Business Management Assignment: Positive & Negative Impact of COVID-19
Task: Write a report on business management assignment answering the following questionsbased on the case studies and success stories, which cover different dimensions of business management, and any other research/resources/similar case studies,
Q1. What are the issues in corporate governance, operational management, and financial management you can identify from the given case studies and success stories that may have impacted the respective businesses?
Q2. What are the lessons MNEs can learn from these events, especially when doing business globally and in the post COVID-19 context? How can the management of an MNE address issues identified in Q1? Please also refer to any financial implications relevant to these issues. Consider the various indicated resources and these should help answering this question.
The current business management assignment presents different case scenarios impacted by pandemic. During the COVID-19 outbreak, the economic structure of the world entirely changed. Every small and big company in every single country in the world was largely affected by this extreme condition. It needless to say that the virus took lives of many people on earth but it made a vast emotional impact on the business sector. Many companies suffered losses, many had to terminate the employment contracts, many companies had to opt for wind up. But there are also many companies who bounced back and stood tall during this pandemic situation. There are always two extreme situations to every incident. In this critical situation of economic turbulence, there are examples of many companies or entities or people who taught us how to continue fighting until we fall. Below are some cases where we have discussed few case scenarios that include both the positive and negative sides of the pandemic.
Answer to question 1.
Case 1: In the curious case of the German Fintech company Wirecard, a huge scandal was reported in 2020. Almost £1.9 billion fund went missing from its books of accounts. The CEO of the said company has been taken into the custody for further investigation. It was a series of scandal that finally led the company to its insolvency. The company ultimately collapsed on June 25, 2020. Here ae some of the reasons that could have been involved in this fraud case ((The Indian Express., 2020).
- The board of directors of Wirecard consisted of total 9 board members. During the pre-scandal period the board performed pretty disappointingly and the corporate governance was incompetent. The Chief Executive Officer along with other board of directorswere highly responsible for this scandal. The directors of Wirecard stated that the missing amount of £1.9 billion is a vague information and the company already went to insolvency on June 25 2020. But after the CFO resigned and taken into the police custody by the German authorities, they had to admit the missing amount from the books of accounts. The board of directors was then altered in June 2020.
- Due to the combination of their baking and non-banking operations, their financial statements were often adjusted. The investors and shareholders every so often had to rely on that adjusted financial accounts, inflated earning and untrue cash flow statistics. In 2015, the Financial Times stated that there was huge gap between short-term assets and liabilities regarding payments. It misled the investors and shareholders over and over again with its business operations.
- In 2019, there was a report of an artificial inflation in the profit of Wirecard. The investigation regarding this started in the year 2018. It was many a times when a question of reliability was raised on the nature of Wirecard. Its financial statements were overstated almost every time. Also its Balance Sheet did not show a true and fair view. It was found that around £31 million were transacted between some external parties and Wirecard subsidiaries (McCrum, D., 2019).
Case 2: Virgin Australia, Australia-based airline company situated in the year 2000 as Virgin Blue collapsed massively and declared themselves as bankrupt in 2020 due to the financial crisis created by COVID-19. The reasons behind the collapse are being illustrated hereunder.
- The role of board of directors of Virgin Australia became undesirable when it could not sustain the financial crisis and was about to collapse. Also it is unlawful for the directors to continue the business when the company becomes incapable to pay off the debts. Generally, when the directors realize that the company is about be announced as bankrupt, they appoint an Insolvency Practitioners (IP) to take on the further actions on behalf of the directors. That’s what has been followed in the case of Virgin Australia. Due to the incapability of it directors, IPs were appointed who acted as an administrator for the further financial procedure.
- One of the main reasons behind the financial crisis of Virgin Australia is improper management of its finances. It has been facing an annual loss for seven consecutive years. It also had excessive amount of debt capital in their Balance Sheet amounting to $5 billion in total. Out this total amount of debt $3 billion was of the secured creditors and the rest $2 billion was of the unsecured creditors. The four biggest shareholders of Virgin Australia such as Etihad, HNA Aviation Group, Nanshan Group and Singapore Airlines declined to pay $1.4 billion for the equity capital required to overcome such over debt crisis. In this helpless situation, the pandemic made everything even worse for the Virgin Australia to survive (Australian Financial Review, 2020).
- Their operational management was also not strong in Virgin Australia. Its administration has performing inactively which led to a massive downfall in the business. Though almost more than ten clients showed concern towards recapitalizing Virgin Australia with more funs so that it can bounce back in the airline business. Virgin Australia also appointed a voluntary administration to continue the sales process after the Australian Government rejected the financial assistance it plead for about $1.4 billion. The collapse also affected the workers, staffs, contractors and customers badly.
Some success stories during the pandemic:
The trust and teamwork has been consideredon of the biggest assets for the Business in Vancouver (BIV) during this pandemic situation. Total six successful people (four women and two men) were chosen for an award giving ceremony for their extreme contribution as great leaders and excellent commitment to their work. The honored recipients of this award are Milton Carrasco of Transoft Solutions (Small Company), Roger Dall’Antonia of FortisBC (Enterprise Category), Ann English ofEngineers and Geoscientists BC (Publicly Accountable Company), Darlene Hyde of the BC Real Estate Association (Non-profit company), ShahrzadRafati of BroadbandTV (Large Company) and CathyThrope of Nurse Next Door (Special Distinction Award). Their continuous involvement in the work and adaptability is worth praising for. During the pandemic when the entire world was fighting to survive, these extraordinary personalities set an example of being super attentive and dedicated towards work even after having every piece of distraction.
Answer to question 2
- Flow of cash: From the main source of income, the company should have additional sources of earnings as well to have a continuous flow of income, to operate in situation when any external factors affect the business and the company has no clue how to come out from such situation. The condition of the business can be understood mainly by the balanc4e sheet and the capital structure of the company. Also, important to know the amount present at bank and the amount available in hand with the company and to analyse with those cash how many days, months or years a business can survive without having no other additional sources of earnings, like in the situation of Covid-19.
- Prioritise: It is better to analyse the important objectives of the company and to complete the task accordingly. To attain this, it 8is essential for the company to align the individuals present in a team in a strategic way that the top priorities of the company can be easily achieved. Or it could take years for the company to understand the reach to the goal. It is better to guide them by making a list as how which tasks are important for at present scenario. For example, is there is any payment left to initiate to any creditors as Virgin Australia as they had more than 11000 creditors who owes billions in total (swinburne.edu.au., 2021).
- Self sufficient: To run the business, the company raised funds from its own capital. However, in such a critical scenario they should have taken assistance from private sector and public right from the initial time. As they could have made them self-sufficient a could have able to manage other obligations of the company. If they would have resources, then after investing in big companies they could have gathered money from themselves.
- Surrender: Running a company on every day basis after enduring all the shortcom9ngs of it in each day comes out of one’s passion. With this intention a business man starts a firm and don’t ever think of to shut it forever. But in certain situation it needs to be done just like to help the individual from getting into the trap of being insolvent completely and to start to think about to start up a new business from the scratch. Like Virgin Australia as they have realised that they need to leave all their possession and over it to the other authority (MYOB Pulse., 2020).
- Communication: The CEO of the company posted a thanking note on the social media to the team of the company as it is believed that the company has survived through its tough times for having proper interaction with each member. And also mentioned the importance of having transparent communication to manage such serious situation.
- Continuousness planning: It shows that a business can come across of any threats at any point of time. However, through continuous planning in such a severe situation can the direction of the company. The following questions needs to be asked to deal such situation like what else to do now to come out from the situation, how to implement the plan that has been thought of, which are the members can be able to accomplish the task effortlessly, is there any consequence that the company will face after implementing it, what are the resources now needed to work on the plan.
- Uncertainty: The employees of the aircraft have started to believe that everyone can come across in certain phase of life where they have no hands to put them in such cases, but needs to have a continuous believe that situations have come out of randomness, then from situations only they will get hint to the solution to free themselves from that circumstances irrespective of the positive or negative solution.
- Diversification: From the company Wirecard a German based company is unable to identify he discrepancy that the company has faced with billions has given a lesson that one should not place its earnings in one single place. As there the company has to diversified the earnings hence the company suffered loss of billion. Had they been purchased shares in other companies or spent the money to expand the business they their money could have in safe place and would have avoided themselves from being into this trouble.
- Auditors positive opinion: For the expansion of the company it has acquired various other companies worldwide. By checking the various reports of the company, the auditors gave them a qualified report. However, receiving qualified opinion of auditor is not common. But the company did not any importance to this matter. However, they should have tried in such condition to meet with the internal auditor of the company to determine the validity of the audit reports. if they would have made a detailed analysis then they could have avoided from being into such a big scandal.
To identify scandal through corporate governance is from the people, process, performance, and people. It can be easily understood by the opinion of the company from the people who are either stakeholders or the shareholders of the company whether the return they are expecting to get are they able to get or not. Furthermore, through this the higher authority of the companies gets to know how the company is functioning in general. This makes them to take precautions if they come across that the company is facing a kind of discrepancies.
Through this report we have found the various issues in corporate governance and other segments pf business from the above case studies that was given. Moreover, have also learned all the lessons from those companies and how in future any businessman can have a continuous check on these to have a safe operation.
Australian Financial Review.(2020). Five lessons from Virgin’s collapse. [online] Available at: https://www.afr.com/chanticleer/five-lessons-from-virgin-s-collapse-20200420-p54lj6 [Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.
McCrum, D. (2019). Wirecard’s suspect accounting practices revealed. [online] Financial Times. Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/19c6be2a-ee67-11e9-bfa4-b25f11f42901 [Accessed 19 Apr. 2021]. MYOB Pulse. (2020). What SMEs can learn from the collapse of Virgin Australia. [online] Available at: https://www.myob.com/au/blog/sme-lessons-from-virgin-australia-collapse/ [Accessed 19 Apr. 2021].
The Indian Express. (2020). Explained: What is the €3.5 billion Wirecard scam? [online] Available at: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/wirecard-scam-explained-6517530/ [Accessed 19 Apr. 2021]. www.ft.com. (2015). Subscribe to a slice of the FT | Financial Times. [online] Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/ae49ef4a-d22b-3a5b-a865-d41ef4432402 [Accessed 19 Apr. 2021]. www.swinburne.edu.au. (2021). Surviving a crisis: what Virgin Australia staff can learn from ex-Ansett workers. [online] Available at: https://www.swinburne.edu.au/news/2020/05/surviving-a-crisis-what-virgin-australia-staff-can-learn-from-ex-ansett-workers/ [Accessed 19 Apr. 2021].