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August 2, 2009

News Digest

HUMAN RESOURCES
US CPA mobility laws sweep the country

The US CPA mobility law has been
passed by 45 states as of this month, according to the American
Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

The new provisions allow CPAs and CPA firms to
serve their clients across state lines with minimal licensing
barriers.

“The success of 45 states enacting CPA
mobility provisions created a new pathway for the profession to
serve consumers without the lengthy delays and substantial
additional costs caused by licensure or notification requirements,”
AICPA president and chief executive Barry Melancon said.

Eight states still do no not allow
externally-based CPAs to practice, including California, New York
and Massachusetts.

MEMBERSHIP ADDITIONS
Russell Bedford appoints Lithuanian
correspondent

Russell Bedford International has
appointed UAB Gaudera as its correspondent firm in Kaunas –
Lithuania’s second-largest city.

UAB Gaudera was founded in 1995, has two
shareholders and 11 employees.

It provides audit, accounting, tax and
financial consulting services, as well as examination and analysis
of accounting systems, estate valuation assistance and corporate
reorganisation.

Clients include state and public institutions
and trading and production companies.

An important focus of the firm’s work since
2001 has been auditing EU-funded projects.

HUMAN RESOURCES
PwC US offers staff flexible work options

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) US is
offering its staff flexible working options – a strategy used by
rival firms KPMG and Ernst & Young to manage resources in the
economic downturn.

PwC’s flexible work initiative will allow its
professionals to take partially-paid sabbaticals of up to 16 weeks
or a reduced working week up until 31 December 2009.

The firm is also offering a flexible Fridays
scheme to give staff the opportunity to compress their work week
and take time off on some Fridays during the northern summer
months. This concludes on 7 September 2009.

PwC said the options provided additional
workforce flexibility, workload balance, scalability and helped the
firm manage costs.

Earlier this year, KPMG UK allowed employees
to work four-day weeks, equivalent to a 20 percent pay cut, or
apply up to 12 weeks of partially-paid leave at about 30 percent of
wages.

In April, Ernst & Young China encouraged
staff to take 40 days of low-pay leave between July 2009 and June
2010.

MEMBERSHIP ADDITIONS
AGN International welcomes Arizona firm

AGN International has added US firm
Heinfeld, Meech & Co (H&M) to its membership.

H&M is based in Arizona and has offices in
Phoenix and Flagstaff. The firm is 23-years-old, has 10 partners
and 77 staff.

H&M is the third US firm to join AGN
International this year.

RECRUITMENT
E&Y appoints Middle East leaders

Ernst & Young (E&Y) has
appointed three new senior leaders in its Middle East practice.

Abdulaziz Al-Sowailim has been appointed
managing partner of E&Y Saudi Arabia and will also run the
Riyadh operations as office managing partner.

Al-Sowailim has more than 20 years of service
with the firm and is currently a board member of the Saudi
Organisation for Certified Public Accountants.

Ahmed Reda has been appointed Jeddah office
managing partner. Reda has worked in E&Y’s Middle East and UK
practices serving a number of large influential family businesses
and multinational clients.

Phil Gandier has been appointed leader of
advisory services in the Middle East, based in Riyadh. He has more
than 25 years of senior management experience in the Middle
East.

MEMBERSHIP ADDITIONS
MSI Global Alliance admits Luxembourg firm Parfinindus

MSI Global Alliance has strengthened
its presence in Luxembourg with the admission of Parfinindus.

Founded in 1996, Parfinindus has four partners
and 25 staff.

The firm provides fiduciary services, business
and international tax advice, consultancy services, accounting,
business succession planning, corporate finance, business
valuation, company secretarial and payroll services.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
Dutch BDO firm takes over two E&Y offices

BDO CampsObers has bought two Ernst
& Young (E&Y) offices in Hengelo and Emmen, the
Netherlands.

The E&Y offices, which transferred to BDO
CampsObers on 1 July, have a combined workforce of about 40
full-time staff.

BDO CampsObers chairman Martin Van Roekel said
the acquisition would strengthen its services in the east of the
country for entrepreneurs and their companies.

MEMBERSHIP ADDITIONS
Mid-tier network
admits Kazakh firm

Baker Tilly International has
admitted a member firm in Kazakhstan. Eltal Uweman Consulting was
established in 1996 and has offices in Almaty and Astana.

The firm has five partners and more than 50
staff, offering audit, accounting and taxation services.

STRATEGY
Mid-tier network unites IFRS resources

RSM International has stepped up
global efforts to co-ordinate knowledge sharing and cross-border
client services in relation to IFRS.

The mid-tier network established an IFRS
Centre of Excellence, which is formed of professionals known as
IFRS ‘champions’, who meet on a regular basis to share best
practices.

The centre will be led by six RSM leaders from
the US, Middle East, Australia, Europe and RSM International’s
executive office.

RSM Italy managing partner Stefano Bianchi,
the European representative, believes recent momentum for IFRS in
the US and the IFRS for SMEs is driving client demand.

The IFRS champions will meet in London in
September.

LEGAL
Indian regulator to fund Satyam lawsuit

The Indian securities regulator will
take the unusual step of funding a class action in relation to
Satyam Computers, its auditor Price Waterhouse and related
parties.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India
(SEBI) will provide financial support towards a class action that
has been filed by Midas Touch Investor Association in the Supreme
Court.

The Midas lawsuit is seeking compensation for
about 300,000 investors of the IT giant, which was implicated in
India’s largest fraud earlier this year. The investors collectively
hold 90 million shares of Satyam.

It is the first time SEBI has provided
financial assistance to help investors launch a legal
challenge.

SEBI will foot about 75 percent of the legal
bill.

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