Vol 8 No 1 (2014)
Issue Description
Letter from the Editor in Chief

In the first article, scholars Cecilia Téllez-Valle and Margarita Martín-García (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Spain) deal with the topic of the risk assessment of sovereign debt issuers by the main rating agencies. After selecting the macroeconomic variables that are reported in the literature to be the most relevant, they apply multiple linear regression models in which the dependent variable is the rating assigned to each country by the three main agencies. A 14 variable model that can later be reduced to four with similar results regarding the adjustment is utilised in the analysis of 82 countries in the period 2004-2011. A change is observed with respect to previous models. This is due, in part, to a new qualitative variable, regulatory quality, which is acquiring considerable weight in times of crisis.

In the following article, Carolina Valentim Gomes, Paula de Souza and Rogério João Lunkes (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil) strive to identify the profile of control professionals demanded by Brazilian companies. To do this, 467 adverts published in five companies that account for more than 80% of the control professionals recruitment market are analysed: Michael Page, Catho, Manager, Caso Consulting and Hays Brazil. Results suggest that companies look for graduates, specially in accounting, with knowledge of information technologies and international accounting. In addition, companies demand professionals that systematically participates in management, with leadership skills, pro-activity and analysis capacity.

Kellerman Augusto Lemes Godarth, Sidnei Lasta, Gilmar Ribeiro de Mello, Claudio Antonio Rojo, and Edison Luiz Leismann (Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná, Brazil) verify if there are statistically significant differences among purchase prices (network and non-network) and if they have an impact on purchases in commercial networks. The tool used was the comparative price of the network before joining the group compared to the prices received once they joined such group. These scholars indicate that there is an increase in the net income of stores associated to these networks as their acquisition costs are reduced and sales prices can be maintained, which increases profit margins.

The scholar Jorge B. Benzaquen de Las Casas (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú) has carried out a study of the impact of having an Quality Management System based on ISO 9001 in Peruvian companies on the basis of nine factors that measure the success of implementing Total Quality Management (TQM). This scholar proposes that the methodology used for this study may be replicated in other Latin American countries.

In the current context, micro and small companies can keep a competitive position in the market and make a significant contribution to economic growth. However, this reality clashes with a management profile that generally lacks the appropriate tools and techniques. Marlon Fernandes Rodrigues Alves and Alberto Borges Matias (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil) analyse a balance methodology in order to gather and provide structured information and help these companies. To validate this technique, the aforementioned scholars have adopted a "contabilometric" audit approach, known as the Newcomb-Benford law, and have evaluated the usefulness of this tool for entrepreneurs.

The following article aims at assessing whether Brazilian municipalities with a high production of sugar cane have a better socioeconomic development average than non-producing municipalities. To do this, Bruno Garcia de Oliveira, Lara Bartocci Liboni, and Rogério Cerávolo Calia (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil) analyse the Firjan Index of Municipal Development (IFDM) from the municipalities in the São Paulo state. They conclude that municipalities with small and big populations that produce sugar cane have a better socieconomic development average than those big and small municipalities that do not produce it. Nevertheless, no evidence was found to suggest this difference in medium sized municipalities. According to these scholars, the producing municipalities with the best averages are also the most populated.

According to Paul M.A. Baker (Georgia Tech, USA), Antonio Rodríguez Duarte y Francesco Sandulli (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain), the rapid development of Learning Management Systems (LMS) is changing the nature of learning relationships in universities. The tendency to implement LMS systems as "adjunct" to traditional teaching has been little research from the point of view of educators, so that the main contribution of this paper is to propose an analytical framework that integrates the proposals for various theories that have proved to be insufficient in the analysis of the determinants of an effective use of LMS.
Again, we would like to thank all those who make this publication possible: the Advisory Council, the Editorial Board, Editors and area Associated Editors, assessors, authors and, above all, readers.