Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 18 - Keith's visit

Today we split up for vocational visits - here is a brief summary of my visit:

In a bit of a lost in translation momment, it was assumed that because I was an auditor, that I worked for the government collecting taxes, as in Brazil that is all auditors do (this is the assumption made by my guide for the morning anyways). I was was visiting the equivalent of the Department of Finances for the state of Piaui. Here, I was guided by an auditor who collected information from business' computers and modified it to be looked at by other auditors. The building hosted many departments, and the ones I visited were the energy tax, legislation, and justice departments of finance as well as the tax collection audit department. Here in Brazil, every business must buy the exact same till receipt software/hardware (although supplied by various businesses, it is law to use one specific type of machine) and report to the government their sales - this department takes the info from the machine and analyzes it - looking to make sure the proper tax rate is used, sales trends are consistent, and to compare the receipt information to credit card company information (this part was a surprise - the credit card companies must provide the government with the information). There are a lot of taxes in Brazil, and many of them are quite high - 15 to 25% - consumers aren't aware of the tax amounts as they aren't posted on the receipt. 80% of the states taxes come from the enegy sector due to such large corporations (hydro electricity being the largest sector).

In the afternoon, I visited the local state chapter of the accounting profession - basically the Brazilian version of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Saskatchewan - here they provide permits to work as an accountant in the state, provide training for both students and members, and provide guidance for changes - we interupted a meeting on IFRS implementation...this was a quick visit and was basically a tour and pictures...

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