Region round-up

Asia-Pacific

• Nanjing University has won first place in the
Deloitte China tax championship 2007. The
competition saw participation from 47 universities in the greater
China region. The championship aims to nurture the interests of
students studying tax and help improve the knowledge of the next
generation of tax professionals. Alan Tsoi, chairman of the
championship organising committee, said: “Through the championship,
students achieved a deeper understanding of the tax regime and
greater awareness of the latest tax issues.”

Malaysia’s Securities Commission has revised
the country’s corporate governance code in a bid to strengthen its
framework and ensure it is aligned to other globally accepted best
practices. The newly revised code supersedes the previous code
issued in March 2000. Furthermore, it contains amendments aimed at
strengthening the roles and responsibilities of boards of directors
and audit committees to ensure they discharge their duties
effectively.

• A decision to adopt a single
online breach reporting system for dual-regulated institutions has
been welcomed by Deloitte Australia as another
step towards reducing red tape for superannuation funds. The
discussion paper, entitled ‘Streamline Breach Reporting’, released
by both the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the
Australian Securities and Investments Commission, proposes
eradicating the requirement for jointly regulated institutions to
provide separate breach reports for the same incident to both
regulators.

• Former Victorian state Premier
Steve Bracks has been appointed to the KPMG
Australia
advisory board. Bracks was one of the
longest-serving leaders of Australia’s second most populous state.
He will provide strategic advice and guidance to KPMG’s national
board and management team. On the appointment, KPMG national
chairman Michael Andrew commented: “Clients will benefit from his
deep knowledge of how government works and from his insights into
strategic issues facing governments, particularly in the area of
reform of Commonwealth/state relations and traditional public
services.” Bracks becomes the second former state Premier to join
the firm. Former Western Australia leader Richard Court is also on
the board.

• Ethical conduct, continued professional education and issues to
be taken into account when reporting on financial statements were
among the topics discussed at a recent seminar held by the
Mongolian Institute of Certified Public
Accountants
(MonICPA). About 50 branch office leaders
attended the seminar, which was concluded with a speech from
MonICPA president L Dondog. Dondog’s presentation focused on
strategies to expand on the activities of the institute’s local
branches.

• An Institute of Chartered
Accountants in Australia
survey has found 43 percent of
young Australian accountants intend to travel overseas in the next
two years. The results reveal that those surveyed from Victoria
want to travel overseas more than any other state and those in
South Australia are least likely to travel.

Africa, Middle East, South Asia

• South Africa experienced almost 30 percent more
economic crime than the global average, according to
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2007 global economic crime survey. Louis
Strydom, of PricewaterhouseCoopers South Africa,
said the biennial survey of 5,400 global companies (including 103
South African companies) revealed 72 percent of respondents in
South Africa have experienced this form of crime in the past two
years. This compares with 43 percent that experienced economic
crime globally. South Africa companies reported an average of 23
incidents each in the past two years (compared to the global
average of eight incidents), an increase of 110 percent since 2005.
South African firms were more intent on prosecuting this type of
crime than their global peers, with 64 percent taking criminal
action compared to 50 percent globally.

• A keynote address from a Harvard
Business School professor will be one of the draw cards at a global
management accounting summit in New Delhi, India from 10 to 12
January next year. Robert Kaplan, who is Baker Foundation professor
at Harvard Business School and co-creator of the balanced
scorecard, will be speaking at the event along with other
management accounting experts. The summit is being organised by the
Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India
to discuss the strategic repositioning of management
accounting.

• South Africa has become the first
country in the world to formally adopt the International Accounting
Standards Board’s (IASB) proposed IFRS for SMEs. The decision to
approve the controversial standard was supported by the nation’s
Accounting Practices Board and administratively by the
South African Institute of Chartered Accountants
(SAICA). The exact form of the standard will be incorporated as a
Statement of GAAP for SMEs in South Africa. SAICA executive
president Ignatius Sehoole said the new statement will reduce the
reporting burden on SMEs.

• Mussa Asaad has been elected as
the chairman of the Tanzanian National Board of Accountants
and Auditors
. Asaad, who is a senior lecturer at the
University of Dar es Salaam, will serve in the post for three
years.

• The Institute of
Chartered Accountants of Nigeria
(ICAN) has made
technology competence a prerequisite for new members. From 2008,
every ICAN graduate is expected to acquire IT skills under the
institute’s technology competence initiative (TCI) or show proof of
such competence before he or she can be inducted. The TCI programme
will cover modules on computer fundamentals, use of accounting
packages, audit software and professional technology
competence.

• The Institute of
Chartered Accountants in India
(ICAI) has unveiled the
make-up of its disciplinary committee and disciplinary board. ICAI
president Sunil Talati is the presiding officer of both bodies.
Joining him on the disciplinary board are ICAI council member
Rajkumar Adukia and Indian government nominee Suman Kumar Nayak.
Other members of the committee include council members S
Santhanakrishnan and Abhijit Bandyopadhyay, and government choices
RK Handoo and MP Lohia.

Europe

KPMG UK has recruited Brian Dilley as a partner
within its anti-money laundering (AML) and financial services
practice. He joins KPMG from UBS Investment Bank where he spent
three years as a managing director and global head of AML
compliance. Dilley has more than ten years of financial crime
experience. Prior to joining UBS, he spent four years at the UK
Financial Services Authority, where he was head of department in
its enforcement division.

Mazars has
expanded into the Channel Islands by combining with Moores
Rowland Jersey
, a former member firm of Moores Rowland
International. The firm will be known as Mazars Channel
Islands
. The Jersey team will be led by former Moores
Rowland Jersey partners Adam Budworth and Jason Lees-Baker.
Budworth commented: “Mazars’s integrated model, strong
international presence – notably in the financial services sector –
and commitment to growth were key factors in the decision to join
forces.”

• UK firm
Haysmacintyre has announced the appointment of its
new managing partner. Simon Wilks, a previous partner and a member
of the managerial team for a number of years, will replace Bernie
Watson, who stands down after seven years. Haysmacintyre is a
member of MSI Legal and Accounting Network Worldwide.

• Scottish firm
Scott-Moncrieff has admitted Bernadette Higgins
and Graham Scrimgeour to its partnership. The Moore Stephens
International member firm now has 23 partners. Scrimgeour
specialises in the audit of commercial and financial services
clients as well as advising on technical accounting, internal
control, corporate governance and risk management. Higgins is an
expert in the audit of commercial businesses and advises a variety
of market sectors, including manufacturing, construction and
retail.

PricewaterhouseCoopers
France
(PwC) has launched a training course for women in
leadership roles within the structure of its Women in PwC
programme. The Women Survival Course has been developed
specifically for PwC and its associated law firm, Landwell.
Sixty-four women have signed up for the course, in which groups of
eight participants will take part in a day of study, then half a
day of practical study. The Big Four firm said the aim of the
course is to open the eyes of women to leadership opportunities at
the heart of a culture that is dominated by men. Areas of training
will include conflict management, exercising influence and
relationship and behavioural aspects.

• David Maxwell, Grant
Thornton UK
’s national management board partner, has been
elected as chairman of the Forum of Firms. The forum was
established in 2001 as part of the structure of the International
Federation of Accountants. It aims to promote IFRS and IAS and
encourage consistently high quality standards of financial
reporting and audits worldwide.

North America, Latin America

• The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board
(PCAOB) has approved amendments regarding the inspection frequency
for firms that do not regularly issue audit reports. The board
adopted two amendments to PCAOB Rule 4003, which eliminate the
requirement that the board regularly inspect each registered public
accounting firm that plays a ‘substantial role’ in audits but does
not issue audit reports. At present, more than 800 registered firms
fall into that category under the terms of the amended rule. The
amendments will be submitted to the Securities and Exchange
Commission for approval.

• IGAF US member firm
Singer Lewak Greenbaum & Goldstein (SLGG) has
admitted two new partners. Rachel Rico has worked in public
accounting since 1995 when she joined SLGG in the assurance and
advisory department. Harmeet Singh is a member of the firm’s
assurance and advisory and securities industry practice group. SLGG
was founded in 1959 and is based in Los Angeles. The firm has more
than 235 employees, including 31 partners.

• The Canadian Institute of
Chartered Accountants
has launched a new website that
focuses on the country’s upcoming transition to IFRS. The new
website is part of an effort to ensure a smooth and effective
transition from Canadian GAAP to International Standards on
Auditing for periods after 15 December 2009. The website will
assist members’ transition from Canadian GAAP to IFRS for publicly
accountable enterprises for periods beginning on or after 1 January
2011 and also assist them to adapt to a new strategy for Financial
Reporting by Private Enterprises.

• Tennessee-based firm
Petty and Landis has combined with US Leading Edge
Alliance member Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain
(LBMC). The strategic move forms a new Chattanooga presence for
LBMC, one of Tennessee’s largest regional firms. Petty & Landis
was formed in 1966 and offers traditional audit, accounting,
management consulting and tax services. Its addition means LBMC now
employs more than 400 people in offices in Knoxville, Nashville and
Chattanooga.

• The US Securities and
Exchange Commission
has named former Ernst & Young US
partner Paul Beswick as a senior adviser to the commission’s chief
accountant. In this role, Beswick is to advise chief accountant
Conrad Hewitt on complex accounting and auditing matters, and will
assist in the development of strategic objectives as part of Office
of Chief Accountant’s agenda. Hewitt commented: “[Beswick’s] background in standard setting at the [Financial Accounting
Standards Board], and his role at Ernst & Young, where he
participated in the audit of several large multinational
corporations and in a consultative role on complex technical
matters, will be invaluable in serving the interest of
investors.”

• The first female signal soldier
to achieve the rank of major general in the US army has joined
Deloitte US as a senior manager. Marilyn
Quagliotti, who is also a former vice director of the Defense
Information Systems Agency, has joined the Big Four firm’s federal
government services practice. Deloitte federal government services
practice managing director Gene Procknow said Quagliotti’s “deep
understanding of the defence community and its information
technology needs, in particular, will make her a significant asset
to our practice”.