The consultant´s journey

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Category: Indonesia

Sustainable Business Seminar in Bangkok


Photography © Peter Berg

On Wednesday October 12, 2016 Swedish Institute and Embassy of Sweden hosted a business seminar in Bangkok entitled How can business contribute to sustainable development? – European vs Asian perspectives, very well described in their invitation.

But first of all, we will pay respect.

In Remembrance of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej 1927 – 2016

The day after the seminar, on Thursday October 13, 2016 we all came to know that His Majesty the King had passed away.

I want to show how international His Majesty the King was already at his birth.


In remembrance of His Majesty the King, and his importance for the huge development of Thailand during his 70 years world record of reign, I hereby pay my respect.

Unaware opening

However, we were all unaware of the major changes that would occur and the seminar opened as planned.

Our location was at the Plaza Athénée Bangkok, which turned out to be a big and impressive center for conferences.


Photography © Peter Berg

The guest list was also impressive, with ASEAN and EU coordinating meetings and more going on. Below, in the upper sign, you can also see Swedish Institute on the list.


Photography © Peter Berg

Pictures below:

  • Top left – Two of the organizers, Ms. Ulrica Engström (Swedish Institute) and Mr. Jesper Johansson (Enact), during last minutes preparings for the seminar
  • Bottom left – H.E. Mr. Staffan Herrström, Sweden’s ambassador in Thailand, has arrived
  • Right – Finally, time for Ms. Ulrica Engström to say Welcome to everyone and introduce today’s first speaker

Opening Speech by H.E. Mr. Staffan Herrström

Mr. Staffan Herrström opened the seminar. He introduced himself as Sweden’s ambassador in Thailand, a role which also includes Laos PDR and Myanmar (se my earlier post Meeting the Swedish Ambassador in Bangkok).

He delivered a lively speech about Sweden’s commitment for sustainability, gender equality and freedom of speech.


Photography © Peter Berg

Inspirational session with Ms. Passawee Tapasanan

Ms. Passawee Tapasanan told us of her story of establishing Folkcharm. With the vision of producing and trading ethical, natural and local she now covers four provinces in Thailand with her business.

Her clothes at the seminar are all examples of the products, and she also had an exhibition in the back of the big conference room.


Photography © Peter Berg

Creative Session with Audience Participation

The organizers didn’t allow us to sit passively and listen. The next topic on the agenda was What do YOU think? All of us in the audience were divided into four groups. Each group was supplied with a flipchart and pencil. Then all groups were appointed with the task of creating a list of the three most important factors to create sustainable business and integrate CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).

After a few minutes of discussions in each group, purposefully accompanied by stressful music, our work was stopped and each group was asked to present their respectively results.


Now it was time for a famous Swedish export product – Fika. The Swedish word Fika means coffee break (tea is also allowed), preferably together with some cookies or other sweets, and no Swedish establishment can live without it 🙂

This Fika immediately turned into a big spontaneous mingle, where names and business cards were exchanged between us. I met a lot of positive and genuinely interested people and found, to my astonishment, that mingling can be fun!

From left to right:

  1. My friend Mr. David Johnson (Conrad Petroleum, Singapore) together with Mr. Bilal Dwi Nugraha (PT Bina Daya  Nugraha, Indonesia)
  2. Ms. Tu Ahn Dothi (Hanoi Young Business Association, Vietnam)
  3. Exhibition with products from Folkcharm and books written by Mr. Vikrom Kromadit
  4. Ms. Amina Swanepoel (Roots of Health, Philippines)

Keynote with Mr. Vikrom Kromadit

Mr. Vikrom Kromadit, CEO of Amata Corporation PCL, told the story of his life and the life of Amata. Bangkok based Amata is, according to it’s own web site, the World’s Leading Industrial City Developer. Thus Mr. Vikrom Kromadit came to represent the big scale and visions of the day.

Mr. Vikrom spent a large part of his speech passionately talking about the future possibilities for Thailand and Asia.

Interactive panel discussion

The day’s last session was the panel discussion Let’s Talk. The audience was encouraged to participate with questions and opinions, making the panel discussion interactive.

The panel consisted of, from left to right:

  1. Mr. Vikrom Kromadit, Amata Corporation PCL, Thailand
  2. Ms. Camille R. Escudero, Quality Philippine Export, Philippine
  3. Ms. Ankita JP Shroff, SAV Chemicals & Shroff Group, India
  4. Ms. Passawee Tapasanan, Folkcharm, Thailand


The day ended with hopeful and optimistic words of the future of sustainable business, and the schedule offered one more opportunity for mingle before everyone headed home.

It was an energy boost to get to know so many people from different countries and different businesses, but with common believes in the possibility of developing better and more humane enterprising.

The collective strong believe in the future could have made His Majesty the King proud again, over Thailand as the hosting country and over the world, but it wasn’t until the next day we learned that he wouldn’t be here to share it with us.

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Celebrating One Year

World map Världskarta

Today I celebrate my first year blogging with ”The Consultant’s Journey” – And what a journey it has been!

World Communication

Some of the topics are general enough to get readers from multiple countries, which I appreciate a lot. I see a pattern of increasing global reading each time I participate in a group discussion, showing the power of global internet communication, but also when posting about general applicable matters such as harmonization or materiality (see more at the bottom of this post!).

State counting

OK, I’ll confess. I’m collecting states. I guess it’s because of the nature of my profession.

Economy is a world wide matter, especially since accounting developed to be globally harmonized for large and listed entities. That’s not the case for small or medium-sized entities (SME). Harmonizing accounting regulations for SME is therefore one of my big concerns. Within the EU, however, we do have harmonization also for SME, and I’m looking forward to a similar development within the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

This first year of the blog have seen visitors from the following 33 countries.

Asia (10 of 48 states)

  • ASEAN (6 of 10 member states)
    • Indonesia
    • Malaysia
    • Myanmar (Burma)
    • Phillipines
    • Singapore
    • Thailand – My new home country
  • …and the rest of Asia (4 of 38 states)
    • Bangladesh
    • Pakistan
    • Russia
    • Turkey

Europe (16 of 44 states)

  • EU (14 of 28 member states)
    • Belgium
    • Denmark
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • United Kingdom
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Lithuania
    • Netherlands
    • Poland
    • Romania
    • Spain
    • Sweden – My country of origin
  • …and the rest of Europe (2 of 16 states)
    • Norway
    • Switzerland

North America (2 of 23 states)

  • Canada
  • USA, Puerto Rico

South America (2 of 12 states)

  • Brazil
  • Colombia

Oceania (1 of 14 states)

  • Australia

Africa (2 of 55 states)

  • South Africa
  • Uganda

Antarctic (0 states) – I only wanted my list of continents to be complete 🙂

So where did most of my visitors come from? Sweden, not surprisingly, since I lived there for 58 of my so far 59 years. And on third place we find Thailand, also natural since I have a lot of connections here. But on second place, squeezing in between Sweden and Thailand, we find USA!

To all of you who visit this blog, a big Thank You 🙂


Which post had the most visitors then? The winner is…

Is there Audit Harmonization in Europe? (July 13, 2016)

The subject relates to all EU member states and three related states, but this post also got attention from other parts of the world, such as USA.

The following posts were the runner-ups.

2. Lecture on Performance and Income Planning (December 3, 2015)

3. Strengthening the Materiality Principle (March 5, 2016)

I should add that many people also read and comment my posts in this blog on LinkedIn and Facebook, based on the extracts I publish there. That spread makes the impact so much greater.

All this encouragement makes it doubtless that I’ll sure continue blogging and developing better and more useful content. See you in my next post!

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Meeting ASEAN CSR Network


ASEAN CSR Network: Mr. Thomas Thomas and Mr. Jerry Bernas meeting Mr. Peter Berg
ASEAN CSR Network: Mr Thomas Thomas, Mr Jerry Bernas and myself

Last week representatives of ASEAN CSR Network  (ACN) had the kindness to receive me at their office in Singapore.

Operation of ACN

ACN was established 2011 with support from ASEAN Foundation and Japan-ASEAN Solidarity Fund (JASF). ACN says on its web site that ”Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)’ is identified as an integral strategy in ensuring sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development in ASEAN”, based on blueprint signed by the heads of all ASEAN member states.

The mission of ACN is ”To promote and enable responsible business conduct in ASEAN to achieve sustainable, equitable and inclusive social, environmental and economic development”.

Represented member states

So far business organisations from seven of the ten member states in ASEAN are represented in ACN, namely founding organisations from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand and participating organisations from Myanmar and Viet Nam.

A short-term priority is to achieve representation from all the member states, where today Cambodia, Laos and Brunei Darussalam are missing.

The meeting

Our meeting originated from a recommendation to me by the Swedish Development Cooperation (SIDA) after a meeting we had at the Swedish Embassy in Bangkok, see my post Meeting SIDA from December 3, 2015.

Mr Jerry Bernas, Programme Director at the ACN secretariat, hosted the meeting which took place on February 2 in their Singapore office after a month of planning. He generously told me about their experiences of working at regional and national level. He is himself a Philippine national, although located at the Singapore office, and could as such combine the regional work with national contacts when needed.

Later Mr Thomas Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of the ACN secretariat and a Singapore national, joined us. He was found to have impressive detail knowledge about the accounting world, although he’s presently not working in the area.

Mr Jerry Bernas and Mr Thomas Thomas gave me plenty of information about their work and also gave me an opportunity to present myself and my expertise.

The need for harmonized accounting for SME

I presented my view of the need of harmonized accounting regulations for small and medium sized enterprises (SME) within ASEAN, in the wake of launching the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015. I believe this area is often neglected and rests in the shadow of implementing regulations for large and listed enterprises. However, the SME represents a huge number of entrepreneurs and enterprises so very much is to be gained by supporting them with suitable and simplified regulations.

There are several connections to CSR, such as increased possibilities of digital accounting and increased development of digital communication between entrepreneurs and authorities. Digitalisation in theses areas can reduce paper use, which is of environmental interest and supports sustainability. Digital contacts with the authorities can also reduce bureaucracy and prevent unforeseen effects of personal variations in official decisions .

There is also a CSR angle in an easier understood linkage between accounting and taxation for SME, enabling them to pay their share without too heavy administrative and bureaucratic burdens. This also increases the possibility of foreseen official decisions without personal variations.

Thank you

We discussed possible touchpoints between us before Mr Thomas Thomas had to leave.

Mr Jerry Bernas concluded the meeting by whishes of keeping in touch. I thank you both for your willingness to spend this time with me!


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The blog goes international

2015, my first year with this blog, has ended. Since I began in August my starting year comprises of only five months, but I already feel more than satisfied with the result.

Most of my visitors came via Facebook and LinkedIn and they visited from eleven countries, in alphabetical order Denmark, France, Great Britain, Indonesia, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey and USA.

This wide spread, already during the first months, only proves the great impact of internet and social medias.

A big thank you to all readers and I hope you’ll continue to follow what’s going on in the accounting world 🙂


Teaching at HeidelbergCement / Utbildning hos HeidelbergCement

EN: Last Monday October 19 I had the pleasure of meeting a group of economists at HeidelbergCement in Liljeholmen, Stockholm.

HeidelbergCement is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of building materials and employs some 45,500 people in more than 40 countries. I met their economists who are working with the subsidiaries in Sweden and Norway. Swedish subsidiaries are companies as Abetong, Betongindustri, Cementa and Jehander, well known to many Swedes. Within ASEAN they have subsidiaries in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

HeidelbergCement ordered from Wolters Kluwer an introduction to and training in the software Bokslut, for the financial statements they produce for a large number of companies in the group every year. They also needed a technique for implementing their German chart of accounts into the Swedish reporting structure.

I’m proud to be hired by Wolters Kluwer as the teacher of the day at HeidelbergCement and thanks both parties for an interesting experience!

HeidelbergCement worldwide

HeidelbergCement Sweden

HeidelbergCement Norway

SW: I måndags den 19 oktober hade jag nöjet att träffa en grupp ekonomer hos HeidelbergCement i Liljeholmen, Stockholm.

HeidelbergCement är en av världens största producenter av byggmaterial, med cirka 45 500 anställda i fler än 40 länder. Jag träffade deras ekonomer som arbetar med dotterföretagen i Sverige och Norge. Svenska dotterbolag är företag som Abetong, Betongindustri, Cementa och Jehander, välkända för många svenskar. Inom ASEAN finns dotterbolag i Indonesien, Malaysia och Singapore.

HeidelbergCement beställde av Wolters Kluwer en introduktion och träning i programvaran Bokslut, för att upprätta årsredovisningarna de producerar i stort antal för företagen i gruppen varje år. De behövde också ett tillvägagångssätt för att få in den tyska kontoplanen i den svenska rapportstrukturen.

Jag är stolt över att Wolters Kluwer anlitade mig som lärare för dagen hos HeidelbergCement och tackar båda parterna för en intressant erfarenhet!

The blog is my door to the world / Bloggen är min dörr till världen

EN: …national as well as international. My first month with the blog has ended well, with readers visiting from eight countries. From ASEAN Thailand and Indonesia is represented, and the other countries are France, Great Britain, Italy, Norway, Turkey and Sweden. Thank you a lot for your interest!

The blog has helped me well in both establishing new contacts and maintain the existing ones. I look forward to expanding my accounting universe even more 🙂

SW: …både nationellt och internationellt. Min första månad med bloggen har slutat bra, med läsare som besökt bloggen från åtta lander. Från ASEAN är det Thailand och Indonesien och de övriga länderna är Frankrike, Italien, Norge, Storbritannien, Turkiet och Sverige. Stort tack för ert intresse!

Bloggen har gett mig fin hjälp att knyta nya kontakter och underhålla befintliga. Jag ser fram emot att utöka mitt redovisningsuniversum än mer 🙂