Ernst & Young
(E&Y) India has launched a policy advisory group to help
clients on taxation, international trade, aviation, defence, trade
and commerce, finance and capital markets, and energy… Michael
Rudberg has been appointed head of media and entertainment at
Ernst & Young UK… US firms
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Ernst
& Young
(E&Y) have each won contracts to assist
the US Treasury Department in the implementation of the Troubled
Asset Relief Program as part of the Emergency Economic
Stabilization Act…

Africa, Asia, Oceania

Ernst & Young (E&Y) India has launched a
policy advisory group to help clients on taxation, international
trade, aviation, defence, trade and commerce, finance and capital
markets, and energy. E&Y says the group will assist
organisations to anticipate policy changes and assess their impact
on clients and the broader community. The group will be led by
E&Y India partners Ganesh Raj, Satya Poddar, Utkarsh Palnitkar
and Ashvin Parekh.

The Accounting Standards Board of Japan
(ASBJ) has refuted claims made by an international newswire that
the Japanese government has accepted a recommendation from the ASBJ
to ease mark-to-market accounting rules and allow companies to
calculate asset values themselves.

The ASBJ told The Accountant that board has recently
taken actions to remain in step with the IASB and the FASB but has
not moved beyond them. According to the board, on 30 October the
government released an economic stimulus package that supports and
facilitates the ASBJ’s moves.

• The Ministry for Finance in Singapore and the
Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority have
established a committee to develop the Singaporean accountancy
sector. The committee will review the profession and help position
Singapore as a leading Asian centre for accountancy services and
professionals. Singapore Totalisator Board chairman Bobby Chin has
been appointed to chair the committee, which will include 14 other
senior representatives from the accounting profession, business
community, academia and public sector.

CPA Australia has signed a Memorandum of
Understanding with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in a bid
to advance sustainability reporting. The institute has also
provided seed funding to the St James Ethics Centre to help
establish a GRI base in Australia.

Speaking at CPA keynote sessions, GRI chief executive Ernst
Ligteringen stressed the need to build trust through transparency
and argued that public disclosure on how organisations are
responding to critical issues of the day is essential in order to
address sustainability issues. He also described the accounting
community as critical in enabling an effective business response to
sustainability issues.

• The Arab Society of Certified Accountants in
Jordan has issued an updated Arabic version of IFRS. The society
has also released a second Arabic edition of IFRS Practical
Implementation Guide and Workbook 2008
. The guide demonstrates
the practical application of IFRS standards using easy explanations
and simple examples. It also addresses the challenges faced by an
auditor or accountant in applying IFRS and understanding the
financial statements prepared under the standards.

• The Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic
Financial Institutions
has issued a revision of its
accounting standard on investment.

The standard has been revised with reference to the accounting
treatment for unrealised losses resulting from re-measurements at
fair value of Islamic financial institutions’ available-for-sale
investments in sukuk (Islamic bond) and shares.

The revision will enable those unrealised losses to be
recognised in the institutions’ statement of financial position
under investment fair value reserves regardless of the balance of
such reserves.

Europe

• Michael Rudberg has been appointed head of media
and entertainment at Ernst & Young UK. Rudberg
has more than ten years of experience in the media and
entertainment sector specialising in broadcasting, advertising and
music. He moved to the E&Y London office in 2000 after starting
his career at E&Y Canada. In his new role, Rudberg will focus
on assurance, advisory, tax and transaction services.

Deloitte has appointed two UK partners to
leadership roles in the network’s global life sciences and health
care industry group. Consulting partner Dean Arnold has been
appointed health care sector leader for Europe, the Middle East and
Africa. David Jones has been appointed as the financial advisory
services leader in the life sciences and health care group. Jones
joined the UK firm in 2001 and is also responsible for European
wide co-ordination. The life sciences and health care industry
group has more than 4,000 Deloitte specialists across 47 countries.
Deloitte advises the world’s ten largest pharmaceutical
manufacturers, the ten largest biotechnology companies and nine of
the ten largest medical equipment manufacturers.

• Former Kreston international member firm Exco
Atlantic
has joined Ernst & Young’s western regional
network. The Nantes-based firm has 45 staff and fee income of €5
million ($6.3 million). The firm provides auditing and consulting
for SMEs in the region. The E&Y western region earned a revenue
of €21 million in its most recent fiscal year. An E&Y
spokesperson said the integration reinforces the firm’s market
position. Exco Atlantic’s Jean Gravier said the decision to join
the Big Four firm was in response to the firm’s desire to grow its
range of services and to accompany them in their international
development.

• David Raistrick has been appointed as manufacturing industry
leader for Deloitte’s UK and Switzerland firm.
Raistrick is a specialist in the automotive sector and leads
Deloitte’s indirect tax practice across the UK and Europe. He takes
over the role from Jane Lodge, who will continue as lead
manufacturing partner for the UK Midlands.

• Morison International UK member Tenon has
launched a fund management business. Tenon Capital Management
Limited (TenonCap) will invest capital in distressed businesses
with revenues of between £5 million ($7.8 million) and £30 million
that have turnaround potential to capitalise on current economic
conditions.

TenonCap chief executive Matthew Bowker said: “Having seen
several economic downturns we are greatly aware of the
opportunities they can produce. We believe we are well placed to
identify the best opportunities and to achieve successful
turnarounds and profitable exits for our investors.”

Tenon is an adviser in the UK recovery sector with 40 directors
and 320 staff across 30 offices in the country.

• Paul Lavercome has been appointed as a tax partner at
BDO Stoy Hayward’s Gatwick office. Lavercome will
be focused on developing the firm’s local property sector practice
and supporting the corporate financial team.

• Tim Ferris has been appointed tax partner at BDO Stoy
Hayward
. Ferris has joined the firm’s eastern region
business tax team from Grant Thornton’s international tax
group.

Prior to this, he worked for Deloitte. In his new role, Ferris
will provide practical and commercial tax advice to a wide range of
companies, including those with international operations and
businesses in the technology media and telecoms sector.

• David Alexander has been appointed director of the forensic
services team at UK firm Smith & Williamson.
Alexander has 20 years of experience in forensic accounting and
previously worked for Ernst & Young and KPMG. He most recently
ran his own forensic accounting firm based in Birmingham.

Smith & Williamson forensic services leader Doug Hall
commented: “Alexander joins us to lead our fraud and investigations
team which, working closely with our forensic technology
specialists, will take advantage of the growing opportunities in
this market by providing a holistic investigations service. He will
also strengthen our forensic services team in the recently opened
Smith & Williamson Birmingham office.”

North America, Latin America

• US firms PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and
Ernst & Young (E&Y) have each won
contracts to assist the US Treasury Department in the
implementation of the Troubled Asset Relief Program as part of the
Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act provided the US
Treasury with the authority and ability to purchase up to $700
billion of troubled assets. The programme was designed to boost
liquidity and confidence in capital markets and create
opportunities for current holders of troubled assets and those
looking to acquire such assets.

Treasury said the two firms will help with the accounting and
internal controls services required to administer the complex
portfolio of troubled assets the department will purchase,
including whole loans and mortgage backed securities. PwC will help
establish a sound internal control system and E&Y will provide
general accounting support and expert accounting advice. The
initial orders are worth $191,469 and $492,007 respectively. The
two firms were selected from 12 applicants. The two agreements last
until 30 September 2011.

• Gordon Krater is to take over as managing partner of Praxity
member Plante & Moran. Krater’s term as
managing partner begins on 1 July 2009, when the firm’s current
managing partner, Bill Hermann, concludes eight years as leader.
Plante & Moran claims to be the 12th largest certified public
accounting and business advisory firm in the country. The firm has
1,600 staff in 18 offices in the US, Mexico and China. As group
managing partner in charge of the firm’s industry groups, Krater is
to co-ordinate and oversee client service growth and people
development directed at industry specialisation and customisation.
He has also led several mergers with accounting and consulting
niche practices.

Deloitte US has appointed David Williams as
chief executive and Kerry Francis as chairman of the firm’s
financial advisory services practice. Williams, who will replace
current chief executive Frank Piantidosi, has worked at the firm
for seven years. He has held various leadership roles within
advisory and forensic and dispute services.

Francis is the leader of the organisation’s national corporate
investigations practice and previously served as regional managing
partner of Deloitte’s Northern Pacific region.

Grant Thornton US has launched an economic
crisis resource centre to help companies find opportunities created
by the US government’s bailout. The mid-tier firm’s new resource
centre will provide services including corporate advisory and
restructuring, corporate finance, forensic accounting, fraud and
investigations, valuations, litigation and dispute consulting,
forensic technology services, transaction advisory services,
internal controls testing and tax planning and considerations.

• US finance and accounting staff can expect average salary
increases of 3.4 percent, according to new research from
Robert Half International. The recruiter’s annual
salary survey found companies were showing the most interest in
employing professionals who could help their firms reduce
inefficiencies and enhance profitability. Those who were familiar
with IFRS were also sought after. Starting salaries for staff
accountants at large companies (more than $250 million in sales)
who have one to three years of experience, for example, were
projected to range from $44,500 to $57,250. Starting salaries for
senior accountants in tax services at small public accounting firms
(less than $25 million in sales) were forecast to range from
$54,000 to $69,250.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada has acquired
retail advisory firm Karabus Management. The combination brings
opportunities for both companies to expand their retail consulting
capabilities and assist retailers to improve their business
performance. Under the agreement, Karabus will become a
wholly-owned subsidiary of PwC. Karabus will continue to be led by
its founder and chief executive Antony Karabus.

• US firm RSM McGladrey has promoted three
senior staff members to managing director roles: Lisa Brock in
financial services, Dominic DuBois in audit and Gabe Massuda in the
tax practice. Brock has 15 years of experience in public accounting
and audit within the financial services industry. DuBois has more
than ten years of experience in public accounting and auditing
within commercial real estate, construction, wholesale distribution
and technology companies. He also provides assurance services to
portfolio companies owned by private equity groups in various
industries. Massuda has more than 25 years of experience providing
tax services to large companies in the real estate, manufacturing,
distribution, online university and health care industries.