• WHK Group has acquired four new businesses under ‘tuck-in’ arrangements with existing member firms. The combined acquisitions bring A$2.4 million ($2.3 million) in annual revenue to the stock exchange-listed member of Horwath International. The acquisitions include accounting firm Bonney Hortle & Partners, with annual revenue of A$1.2 million, which has merged with Tasmanian firm WHK Garrotts. Also to merge with WHK Garrotts were two other Tasmanian businesses, sole practitioner M Summers and business consultants Total Business Consultants, which have combined annual revenues of A$1.1 million. New Zealand firm WHK Coffey Davidson has also acquired a small risk insurance business with A$60,000 in annual revenue.
• Two new courses have been launched following an agreement between the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India and Indira Gandhi National Open University. The courses will focus on financial and cost accounting, management accounting and financial strategies.
• CPA Australia has helped establish a A$750,000 scholarship programme to address the skills shortage and raise the standard of the profession in Singapore.
The scholarship is the result of a relationship between CPA Australia, 11 leading Singapore employers and three local universities that will fund more than 300 accounting students through a post-graduate course. The course will teach students about global accounting standards and ethics.
CPA Australia president Alex Malley said: “By giving the brightest students the opportunity to commence both professional qualifications and rewarding internship opportunities before they graduate, we are giving them a head-start on a successful career in accounting.” The Big Four are all participating in the programme.
• CPA Australia has suggested preparers of financial reports whose financial years end on 30 June could consider early adoption of the Australian accounting standards AASB 8 Operating Segments and AASB 2008-2 Amendments to Australian Accounting Standards – Puttable Financial Instruments and Obligations Arising on Liquidation.
The institute said proprietary companies and for-profit unlisted public companies, except for those entities with immediate plans to list on a stock exchange, that adopt AASB 8 early are permitted to discontinue with segment reporting because of the standard’s narrower scope of application. The institute also noted that co-operatives and partnerships may benefit from the early-adoption of AASB 2008-2, a standard that amends AASB 132 Financial instruments: presentation.
• The Arab Society of Certified Accountants (ASCA) has been accredited by the Accountants Licensing Committee at the Yemeni Ministry of Industry and Trade. The accreditation came as part of numerous revisions the ministry was introducing to the law that regulates the accounting profession, according to a letter sent to ASCA by the Yemeni department. These revisions aim at making accounting more consistent with global developments, especially in light of negotiations for Yemen to join the World Trade Organisation, the letter said.
• The Philippine Financial Reporting Standards Council has approved the adoption of amendments to IFRS by the International Accounting Standards Board. Amendments to IAS 32, Financial Instruments: Presentation; IAS 1, Presentation of Financial Statements (revised 2007) – Puttable Financial Instruments and Obligations Arising on Liquidation; IFRS 2 Share-based Payment – Vesting Conditions and Cancellations; IFRS 3 Business Combinations; and, IAS 27 Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements.
The amendments are all intended to improve accounting for particular financial instruments that are classified as financial liabilities. The revisions are based on comments from previous exposure drafts and are expected to be effective from 1 July 2009.
• The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has re-appointed Angelina Lee as non-executive director for a term of two years from 1 August to 31 July 2010.
SFC chairman Eddy Fong said: “I am delighted to be able to continue working with Lee, whose insights and advice have benefited the SFC a great deal over the past two years. I am certain the SFC and the Hong Kong financial market will continue to benefit from her wealth of experience and expertise.”
• The Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board has issued Guidance Statement 008 – The Auditor’s Report on a Remuneration Report Pursuant to Section 300A of the Corporations Act 2001. In complying with the guidance, the auditor’s report will now have two distinct sections: the conventional section that includes the auditor’s opinion on the financial report; and a new section, which contains the auditor’s opinion on the remuneration disclosures in the directors’ report.
• A former Ernst & Young UK (E&Y) partner has been appointed deputy chair of the UK Financial Reporting Review Panel. David Lindsell, a panel member since January 2007, replaces Ian Brindle, who has completed his final term. Lindsell recently resigned from E&Y where he was an audit engagement partner and global director of IFRS services. He is currently a member of the International Accounting Standards Board standards advisory council and the supervisory board of the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group.
• PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) firms throughout Europe have appointed a series of new partners. PwC Romania has appointed three new partners, strengthening advisory, indirect taxes and the assurance departments. Miroslav Bratrych has also been promoted to partner within the PwC Czech Republic transaction department.
• Grant Thornton UK has made a new addition to its pensions advisory team. Len Fawke joined Grant Thornton from watchdog the Pensions Regulator where he headed scheme funding. Fawke is both a chartered accountant and chartered tax advisor and was previously a partner dealing with a wide range of corporate transactions at a Big Four firm.
• MSI Global Alliance has strengthened its European representation with the addition of a new member firm in the Ukraine. Alt, a professional services practice, has 15 members of staff and is based in Kiev. The firm provides a range of audit, tax, accounting, management consulting and project finance services.
• PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Ireland has appointed 11 new partners in a variety of departments throughout the firm. The new partners include: Lisa Hayden, Tom Corbett, Emma Scott, Ronan MacNioclais, Brian Bergin, Irene O’Keefe, Dervia McCormack, Garrett Cronin, Gavan Ryle, Patricia Johnston and Andrea Kelly.
PwC is the highest fee income earning firm in the Republic of Ireland with €210 million ($330.5 million), according to last year’s International Accounting Bulletin’s survey of the republic’s accounting profession. KPMG Ireland is listed above PwC but its fee income includes Northern Ireland.
• The UK firm BDO Stoy Hayward has admitted ten employees as new partners. Seven of the partners are based in London and the remaining three are located in Southampton, Glasgow and Leeds. Outgoing BDO Stoy Hayward managing partner Jeremy Newman said: “These promotions demonstrate the firm’s continued commitment to invest in great people and to ensure we have the capability for continued growth. Our ability to promote from within is also a clear sign of the firm’s depth of home-developed talent.”
• The UK’s largest professional services firm admitted 58 new partners on 1 July. PwC UK has also recruited 22 new partners externally during the past 12 months, bringing to 80 the total number of new partners admitted during the firm’s 2007/2008 financial year.
Twenty-nine of the new partners were admitted to the assurance practice, 26 partners to the advisory practice and 25 to the tax practice. Of the new partner intake, 29 percent are female, bringing the total number of female partners to 107. Four new appointments have also been made within the firm’s strategy group. Nick George and Olivia Gillan have been promoted internally, while Richard Kibble and Johan van den Arend Schmidt have been hired from other strategy consulting firms. The UK firm’s strategy team now has 13 partners and 130 consulting staff members.
• Dan Thomas has joined KPMG Forensic from outsourcing and consultancy services specialist Huntswood. Thomas joins the practice as a partner and head of European sales and marketing. The KPMG Europe forensic practice has 450 staff with annual revenue of about £70 million ($140 million).
• KPMG UK has appointed Stuart Lawson to join its chief restructuring officer (CRO) team. The Big Four firm said Lawson joins the CRO team with the objective of enhancing the full service turnaround practice in the market.
North America, Latin America • The US firm BDO Seidman has appointed 18 new partners. Eleven of the new partners are in the assurance practice, four are in the tax business line, two are with BDO Consulting and one is in human resources. BDO Seidman chief executive Jack Weisbaum said: “The key to maintaining growth is a commitment to continued technical excellence and superior client service. Each of these new partners is an example of that.”
• Six notable deficiencies have been highlighted by the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board during its annual review of PwC US. The board conducts an annual inspection of each registered public accounting firm that regularly audits more than 100 issuers as a requirement of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The faults identified in the report included failing to test the underlying data and calculation of an award allocation and failure to test the fair value of an issuer’s software products. In a letter responding to the inspection drafts, PwC said additional audit procedures were only required and performed in once instance. The letter added that in no instances did the additional procedures or documentation impact its conclusions, the issuer’s financial statements or PwC’s report.
• Howard Roth has replaced Dale Anne Reiss as head of Ernst & Young’s (E&Y) global real estate practice. Roth, who previously led the Northeast real estate practice of E&Y US, has worked extensively in the real estate business for 30 years and will co-ordinate a network of 5,000 real estate sector staff around the world. Roth said under his leadership the practice would focus on a number of key priorities, including worldwide infrastructure development and privatisation, sustainability and responsible property investing, the credit slowdown and the movement towards reporting under IFRS as a replacement for US GAAP.
• PricewaterhouseCoopers US (PwC) has released a full suite of educational tools and programmes designed to help American accounting students learn the fundamentals of IFRS. The firm claimed its programme, IFRS Ready, was the first corporate education programme on IFRS being distributed directly to interested students and the first programme to provide tools for professors to use in their classrooms linked to the student materials.
PwC US partner Dave Kaplan said: “It is an engaging experience for students. It focuses them on many of the larger accounting differences between the two sets of standards. It is also an easy way for professors to introduce international standards to their students and start them down the path towards understanding IFRS, the set of accounting standards that students will use for the vast majority of their business careers.”
• Enterprise Network Worldwide, a global alliance of independent accounting and consulting firms, has admitted a three-partner firm in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Morrison & Smith offers services in tax, bookkeeping and auditing. The firm has three partners.