Everything Comes at a Cost, so does Brand Promotion!

Sharon Tanna

HLB HAMT - Accounting Firm in UAE
Phone:- +971 4 327 7775
Mobile:- +971 55 160 1291
Email:- dubai@hlbhamt.com

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    Gone are the days when you could promote your brands, businesses and products for free on social and electronic media in UAE. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to enjoy this privilege anymore! As per the new Electronic Media Regulations, paid influencers are required to obtain a licence from the National Media Council (NMC) to promote brands for money. Under the new rule, more than 600 registrations were filed in a span of five days.

    The new regulation applies to news websites, electronic publishing outlets, and on-demand printing, that includes commercial activities via social media. The rule does not apply for normal media influencers who just share everyday stuff with their followers and also for brands that promote their own products on social media.

    Influencers are people who have a mass following on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. If an influencer uses social media to carry out a business transaction or any form of advertising that renders a profit, then he should have a media license. Prior to applying for a new e-media license, they should possess a trade license. In UAE, an influencer is deemed as the owner of the content they promote on social media.

    If an influencer is registered under an agency or media company, he need not bother applying for an e-media license as the company’s license will cover them. Before signing an influencer, these agencies should obtain the license.

    The e-media license comes at a price of Dh 15, 000, which requires an annual renewal for the same price. Failure to obtain a license will result in a fine of minimum Dh 5,000.

    Even though the move came as a shock initially for influencers, they have welcomed it with open arms. Media license will help in the better organization of digital content. It also ensures that the media material is in accordance with the religious, cultural and social values of the emirate.

    New licenses are not required for websites of licensed traditional media such as newspapers, television, radio and magazines. Other exemptions include, websites of government, universities and schools. Personal accounts and blogs won’t be affected by the new regulations as long as they are not commercial in nature.

    With the latest amendments, let’s hope to witness more transparent and responsible brand promotions via social media in the future.

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    Is your Organization a Victim of Payroll Fraud in UAE?

    HLB UAE Payroll Team

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    HLB HAMT - Accounting Firm in UAE
    Phone:- +971 4 327 7775
    Mobile:- +971 50 205 9540
    Email:- dubai@hlbhamt.com

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      There has been a significant rise in the number of businesses falling victim to fraud and turning a blind eye on the issue can only worsen the situation. Fraud by itself can be dangerous to the overall functioning of an enterprise, and if it happens to be related to payroll, the problem escalates.

      Payroll fraud is theft of funds using a company’s payroll system, which is the number one source of accounting fraud and employee theft according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Employees who have access to the systems through which workers are paid can misuse their access to issue false payments.

      Fraudsters misuse payroll data in a number of ways, common ones being time sheet fraud, falsifying wages, commission fraud, bonus fraud, expense reimbursement fraud, ghost employees and misclassification.

      Timecard falsification and ghost employees are the two common types of payroll fraud. In timecard falsification, an employee provides inaccurate data about hours worked, leading to a miscalculation of wages. Even though it may not look as serious as stealing cash from an organization, it is equally punishable. A ghost employee is someone who is not part of an organization but is recorded on the payroll system. In such cases, the person who has ‘created’ the ghost employee collects their salary.

      27 percent of all businesses fall prey to payroll fraud and it is interesting to note that smaller organizations that has an employee strength of less than 100 employees get affected more when compared to larger organizations. The occurrence is nearly double!

      A sad truth about payroll fraud is that it is often long-term and many of the times it is the trusted employees of an organization who get involved in payroll fraud. By the time you realize what is going on inside your own firm, the damage would have been done.

      Prior to hiring an employee who will be responsible for payroll management or who can access the bank accounts of a company, a background check on the person is mandatory. An individual with history in deceiving a company financially will tend to do so even if they switch companies. Also, reviewing payroll reports regularly to check for errors in calculations and to figure out whether any ‘ghost employee’ has been listed, is equally important.

      Preventing payroll fraud is indeed a challenging task but given the massive loss it can cause to a business, employers need to be extra vigilant.

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      How UAE Expats will Benefit from the New Visa and Ownership Rules

      Ebi Kadavan, Assistant Manager

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      HLB HAMT - Accounting Firm in UAE
      Phone:- +971 4 327 7775
      Mobile:- +971 55 160 1291
      Email:- dubai@hlbhamt.com

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        Do you get fed up with the long and complicated process of residency visa renewal process? If you happen to be a specialist in medical, scientific, research and technical fields and an “exceptional” student in UAE, you need not bother about visa renewal for a decade.

        The UAE government has recently announced alterations in policies relating to visa renewal and foreign ownership of companies. A 10-year visa will definitely add value to the economy of UAE as it will encourage people of advanced skills, especially in areas of science and technology, to prolong their stay in the country. Top qualified expats who graduate from universities in UAE need not go back to their native to hunt for a job, as they can stay in the country for longer duration and enter the local workforce. These qualified employees will be a boon to the country’s economy.

        Contrary to the previous system that requires you to join hands with a UAE national to set up business outside a free zone, the current rule promises complete foreign ownership to companies operating in UAE. The new move will encourage more investors to establish their enterprise in UAE, which will result in a significant positive effect on foreign direct investments. The UAE has once again proved that it is one of the most investor-friendly nations and a competitive market.

        According to experts, some of the changes expected out of these new rules are- population stabilisation and growth, renewed confidence in the property market and an increase in expat end-user purchasers.

        The foreign direct investment into UAE in 2017 was $11 billion, which is expected to surge once the new policy takes over. One will have to wait for few more months to enjoy the benefits of the new rules as it will come into effect only by the end of this year.

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