohol the patient consumes positively correlated with the score of AUDIT-C (Pearson correlation 0.83). Re-audit is planned to be carried out after integrating AUDIT-C tool as labels in the notes and presenting a brief teaching session to junior doctors. Alcohol misuse screening is not adequately undertaken and no appropriate action is being offered to hazardous drinkers. CAGE questionnaire is poorly applied to patients and when satisfactory and adequately used has low sensitivity to detect hazardous drinkers in comparison with AUDIT-C tool. Re-audit of alcohol screening practice after introducing AUDIT-C tool in clerking sheets (as labels) is required to compare the findings and conclude the audit cycle.