• The Australian Accounting Standards Board
(AASB) has released a discussion paper..
Deloitte has appointed a new global leader of
sovereign wealth services…
Deloitte Netherlands has relinquished another of
its regional offices…
Mazars has promoted Jerome Brice to partner
within its UK project finance team…
MSI Global Alliance has admitted a new US member
firm…

Asia-Pacific

Ernst & Young ShinNihon has launched an
IFRS department to strengthen and improve the company’s support
system in expectation of future growth in Japanese IFRS-related
services. The IFRS department aims to improve the firm’s IFRS
service system, strengthen quality management and facilitate
responses to the various corporate IFRS needs. This department will
operate with a staff of about 600. It will also promote education
aimed at helping the firm’s staff develop as IFRS specialists.
Japan is due to converge with IFRS by 2011.

Singapore’s Audit Committee Guidance
Committee
has released a guidebook for audit committees.
The guidebook was developed in order to strengthen the corporate
governance practices of listed companies in Singapore. It will be
distributed to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Accounting
and Corporate Regulatory Authority and the Singapore Exchange.

PricewaterhouseCoopers China (PwC) has
released guidance aimed at tackling forthcoming internal control
regulations. The Basic Standard for Enterprise Internal Control was
jointly launched on 28 June 2008 by the Chinese Ministry of
Finance, the National Audit Office and three of the country’s
industry regulators. The standard will become effective from 1 July
2009. PwC’s guidance provides a brief overview of the key
requirements of the new regulation including internal environment,
risk assessment, control activities, information and communication,
and internal monitoring.

The Accounting Standards Board of Japan
(ASBJ) is seeking comments on an exposure draft entitled
Tentative Solution on Reclassification of Debt Securities.
The ASBJ said it has received questions on the reclassification of
debt securities since the International Accounting Standards Board
issued reclassification amendments to IAS 39 and IFRS 7 in October.
The new draft, which is only available in Japanese, was released
following deliberations by the Japanese standard setter at its
meeting on 12 November.

• The New Zealand Institute of Chartered
Accountants
(NZICA) has signed an agreement that will ease
access for New Zealanders to reciprocal membership with several
professional accountancy bodies. The agreement renewed reciprocal
agreements with chartered accountancy bodies in England and Wales,
Scotland, Australia, South Africa and Hong Kong. NZICA members will
be able to join these institutes – and vice versa – directly upon
application. Access to reciprocal membership was previously
dependent upon applicants passing a qualifying aptitude test in
local tax and law.

• The Australian Accounting Standards Board
(AASB) has released a discussion paper addressing the inconsistent
accounting treatments for particular types of intangible assets.
Currently, accounting standards treat intangible assets acquired as
part of a business acquisition differently from the same kind of
intangible assets that are internally generated. The discussion
paper, authored by staff of the AASB, with the encouragement and
support of the group of National Standard Setters, is intended to
encourage the International Accounting Standards Board to undertake
a review of current accounting standards relating to intangible
assets.

Africa, Middle East, South Asia

• Internal audit specialist Robert Beattie has been appointed
director of the Ernst & Young Europe, Middle
East, India and Africa region financial services business. Beattie
previously worked as the head of internal audit for British Energy
and has worked in the profession for 22 years. In his new role,
Beattie will be responsible for developing the financial services
internal audit division, working closely with colleagues in the UK
and across Europe.

Deloitte has appointed a new global leader of
sovereign wealth services and released a report delivering guidance
on the recently released set of generally accepted principles and
practices for sovereign wealth funds (SWF), known as the Santiago
Principles.

Frank Dubas will co-ordinate the firm’s delivery of audit,
advisory and other professional services to the special-purpose
investment funds. The Deloitte report aims to show that laws,
regulations and guidelines, such as the Santiago Principles, are an
important step in clarifying the standing of SWF in global capital
markets.

SWFs have been created by many Middle Eastern governments, as
well as China, Russia, Norway and some South East Asian
governments.

Deloitte global tourism, hospitality and
leisure industry leader Alex Kyriakidis is to transfer from London
to the Middle East. The firm said his experience in supporting
clients deal with three recessions over the past 30 years would
help the region navigate through the global recession. Deloitte
chairman John Connolly said the Middle East has one of the
fastest-growing real estate, tourism, hospitality and leisure
infrastructure sectors globally, representing about 12 percent of
the region’s GDP.

“Alex’s global expertise will help clients with our range of
industry-led services to support them in navigating the challenging
global environment ahead,” Connolly added.

• The Arab Society of Certified Accountants
(ASCA) has issued an Arabic translation of the most recent
Handbook of International Public Sector Accounting
Standards
. The guide consists of standards issued by the
International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board. The
institute has also introduced a certified technician qualification.
Arab Certified Accounting Technician holders will become members of
ASCA and will be qualified for the Arab Certified Public Accountant
examinations, ASCA chair Talal Abu-Ghazaleh said.

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of
India
(ICAI) has begun training 12 Mongolian accountants
in IFRS and English. The training is a result of a memorandum of
discussion on bilateral co-operation, signed by the ICAI and the
Mongolian Institute of Certified Public Accountants in September
2006 to promote mutual interest between the two institutes.

Since the agreement, ICAI has provided training in IFRS to eight
delegates from Mongolia in November 2007 and 10 delegates in April
this year. The IFRS and English course will continue until late
January 2009.

Europe

Deloitte Netherlands has relinquished another of
its regional offices as part of an ongoing centralisation strategy.
The Barneveld-based practice, which has 14 employees, has been sold
and will now operate as Cooster. Deloitte is the largest
professional services firm in the Netherlands and for more than a
year has been centralising operations into offices offering the
firm’s full range of services.

Mazars has promoted Jerome Brice to partner
within its UK project finance team to lead the firm’s growing
financial model assurance business. Stephen Fuller has been
recruited from Ernst & Young as a director and will take
responsibility for infrastructure tax. The appointments follow an
increase in project advisory and financial model audit assignments
across Europe, the firm said.

• Walter Bickel and Gerald Corbae have been appointed managing
directors of Alvarez & Marsal Deutschland.
Bickel and Corbae will help to develop the performance improvement
business in Germany, an area where the global firm said it is
facing strong demand due to the recent economic downturn. Bickel
was previously the executive director at risk consulting company
Kroll Talbot Hughes Germany. Corbae has more than 10 years of
experience in turnaround and performance improvement and was
previously a partner at the London office of management consultancy
Droege & Comp.

Grant Thornton UK maintained its lead as
auditor of the most UK Alternative Investment Market-listed clients
despite a loss of three clients, according to the latest Hemscott
quarterly auditor rankings. The mid-tier firm’s total dropped to
225, ahead of KPMG UK and BDO Stoy Hayward, who remain in second
and third place with 188 and 141 clients respectively. The update
was based on data to 10 October 2008.

• UK-based KPMG Forensic has acquired
specialist communication consultancy GOS Consulting Limited. GOS
Consulting formed in 2001 and provides specialised economic and
strategic consultancy services in the communications and new media
sector for companies, governments and regulators.

Deloitte UK has strengthened its debt
advisory practice with the appointment of Tim Armstrong as a
director and Floris Hovingh as an associate director. Armstrong
joins from global financial services firm Morgan Stanley and
Hovingh previously worked with UK bank HBOS.

James Douglas, head of the firm’s debt advisory practice, said:
“The market is experiencing an unprecedented period of upheaval,
and businesses are looking to re-evaluate their debt provisions and
requirements. Accordingly, we are strengthening our team.”

• Issues related to IFRS implementation by companies from Russia
and the Commonwealth of Independent States were addressed at a
recent conference in Moscow. Key topics, including recent trends
and regulation, were discussed at the event, which was organised by
Ernst & Young Russia and the International
Accounting Standards Board.

North America, Latin America

CPA Associates International has admitted new
members firms from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and
the United States. The association’s South American additions
include Alliance Auditoria Contabile Empresarial of Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, and MAP Auditores Independentes of Sao Paulo. SPA
Consultores of Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic, has also
joined as well as Guatemalan firm Garcia, Juarez & Asociados.
The three North American firms include ELLS CPAs and Business
Advisors of Santa Ana, California; Fiske & Company of
Plantation, Florida; and Thomas, Wilson, Ragusa, Uffman & Co.
of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

• US firm Spector & Associates has merged with accounting
and business consulting firm Burr Pilger Mayer
(BPM). Spector & Associates provides tax and estate planning
services to a range of individuals, partnerships, corporations,
trusts and exempt organisations. BPM’s Palo Alto office has taken
on three partners from Spector & Associates and nine employees,
increasing the firm to eight partners and more than 50 staff.

Meanwhile, BPM has announced it will be opening its fifth Bay
Area office in Novato in Marin County in December. With more than
350 employees, the Leading Edge Alliance member firm is the largest
regional accounting firm in Northern California.

Baker Tilly US member firm Habif, Arogeti
& Wynne (HA&W), based in Atlanta, has combined with local
firm Tauber & Balser (T&B). Approximately 60 T&B staff
will join HA&W, bringing the combined staff numbers to more
than 350. HA&W managing partner Dan Simms said the additions
extends the firm’s range of expertise in forensic accounting,
litigation support and serving Securities and Exchange
Commission-registered companies.

• Kenneth Weixel has been appointed as the US managing partner
of audit and enterprise risk services for the
Deloitte health sciences and government industry
group. He will play a key role in organising more than 1,000
professionals providing external audit, internal audit and
enterprise risk services to health science and government
clients.

MSI Global Alliance has admitted a new US
member firm. KBST&M has eight partners and is based in
Timonium, Maryland. It provides audit, accounting and tax services,
as well as wealth management, management advisory services,
business valuation and information technology consulting.

• A former US congressman has been appointed director of the
Deloitte US federal government services practice.
Tom Davis will advise Deloitte’s clients on major trends,
opportunities and challenges facing the federal government, with a
focus on technology innovation and government transformation. Davis
has 29 years of public service experience.

• Charles Postal has been appointed as the North America area
co-ordinator for mid-tier association MGI. Postal
is the managing partner of Washington DC-based accounting firm
Santos Postal. In his new role, Postal will serve as the main point
of communications between local area members, the association’s
governance committees and the international secretariat.