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June 30, 2008

Region round-up

KPMG China has appointed 35 partners to support the firm’s expansion and embrace challenges and opportunities in growing markets… The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) has recorded a rise in the pass rate of part one of its qualifying examination… Amadou Raimi has been re-elected as chairman of Deloitte France for another three years. The audit specialist has been chairman of the French firm since 2004… Deloitte US is to acquire a life sciences subscription database and advisory services firm…

Asia-Pacific

KPMG China has appointed 35 partners to support the firm’s expansion and embrace challenges and opportunities in growing markets. Over the past three years the firm has doubled the size of its workforce to more than 7,000 people and it plans to grow to 10,000 people by 2011.

• New Zealand firm Campell Forbes has become the second Auckland-based practice to join Kreston International. Campell Forbes will participate in the strategic plans of Kreston Australia & New Zealand.

• JHI International has admitted a South Australian chartered accounting firm to its association. Adelaide-based Shearer & Elliss has 35 staff and specialises in strategic planning, accounting and tax management, asset protection and estate planning services.

• The Australian Government has amended the Trade Practices Act to recognise new CPA Australia professional standards schemes in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory and Queensland, effective from 12 June 2008. The New South Wales scheme was prescribed in October 2007. This has the effect of limiting the occupational liability of scheme members to an action for contravention of section 52 of the Trade Practices Act, in the same way as occupational liability is limited under the relevant state and territories laws of the applicable Professional Standards Act.

• The Australian Financial Reporting Council is working on a paper that explores different options for establishing an accounting standard for an emissions trading scheme. The decision was one of several made when the council met in Canberra recently. Other major outcomes of the meeting included a proposal to form an Australian expert panel to provide advice on the credit crunch and valuations, and a statement from the Australian Audit and Assurance Standards Board chairman that Australia should expect International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board clarity standards to be adopted on 1 January 2010.

• The Accounting Standards Board of Japan has released a draft accounting standard on disclosures about fair value of investment and rental property and its implementation, as well as a further six draft standards on business combinations and related matters. The drafts are available only in Japanese and comments are requested by 20 August.

• The Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board has issued its first assurance standard on compliance engagements. Assurance Standard 3100 Compliance Engagements will assist with the audit or review of an entity’s compliance of requirements under legislation, regulation, company policies, statutory requirements and enforceable contractual obligations. The board previously provided subject matter-specific guidance to auditors on areas of compliance. Practitioners will need to use this standard for reporting periods or engagements commencing on or after 1 October 2008. Early adoption of the standard is permitted.

Africa, Middle East, South Asia

• The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) has recorded a rise in the pass rate of part one of its qualifying examination – 53 percent passed this year, up from 46 percent in 2007. The institute has also reported an increase in the pass rate among African first-time candidates from 54 percent in 2007 to 63 percent in 2008. There was an 80 percent pass rate among Thuthuka students.

SAICA executive president Ignatius Sehoole said he was pleased with the overall increase in the pass rate, which he said was a result of improvement in both first time and repeat candidates. “We shall not under any circumstances compromise our world class standards. We continually look at the process in the context of the requirement that we never allow standards to decline.” He was also pleased with the presence of an African candidate in the top ten. At present SAICA has 20,885 members based in South Africa who hold the chartered accountant designation of whom 973 are African.

• A memorandum of understanding is to be formulated between the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and Middle East professional services group the Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization. The memorandum will draw up a comprehensive strategic plan for co-operating in capacity-building in the Arab region. This will include education, qualification and training in the public and private sectors.

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India has issued an exposure draft of the Revised Standard on Auditing (SA) 600, Special Considerations – Audits of Group Financial Statements (Including the Work of Component Auditors). SA 600 is based on the revised and redrafted International Standard on Auditing 600, which was issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board in October 2007. Comments are requested by the end of this month.

• Middle East-based professional services group the Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAGorg) has signed a strategic partnership with the UK-based Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Under the agreement, TAGorg will use the CIMA certificate in Islamic finance as a base for its own certificate in Islamic finance and an MBA in Islamic business finance. TAGorg will hold the programmes in English as well as translate them into Arabic. The two accounting entities also discussed creating an international institute in the area of Islamic business and finance called the Chartered Islamic Business and Finance Institute. Meanwhile, TAGorg has opened its 71st office in the Dubai International Financial Centre.

• The Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP) has appointed a new executive director. Mushtaq Ahmed Madraswala, who prior to joining ICMAP was a consultant with National Bank of Pakistan, has 27 years of diverse experience in managing, reporting and system development for control functions of banking and finance. He has a long association with ICMAP, including as chairman of the Karachi branch council for 15 years.

Europe

•Amadou Raimi has been re-elected as chairman of Deloitte France for another three years. The audit specialist has been chairman of the French firm since 2004. Raimi has also been a member of Deloitte Global’s board since 2006 and its vice chairman since last June. Deloitte has been estimated as France’s fifth largest firm according to this year’s International Accounting Bulletin survey, with fee income in excess of €484 million ($776 million).

• Irish Leading Edge Alliance member Russell Brennan Keane (RBK) has launched a new scholarship as a part of its 50th anniversary celebrations. The Paddy Russell RBK masters in business administration scholarship is awarded to students who wish to study the MBA programme at the Athlone Institute of Technology. The scholarship is named after the late founding partner of the firm Paddy Russell.

Grant Thornton UK has appointed a new tax partner to join its London-based transactions tax team. Paul Cooper brings ten years of experience to his new position and has been a director at a private equity fund as well as an M&A tax partner at KPMG. Cooper will now focus on transactions in the private equity and corporate sectors. He will also provide tax advice for clients undertaking restructurings and re-negotiating finance.

Deloitte Ireland has appointed Michael Flynn and Christian Macmanus as corporate finance and audit partners respectively in its Dublin office. Honor Moore and Mike Sheehan have also become audit and tax partners in the firm’s Cork office.

• Nexia International has admitted a new member firm in Gibraltar called Benady Cohen & Co. Founded in 1995, the firm has two partners, six staff and offers a full array of professional services.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Czech Republic has established a tax practice at its office in Ostrava. The Ostrava office has traditionally provided assurance services only. Zuzana Vanecková has been appointed managing partner of the tax office and Zenon Folwarczny will be responsible for its day-to-day management and operation. Folwarczny commented: “We perceive North Moravia as a region with great economic opportunities, and there are a number of successful companies with great potential for international growth. We want to be even closer at hand; therefore, we expanded the scope of our services to include tax advice, which is very important for a company’s development and expansion.”

• Lee Watson has joined Ernst & Young UK (E&Y) after 12 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Watson will be advising lenders across a range of UK and European restructuring fields. The E&Y global head of restructuring, Alan Bloom, said: “[Watson’s] appointment shows our continued dedication to increasing our European presence in restructuring. He is a proven restructuring adviser who has worked on many high profile complex restructurings and brings with him a good market network.”

North America, Latin AmericaDeloitte US is to acquire a life sciences subscription database and advisory services firm. Recombinant Capital will add a database with more than 1,500 subscribers and 20 years of historical data to Deloitte’s life sciences consulting practice, which offers consulting, financial advisory, tax, audit and enterprise risk services. Terry Hisey, vice-chairman and industry leader for Deloitte’s life sciences industry group, said: “New business models are emerging that require life sciences companies to consider new strategies for growth, including forging alliances, entering emerging markets, executing mergers and acquisitions and developing new types of drugs. With the addition of Recombinant Capital, Deloitte will be able to provide clients with unparalleled access to information and analyses.”

• The three-partner firm Vazquez y Ordoñez has joined Kreston International. The firm is based in Tapachula Chiapas, Mexico.

• Business strategy expert Matthew Comerford has joined global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal as a managing director and a leader of the customer solutions team. Based in New York, Comerford joins the firm from management and technology consultants BearingPoint, where he served as the New York practice leader for strategy and transformation. He specialises in working with senior business executives to address a variety of strategic, organisational and transformational issues. During the past two decades, Comerford has worked with clients across various fields, including financial services, insurance, retail and distribution, and health care.

• Kreston International has admitted TP Consulting, a two office firm based in Ecuador and Peru. The firm broadens Kreston’s transfer pricing expertise in the region.

• A succession planning resource centre has been established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to assist small- and medium-sized firms. Only 35 percent of multi-owner firms and 9 percent of sole owner firms have a written succession plan, according to a recent survey by the AICPA.

The online resource centre provides a variety of succession scenarios practitioners can work through, including selling the firm; merging the firm both downstream and upstream; developing new leadership; and transitioning issues associated with retiring partners and the value of the firm.

Deloitte US and networking technology company Cisco are joining forces. The initiative is aimed at enabling the two organisations to map business processes to network intelligent services, such as communication and collaboration, user identification, and wireless location detection so businesses can achieve more visibility, control and responsiveness to their existing applications. Robert Lloyd, Cisco senior vice-president of the US, Canada and Japan, said: “This go-to-market agreement with Deloitte will focus on practical solutions that help our customers respond faster to operational and market dynamics having an immediate impact on their business decisions.”

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