ASIA – PACIFIC

• The impact of doing business in a ‘brave new
carbon-constrained world’ will be far-reaching with organisations
that are able to adapt and act more likely to prosper, according to
a recent report from Deloitte Australia.

The paper, titled Doing business in a carbon-constrained
economy
, was produced in response to the Australian
government’s green paper on the Carbon Pollution Reduction
Scheme.

“The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme will fundamentally change
the economic environment,” Deloitte Australia chairman Wayne Goss
said. “However, many Australian businesses are still at the early
stages of understanding exactly how these changes will affect them.
Climate change is no longer just an issue for the environmental or
sustainability team – it applies to every level of management
whether it is tax, supply chain, corporate governance or
reporting.”

• Global tax adviser network TAXAND has
admitted two new members. Greenwoods and Freehills
becomes TAXAND’s Australian member while William
Fry
adds expertise in Ireland. The Australian accountancy
and law firm has 60 professionals, including 26 directors. William
Fry has more than 20 full-time tax professionals, including six
partners.

TAXAND has more than 300 tax partners and 2,000 tax advisors
operating in more than 40 countries worldwide. It is affiliated
with global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal.

The Japanese Institute of Certified Public
Accountants
(JICPA) has published the seventh edition of
The CPA Profession in Japan. The publication covers a wide
range of topics from JICPA initiatives to regulatory framework,
including the recent amendments of the CPA Act. The publication is
in English and is available to download from the JICPA website.

• Twenty-three percent of Singaporean companies experienced at
least one incident of fraud over the past year, according to new
research from KPMG Singapore.

The Singapore Fraud Survey Report 2008 made four key findings.
Certain fraud risks were increasing, companies suffering from fraud
were three times more likely to have suffered technology or
computer-related fraud. Greed was the strongest motivator according
to 70 percent of survey respondents. Employees were the first line
of defence, 88 percent of fraudulent activities identified in
organisations were discovered by employees. Ninty-one percent of
survey respondents also found that fraud risk management was
essential for good business practice.

The sample covered directors and senior executives among the top
1,000 companies listed on the Singapore Exchange.

• Australia is to enforce a revised set of auditing standards in
clarity format from 1 January 2010.

The Auditing and Assurance Standards Board
(AUASB) will redraft and issue its Australian Auditing Standards
(ASAs), which conform to ISAs in clarity format. The ASAs will be
redrafted progressively in groups and released for exposure. The
final ASAs will not be issued until all the redrafted standards
have been approved, which is expected to occur in October 2009.

AUASB chairman Merran Kelsall said feedback from constituents on
the proposed standards will be vital to the process. Meanwhile, the
standard setter released four redrafted ASAs in line with the
clarity project for comment.

• The Japanese Institute of Certified Public
Accountants
has issued two separate reports, one on
eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) and another on
ethics. The XBRL report sets out recommendations on changes in the
process to prepare financial statements arising from the
introduction of XBRL to the Electronic Disclosure for Investors
Network (EDINET).

It also highlights matters to be considered by auditors in light
of these changes. Japanese companies are required to submit
financial statements in XBRL to the EDINET for financial years
beginning on 1 April 2008 onwards.

The other report, Independence Required for the Audit of
Audit Corporations
, is aimed at helping improve the practical
judgement of auditor independence. It provides the fundamental
concept under the Code of Ethics and explains how to apply this
concept to specific circumstances. In Japan, the financial
statements of limited liability audit corporations are required to
be audited by an independent auditor with no specific interest in
the audit corporation. Both documents are available in Japanese
only.

• Australia is likely to witness a raft of goodwill impairment
announcements in the upcoming financial reporting period as the
impact of the decline in global financial markets is reflected in
financial statements, according to a KPMG
Australia
national audit partner.

Kris Peach said a number of entities are now likely to admit
that their company either overpaid for an acquisition during the
strong market performance of recent years, or that their newly
merged business had not performed as expected. Peach said a large
number of balance sheet write-downs, or goodwill impairments, could
be inevitable.

“The current sense I have of the market tells me that plenty of
goodwill impairment announcements are just around the corner. It is
going to be a decidedly uncomfortable experience for companies that
have had a healthy stock market for the past five years,” she
added.

Australian Accounting Standards require goodwill to be assessed
for impairment at each reporting date.

• The Japanese Institute of Certified Public
Accountants
has completed an English translation of
Auditing and Assurance Committee Statement No 82 Practical Guidance
for Audits of Internal Control over Financial Reporting, which was
issued in October last year.

The translation, which is available on the institute’s website,
is to be used solely as reference material to aid in the
understanding of the original statement. For all purposes,
including practical application of the statement, users are
instructed to consult the original Japanese texts.

• The National Institute of Accountants (NIA)
in Australia has helped launch a textbook comparing IFRS with
Chinese Accounting Standards (CAS). The publication, Brief on
the IFRS and Comparison with the CAS
, will be used as the core
training material for the joint accountancy education programmes
between the NIA and the China Enterprise Confederation/China
Enterprise Directors Association.

Jianxin Wang, an accounting expert at the Institute of Finance
in China, wrote the book, which details the range of differences
between the two sets of accounting pronouncements.

EUROPE

• UK professional services firm Tenon has signed
an agreement with software supplier Microsoft to offer businesses a
combination of Microsoft Dynamics GP software and outsourced
financial services support. Tenon is offering services, including
financial processes, such as payroll and payables, as well as
advice on issues such as VAT and employer tax.

Tenon national head of outsourcing Richard Fifield said: “Tenon
is the only business adviser in the UK to offer this service, which
is a hugely exciting opportunity for businesses with more
sophisticated finance needs, enabling them to better manage risk,
speed market entry and reduce costs. We expect keen interest in
this unique solution as more and more entrepreneurs are looking to
outsource and focus on their core business.”

• The European Financial Reporting Advisory
Group
has expressed a number of concerns about the
International Accounting Standards Board and US Financial
Accounting Standards Board’s joint exposure draft covering chapters
one and two of the boards’ proposed conceptual framework. In a
draft comment letter to the standard setters, the group said that
no part of the framework should be finalised until the whole
framework was ready. EFRAG also had concerns about information that
was relevant to capital providers being relevant to those who
manage that capital.

• Tony Ward and Ben Warren have been made partners in the
utilities and renewable energy team at Ernst & Young
UK
. Ward has more than 14 years of experience working with
the power generation and utility sector. Warren has been with the
firm for more than a decade advising clients on renewable energy
infrastructure financing, M&A and investor due diligence.

The firm’s markets leader for power and utilities, Steve
Jennings, said: “We are focused on increasing our UK presence in
the marketplace with a particular focus on alternative energy,
transactions and regulation and policy.”

• The Committee of European Securities
Regulators
has published its 2007 annual report. The
committee noted that while much of its work in 2007 was based on
longer-term working programmes, it reacted quickly to the market
turmoil during the second half of the year and added a number of
new key priorities to its work.

• The European Financial Reporting Advisory
Group
(EFRAG) is seeking comments on proposals to enhance
the contribution of Europe to the development of IFRS. The
proposals take the current EFRAG structure as a starting point
given the short timeframe within which the enhancement needs to
occur.

The group is seeking comments on enhancing the EU’s pro-active
input to the International Accounting Standards Board by building
on EFRAG’s structures and experience; further involvement of
National Standard Setters and co-ordination of European resources;
the creation of a planning and resource committee; and enhanced
governance, transparency and accountability of EFRAG.

NORTH AMERICA, LATIN AMERICA

Deloitte US has appointed Sondra Stokes as a
partner in its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) services
practice. The former SEC associate chief accountant specialises in
US and international accounting and financial reporting. Her
responsibilities include performing pre-filing reviews of SEC
filings, assisting clients with the SEC comment process and
providing assistance and interpretive guidance to clients on SEC
issues, including the application of IFRS. Stokes joined the SEC in
2001 and became an associate chief accountant in 2004 responsible
for interpreting and promoting the consistent application of
accounting and reporting requirements within US securities
laws.

• Horwath International US member firm Crowe
Chizek
has admitted 19 new partners. Nine partners were
admitted to offices in Indiana.

• The US CPA profession has launched a $15 million programme to
help rectify a shortage of accounting professors. More than 70 of
the largest US firms, along with several state CPA societies, have
committed the money to fund the programme, which will be
administered by the American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants
foundation. According to the institute, the
firms will also recruit top employees for the programme and
encourage them to become accounting professors in audit and
tax.

• US consolidator CBIZ has revealed its 2008
first half revenue was $373.1 million – an increase of 11 percent
on the first six months of 2007.

CBIZ chair and chief executive Steven Gerard commented: “The
second quarter of 2008 represents the 20th consecutive quarter of
same-unit revenue growth for CBIZ.”

• Leaders of 81 of the top 100 accounting firms in the US have
visited Capitol Hill to talk to members of Congress about key
legislative issues of importance to the accounting profession.

More than 70 meetings were held with House of Representatives
and Senate members to discuss issues, including equalising the
Internal Revenue Service’s tax preparer standards and taxpayer
standards, banning tax strategy patents and promoting uniform
interstate income tax requirements. The firms that participated are
part of the American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants’
major firms group, which consists of many of
the US’ 100 largest accounting firms outside the Big Four. This is
the first time the major firms group has visited Congress to meet
with lawmakers.

KPMG US has appointed Kevin Martinez as
executive director of corporate citizenship. Martinez, 46, brings
15 years of experience in the corporate social responsibility (CSR)
field and was most recently vice-president of community affairs at
retailer Home Depot and president of The Home Depot Foundation. He
will be responsible for directing KPMG’s CSR agenda, including
community involvement, charitable giving, environmental issues,
pro bono and volunteerism programmes. He will also align
KPMG’s internal and external CSR mission, objectives and
achievements and chair the firm’s newly established corporate
citizenship steering committee.