• The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public
Accountants
(HKICPA) has raised more than H$1.5 million
($192,265) to help earthquake victims in Sichuan, China…

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has launched a
new desk to help clients better execute trade and investment
opportunities between India, South Africa and the rest of
Africa…

• The European Commission (EC) has become a
member of the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB) nominating
committee…

• A consortium to help the US academic community prepare
students for the arrival of IFRS is being planned by
Deloitte US

Asia-Pacific

• Australian consolidator WHK Group has announced
it intends the 2008/2009 financial year to be a period of
integration and bottom-line improvement following a flurry of
acquisitions in the past two years. The Horwath International
member said it acquired revenue in excess of A$60 million ($57.7
million) since 1 July 2007, including several smaller transactions
presently being assessed. Since mid-2006 the firm has acquired
business worth about A$120 million. The Australian Stock
Exchange-listed group has 22 stand-alone member firms across
Australia and New Zealand.

WHK estimated earnings before interest, tax and amortisation of
intangible assets for the group for the year ending 30 June 2008
will be about A$50 million, an increase of 23 percent on the
previous year’s A$40.5 million in profits. The estimated profit for
the second half of the 2007/2008 financial of A$23.7 million is
below the A$26.3 million from the first half.

KPMG Australia has released a sustainability
reporting guide aiming to provide directors and senior
professionals with a timely tool when addressing this
highly-evolving area of reporting. Sustainability Reporting: A
Guide
will discuss the mainstream trend towards environmental,
social and governance reporting and the need for business
communities and individual companies to respond to the sustainable
development issues that may affect a company’s long-term economic
performance.

• The Financial Services Agency (FSA) of Japan
has outlined its ongoing efforts to improve Japan’s regulatory
environment in its inaugural progress report. The report noted the
FSA’s increased discussion with financial institutions, its
expanded public profile, including speeches and lectures, and a
greater use of English on its website.

The FSA said it strengthened co-operation with foreign
authorities and had expanded research functions, including the
establishment of a market analysis office in February 2008.

• The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public
Accountants
(HKICPA) has raised more than H$1.5 million
($192,265) to help earthquake victims in Sichuan, China. More than
300 members and institute staff donated nearly H$1.2 million, which
was topped up to H$1.5 million by the HKICPA Charitable Fund. The
institute said contributions will go to the Red Cross to aid its
relief efforts in the stricken region. The institute established a
daily tally on contributions from its members on its website, along
with a list of the members who donated money towards the
appeal.

• The actuarial division of Deloitte Australia
has renamed its practice. Previously known as Trowbridge Deloitte,
it will now be known as Deloitte Actuaries & Consultants.
Deloitte Actuaries & Consultants managing partner Andrew Gale
said: “The renaming of the business to Actuaries & Consultants
is the culmination of an eight year process of building specialist
capability. We wanted a name that was clear about who we are and
what we do and we wanted to identify more strongly with the
Deloitte brand.”

Africa, Middle East, South Asia

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has launched a
new desk to help clients better execute trade and investment
opportunities between India, South Africa and the rest of Africa.
The India-Africa Desk will assist businesses in identifying
opportunities and potential partners as well as help manage
commercial uncertainties, tax and the regulatory costs of doing
business in both regions. PwC project leader Troopti Naik said
India’s emergence as an economic powerhouse has triggered a rise in
trade and investment between the two regions. “Indian companies
want to come to South Africa as part of their global expansion,
especially in sectors such as mining, pharmaceuticals, telecoms and
automotive; and South Africa companies are evaluating expansion
opportunities in India,” Naik said. The desk was launched in the
Johannesburg business district of Sandton.

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of
India
(ICAI) is planning to set up a New York chapter in
order to provide networking and support to members based in the US.
The chapter will become the ICAI’s 20th outside India. At present,
the ICAI has chapters in Saudi Arabia, Botswana, Nigeria, Kenya,
Papua New Guinea, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait,
Australia, Canada, Indonesia, the UK, Oman and Zambia. Members can
attend continuing professional education programmes at chapters,
which also act as a bridge between the ICAI and foreign
professional bodies.

• The Corporate Laws Committee of the Institute of
Chartered Accountants
of India is to
develop corporate affairs standards that deal with business
valuation, investor protection, corporate restructuring and other
areas, to guide its members and stakeholders on global best
practices. The decision to establish the standards was approved in
principle at the institute’s council meeting this month.

• The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)
has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Securities and
Exchange Commission of Cyprus. The agreement is intended to enhance
information sharing and co-operation between the two organisations
as they both regulate Cypriot firm branches and subsidiaries that
operate in the Dubai International Financial Centre. DFSA chief
executive David Knott said: “As a member of the European Union,
Cyprus is an active participant in the work of the Committee of
European Securities Regulators, adopting and harmonising
international standards in Europe and continuing to establish world
class standards in the regulation of capital markets.”

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of
India
has approved Accounting Standard 32 – Financial
Instruments: Disclosures. The standard requires entities to provide
certain disclosures in their financial statements to enable users
to evaluate the significance of financial instruments for the
entity’s financial position and performance. It also allows users
to evaluate the nature and extent of risks arising from financial
instruments and how the entity manages those risks.

Europe

• An updated UK report on internal audit has found that while risk
and control frameworks have been strengthened, organisations are
still not doing enough to identify, manage and control their key
risks. Towards a Blueprint for the Profession revealed
that many internal auditors believe they could increase the value
they provide to organisations by extending their reach into areas
such as reputation, technology and projects not just concerned with
financial control. Conducted by the Institute of Internal
Auditors
and Deloitte UK, it also found
that only 15 percent of internal auditors said that these areas
were part of their remit now but five times as many expected them
to be so in 2012.

• The European Commission (EC) has become a
member of the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB) nominating
committee. The PIOB oversees the public interest activities of the
International Federation of Accountants such as the setting of
international auditing, ethical and education standards for the
accounting profession. The committee also announced that eight
current PIOB members have been reappointed and two former EC
observers appointed as full members of the PIOB.

• The UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has
confirmed that the ‘true and fair’ concept is still relevant in the
preparation and audit of financial statements. The concept has been
part of English law for many decades. Martin Moore QC said it still
has a place despite the enactment of the UK Companies Act 2006 and
the introduction of IFRS. FRC chief executive Paul Boyle said: “The
FRC believes that this opinion is an important confirmation that
the concept of ‘true and fair’ is a key contributor to the
integrity of financial reporting in the UK.”

• The Committee of European Securities
Regulators
(CESR) has recommended the EC accept Canadian
GAAP and South Korean GAAP as equivalent to IFRS in the EU until
the end of 2011. The recommendation was issued following a mandate
from the EC in March 2008, which requested technical advice on
Canadian, Indian and South Korean GAAP. CESR made the
recommendation after the announcements by the Canadian Accounting
Standards Board, the South Korean Financial Supervisory Commission
and the Korea Accounting Institute that both countries would adopt
IFRS by 31 December 2011.

• The Association of Chartered Certified
Accountants
(ACCA) has appointed a new leadership team.
Richard Aitken-Davies has been elected as president after serving
on the association’s council since 2000. He is also chairman of
ACCA’s nominating and financial reporting committees. Brendan
Murtagh, a partner in Dublin accounting firm LHM Casy McGrath, has
been elected as deputy president; and Mark Gold, a partner at
London-based accounting firm Silver Levene, has become
vice-president. Francis Chittenden and Pauline Hobson have also
been elected to serve on the association’s governing council.

North America, Latin America

• A consortium to help the US academic community prepare students
for the arrival of IFRS is being planned by Deloitte
US
. The Big Four firm said it will contribute its
experience and resources to address the “urgent need to help bring
IFRS curricula into college classrooms”. Through the consortium,
Ohio State and Virginia Tech universities will receive assistance
in drafting course materials such as classroom guides and case
studies, and Deloitte professionals will serve as lecturers. The
classroom guides and course materials will be made available to
other interested universities.

• The US Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) has selected Donal Byard, Susan Krische and Roger Martin as
academic accounting fellows. Academic accounting fellows serve as
research resources for SEC staff by interpreting and communicating
research materials as they relate to the SEC. Byard is an associate
professor of accounting in the Zicklin School of Business at the
City University of New York. Krische is an assistant professor of
accountancy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Martin is an associate professor of commerce at the University of
Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce.

• Expectations for the US economy remain negative among
senior-level executive CPAs according to a new American
Institute of Certified Public Accountants
(AICPA) survey.
The second quarter survey, conducted by the University of North
Carolina, found 57 percent of CPA respondents were pessimistic
about the economic outlook for the US over the next 12 months,
relatively unchanged from 59 percent who held negative expectations
in the first quarter.

KPMG Canada has released its fifth annual
social responsibility report, which outlines KPMG’s new
environmental objectives and provides details on its social and
economic performance. KPMG Foundation chair Marilyn De Mara said:
“Corporate social responsibility defines a firm and its culture
today. Not only is it our responsibility to give back to our
community but also it is clear that these commitments resonate with
our employees who really appreciate the opportunity to give back to
their neighbourhoods and abroad.”

• Jeannie Patton has been appointed to the American
Institute of Certified Public Accountants’
(AICPA) newly
created position of vice-president – students, academics and
membership. Patton was the winner of the 1999 AICPA distinguished
service award and is currently the chief executive of the Utah
Association of CPAs. Patton begins her new role at the institute in
July and will oversee student recruitment programmes, encourage
accounting graduates to pass CPA exams and serve the needs of young
CPAs.

• The American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants
has launched a new website aimed at keeping
financial professionals informed about the developments of IFRS.
The website IFRS.com includes informational videos, explanatory
material about IFRS, training programmes and links to other
relative resources.

• Kreston International has admitted Colombia firm RM
Auditores
. Based in the capital Bogata, RM Auditores has
two partners and 60 staff.