Useful First Step (useful + first_step)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Culture Matters: How Our Culture Affects the Audit,

audit; culture; normes internationales Abstract If the influence of national cultures on the implementation of global standards is not taken into account, the result will be inconsistent implementation at best and outright failure at worst. The experiences in fields such as medicine, peacekeeping, aviation, and environmental protection offer insight into possible difficulties with the implementation, beginning in 2010, of International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) by members of the International Federation of Accountants. Some countries may have difficulty with implementation because of the differences between their cultural assumptions and those embodied in the standards to be adopted. It is too soon to know if and where that will happen, especially because the data on first experiences will not begin to be available until 2013. However, cultural-comparison data can be used to foresee which countries may have difficulty with implementation. But if unintended consequences do become evident, it will be important not to assume that the standards and the standard-setting process are defective; it is more likely that practitioners will need help in interpreting the ISAs in light of their local culture. A useful first step would be for standard-setting bodies to identify explicitly the cultural assumptions inherent in the standards they produce. The standard setters can then give that information to those responsible for standards implementation at the practitioner level to help promote consistent application of the standards globally. Question de culture : en quoi la culture influe sur l'audit Résumé Si l'on ne tient pas compte de l'influence des cultures nationales sur la mise en ,uvre de normes internationales, les résultatsde l'exercice seront incohérents, au mieux, ouse solderont par un échec pur et simple, au pire. Les expériences dans des domaines comme la médecine, le maintien de la paix, l'aviation et la protection de l'environnement nous livrent des indications quant aux problèmes que pourrait présenter la conversion, à compter de 2010, aux normes internationales d'audit et de certification établies par les membres de l'International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). Certains pays pourraient éprouver de la difficultéà instaurer ces normes en raison des différences entre leurs a priori culturels et ceux que véhiculent les normes devant être adoptées. Il est trop tôt pour dire si ces difficultés se manifesteront et à quel moment, notamment du fait que les données relatives aux premières expériences ne seront accessibles qu'à compter de 2013. Toutefois, des donnéesculturelles comparatives peuvent être utilisées pour prévoir quels pays risquent defaire face à des embûches dans la mise en ,uvre de ces normes. Toutefois, s'il émergedu processus des conséquences non souhaitées évidentes, il importera de ne pas en conclure que les normes et les processus de normalisation sont défectueux, mais plutôt que les professionnels en exerciceont besoin d'assistance pour interpréter les normes internationales à la lumière de leur culture nationale. Les organismes de normalisation pourraient faire un premier pas dans ce sens en définissant explicitement les a priori culturels inhérents aux normes qu'ils produisent. Les normalisateurs pourraient ensuite communiquer cette information aux responsables de la mise en ,uvre des normes chez lesprofessionnels en exercice et contribuer ainsi à promouvoir la cohérence dans l'application des normes à l'échelle mondiale. [source]

Transgene escape: what potential for crop,wild hybridization?

Abstract To date, regional surveys assessing the risk of transgene escape from GM crops have focused on records of spontaneous hybridization to infer the likelihood of crop transgene escape. However, reliable observations of spontaneous hybridization are lacking for most floras, particularly outside Europe. Here, we argue that evidence of interspecific reproductive compatibility derived from experimental crosses is an important component of risk assessment, and a useful first step especially where data from field observations are unavailable. We used this approach to assess the potential for transgene escape via hybridization for 123 widely grown temperate crops and their indigenous and naturalized relatives present in the New Zealand flora. We found that 66 crops (54%) are reproductively compatible with at least one other indigenous or naturalized species in the flora. Limited reproductive compatibility with wild relatives was evident for a further 12 crops (10%). Twenty-five crops (20%) were found to be reproductively isolated from all their wild relatives in New Zealand. For the remaining 20 crops (16%), insufficient information was available to determine levels of reproductive compatibility with wild relatives. Our approach may be useful in other regions where spontaneous crop,wild hybridization has yet to be well documented. [source]


Abstract Simplifying large ecosystem models is essential if we are to understand the underlying causes of observed behaviors. However, such understanding is often employed to achieve simplification. This paper introduces two model simplification methods that can be applied without requiring intimate prior knowledge of the system. Their utility is measured by the resulting values of given model diagnostics relative to those of the large model. The first method is a simple automated procedure for nondimensionalizing large ecosystem models, which identifies and eliminates terms that have little effect on model diagnostics. Some of its limitations are then addressed by the rate elimination method, which measures the relative importance of model terms using least-squares regression. The methods are applied to a model of the nitrogen cycle in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia. The rate elimination method provided more insights into the causal relationships built into the model than the nondimensionalizing method. It also allowed the reduction of the model's dimension. Thus it is a useful first step in model simplification. [source]

Financial Indicators for Critical Access Hospitals

George H. Pink PhD
ABSTRACT:,Context: There is a growing recognition of the need to measure and report hospital financial performance. However, there exists little comparative financial indicator data specifically for critical access hospitals (CAHs). CAHs differ from other hospitals on a number of dimensions that might affect appropriate indicators of performance, including differences in Medicare reimbursement, limits on bed size and average length of stay, and relaxed staffing rules. Purpose: To develop comparative financial indicators specifically designed for CAHs using Medicare cost report data. Methods: A technical advisory group of individuals with extensive experience in rural hospital finance and operations provided advice to a research team from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Twenty indicators deemed appropriate for assessment of CAH financial condition were chosen and formulas determined. Issues 1 and 2 of the CAH Financial Indicators Report were mailed to the chief executive officers of 853 CAHs in the summer of 2004 and 1,092 CAHs in the summer of 2005, respectively. Each report included indicator values specifically for their CAH, indicator medians for peer groups, and an evaluation form. Findings: Chief executive officers found the indicators to be useful and the underlying formulas to be appropriate. The multiple years of data provide snapshots of the industry as a whole, rather than trend data for a constant set of hospitals. Conclusions: The CAH Financial Indicators Report is a useful first step toward comparative financial indicators for CAHs. [source]