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November 26, 2009

News Digest

PEOPLE
PwC Netherlands appoints board member

Peter van Mierlo has joined the
board of Pricewaterhouse-Coopers Netherlands.

Mierlo will take over from Ruud Dekkers, who
stepped down after completing his term. Van Mierlo, the firm’s
chief operational officer, will continue his responsibilities for
assurance, risk and quality. He graduated with a doctorate in
business economics from Erasmus University in 1987 and has been a
partner at the firm since 1996.

MADOFF
Madoff auditor pleads guilty to fraud charge

The man who audited Bernard Madoff’s
investment securities firm has pleaded guilty to fraud, despite
denying he was aware Madoff was engaged in a Ponzi scheme.

When the Ponzi scheme was revealed in December
last year, it emerged that Madoff’s firm had been audited by David
Friehling, who worked out of a small suburban New York firm that
was not registered with the New York State Society of CPAs.

Friehling, who provided professional services
to Madoff for 17 years, was allowed to remain free on a bond of
$2.5 million until he is sentenced next year.

He pleaded guilty to securities fraud,
investment adviser fraud, making false statements to the US
Securities and Exchange Commission and breaking tax laws.

FINANCIAL RESULTS
Write-offs take shine away from Vantis results

UK publicly-listed mid-tier firm
Vantis has reported pre-tax losses of £6.5 million ($10.7 million)
in the year to 30 April 2009.

Revenues fell to £90 million from restated
2008 revenues of £92 million.

The HLB International member firm delayed the
release of its preliminary 2009 results in August due to on-going
discussions with its auditors, Ernst & Young, regarding the
treatment of non-cash accounting items.

Despite solid trading from its business
recovery, business advisory and tax divisions, the firm reported
significant exceptional costs of £13.7 million principally relating
to the prudent treatment of investment plans and rationalisation
costs, the firm said.

Vantis chairman Paul Gourmand said the group
has had mixed fortunes due to substantial write-offs on the value
of its balance sheet.

PEOPLE
RSM Bentley Jennison names senior appointments

UK firm RSM Bentley Jennison has
promoted Vinodh Josh to partner and national head of wealth
advisory services and has appointed Matthew Geale as head of the
forensic accounting team in Leeds and the North East.

Josh joined the firm four years ago as part of
the acquisition of the financial management arm of Robson Rhodes.
He has nearly 20 years of experience in the profession and comes
from a Big Four background.

In his new role, Josh will be responsible for
national wealth advisory services.

Geale has 20 years of experience in a variety
of sectors and project types. He has also acted as an expert
witness and forensic accounting specialist. He trained with one of
the Big Four accounting firms.

Geale joins RSM Bentley Jennison from Mall
& Co Forensic Accountancy Services.

PEOPLE
PwC names global communications practice
leader

Colin Brereton is the new leader of
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) global communications Colin Breretonindustry
group. Brereton qualified as a chartered accountant in 1982. He has
been working within the technology and telecoms industries for
almost 20 years.

A senior partner at PwC, Brereton specialises
in leading global multidisciplinary teams (from assurance, advisory
and tax) on delivering solutions for business challenges.

STRATEGY
Russell Bedford adds to its Mexican national
network

Russell Bedford Mexico is to add a
20-staff firm to represent its national network in Culiacán,
Sinaloa.

Gaxiola Ortiz y Asociados SC is to be
rebranded as Russell Bedford Culiacán.

Headed by Francisco Gaxiola, the firm will
initially operate as a branch office of Russell Bedford
Guadalajara, providing services in the North West Pacific
region.

The firm’s principle services are financial
audit, local and national tax consulting, accounting, financial
consulting and legal consulting.

OVERSIGHT
French watchdog declines PCAOB inspection
requests

The French audit watchdog has
rejected inspection requests from the US Public Company Accounting
Oversight Board (PCAOB) because conditions for co-operation between
France and the US have not been not fulfilled.

The Haut Conseil du Commissariat aux Comptes
released a statement in relation to a PCAOB programme to inspect
French audit firms in autumn 2009.

This setback follows the EC’s comments last
month regarding the co-operation of EU member states. Canada, Japan
and Switzerland were judged to be willing to fulfil the
requirements in Article 47 of the Statutory Audit Directive but the
US did not fulfil the same requirements.

American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants chairman Robert Harris said the PCAOB is working with
US politicians and foreign regulatory counterparts to find a
solution.

RECRUITMENT
PwC UK plans to maintain graduate levels in
2010

PricewaterhouseCoopers UK plans to
recruit more than 1,000 students and graduates in 2010.

The majority of vacancies will be in the
firm’s assurance practice, followed by advisory and tax.

PwC UK said it will offer more than 200
internships, including in management consulting. More than 100 new
vacancies will be in the firm’s advisory team and there will be
trainee positions within the firm’s legal practice.

Chairman Ian Powell said the firm’s decision
to maintain recruitment levels made good business sense.

“It would short change our business in the
recovery if we failed to maintain our investment and confidence in
graduate skills now,” Powell added.

Applications to the firm increased 48 percent
in 2009, with jobs offered to graduates from more than 90
universities. More than 80 percent of new joiners were aged between
20 and 24. Forty percent of applicants qualified with non-business
degrees, including the arts, geography, science, engineering and
languages.

 

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