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May 18, 2009

Region Round-up

Asia-Pacific

Deloitte Australia has
launched an online accounting service designed for small- to
medium-size businesses, providing them with the ability to securely
record transactions, monitor performance and prepare financial
reports.

Deloitte partnered with Irish software company
Visor, developer of accountsIQ, to develop the online accounting
platform that allows real time collaboration with its network of
advisers, such as accountants, bank managers, business mentors or
franchisers.

Deloitte Digital chief executive Peter
Williams said it could change the nature of the client-accountant
relationship from a ‘once a year’ contact to an ongoing
conversation.

• The chairman of the Securities and
Exchange Board of India
(SEBI), CB Bhave, has said the
market regulator will bear the cost of a peer review of all Nifty
and Sensex companies’ accounting statements to avoid another
Satyam-like financial scandal.

Bhave said SEBI will pay for the peer review
fees so there is no conflict of interest in the minds of investors.
The board will review how to fund the exercise in the future.

The regulator has also decided to subject some
listed companies outside of the Nifty and the Sensex, who will be
chosen on a random basis, to be reviewed. The Satyam scandal came
to light in January when the software company’s founder and chair
Ramalinga Raju wrote to the Satyam board, admitting to fraud
totalling more than INR7,000 crore ($1.44 billion).

• John Alexander has been appointed a
principal and joins the management team of New Zealand firm
MGI Auckland. Alexander’s appointment follows the
merger of the accounting practice JSA with MGI Auckland on 1
April.

Alexander has a particular interest in risk
management projects and works with a client base of small- to
medium-sized family businesses. The firm said his appointment will
provide an additional opportunity to ensure MGI Auckland meets the
demands and opportunities ahead.

Deloitte Global managing
partner of operations Manoj Singh has been appointed to the
US-India Business Council’s (USIBC) board of directors. USIBC is a
business advocacy organisation comprised of US and India companies
that aims to strengthen trade between the two countries. Prior to
his current role, Singh was chief executive of Deloitte Asia
Pacific.

• Andrew Conway has officially taken over as
chief executive of the National Institute of
Accountants
(NIA) in Australia. Conway was previously
deputy chief executive. His promotion follows the departure of
Michael Carmody. Conway has managed the NIA’s technical, advocacy
and international divisions as deputy chief executive since early
2007 and became acting chief executive after Carmody’s departure.
The institute said the details of Carmody’s departure are
confidential.

• The Chinese Institute of Certified
Public Accountants
has issued guidance and launched a
website to help the accounting profession combat the financial
crisis and enhance market confidence. The guidance reinforces the
importance of the profession’s ethical responsibilities and calls
on the profession to strengthen quality assurance, risk control and
internal governance.

• The Association of Southeast Asian Nations’
Federation of Accountants (AFA) has agreed to
accelerate the development of mutual recognition agreements among
its member bodies. The AFA framework is intended to facilitate the
negotiations for mutual recognition of accountancy services between
AFA members by providing a structure for these agreements. To
assist the process, the Indonesian Institute of Accountants and the
Malaysian Institute of Accountants have been asked to share their
experience in negotiating the first bilateral mutual recognition
agreement.

• The Australian Auditing and
Assurance Standards Board
(AUASB) has issued guidance,
‘Auditing Considerations in an Uncertain Economic Environment’,
which outlines issues auditors should consider when undertaking
their work.

AUASB chairman Merran Kelsall said auditors
may need to make significant changes to their audit procedures to
address financial reporting issues.

Europe

Mazars UK has strengthened
its forensic and investigation services with three senior
appointments. Tom Mitchell has joined from KPMG and will head
Mazar’s forensic and investigation services practice in Scotland.
Nick Baker, formerly at RSM Bentley Jennison, is to become a senior
manager in the Birmingham office. Mark Taylor has joined as partner
in the London office from forensic consultancy Lee & Allen.

KPMG UK has made three
senior appointments to build its tax practice. Angus Wilson joins
as a tax partner in the infrastructure tax group from investment
and advisory firm Babcock and Brown. Darren Mellor-Clark joins as
associate partner in the indirect tax practice from UBS and Lydia
Simpson joins the tax legal services practice as a senior manager
from commercial law firm Nabarro.

Caitriona Hunt, the head of the business
services tax practice at KPMG UK, said the firm was enjoying strong
growth in key areas and that the appointments would enhance the
firm’s tax practice capabilities.

• The Institute of Chartered
Accountants in England and Wales
(ICAEW) has taken a
“significant step” in its strategy to expand international
operations by appointing its first Southeast Asia regional
director. Mark Billington, who was previously the Asia-Pacific
chief executive for telecoms company O2, will be responsible for
building the ICAEW’s presence and profile within the region. There
are already almost 1,800 ICAEW members in Southeast Asia.

• The terms of all three managing board
members of KPMG France have been extended for four
years as of 29 April 2009. The board is composed of Jean-Luc
Decornoy, Jacky Lintignat and Jay Nirsimloo. Decornoy has been
re-appointed as president of the board for a third term. Decornoy
also leads the firm’s global audit services and is a member of KPMG
International’s executive committee. Lintignat and Nirsimloo will
serve as director generals.

Grant Thornton remains the
auditor of the most UK Alternative Investment Market (AIM)-Listed
clients, despite losing six clients in the last quarter, according
to the latest Hemscott auditor rankings. The ranking of the top
five AIM auditors in the first quarter of 2009 remained the same as
the end of 2008. However, all but fourth-placed Deloitte UK lost
clients. Grant Thornton dropped to 207 clients in total, still well
clear of second-placed KPMG, which was down five
to 183 clients.

BDO Stoy Hayward dropped one
client for a total of 133, Deloitte remained
steady with 128 clients and PricewaterhouseCoopers dropped four to
110 clients.

PricewaterhouseCoopers UK
was among the winners at the 2009 UK Opportunity Now Awards, which
recognised organisations working towards gender equality, diversity
and inclusion.

The firm won two awards, the first for
advancing women in business through its programme Diversity and
Strategy and Increasing Women Partners. The firm was also
acknowledged for its gender advisory council.

• Ali Kazimi is to join Deloitte
UK
as a partner in its funds advisory team. He will be
leading the asset pooling team. Kazimi has 15 years’ experience and
previously worked at Ernst & Young as head of investment and
operational taxes.

North America, Latin America

• Baker Tilly International member firm
Cherry, Bekaert & Holland (CB&H) has
acquired the Miami-based accounting and consulting firm McKean,
Paul, Chrycy, Fletcher & Company (MPCF). CB&H’s Florida
practice now has 19 partners and more than 150 professionals, which
places it as one of the largest firms outside the Big Four in the
state.

MPCF’s Jamie Byington and Joel Chrycy will
join as tax partners, while Larry Fletcher and Michael Weinstein
will join as audit partners.

“The talent and expertise within MPCF builds
upon CB&H’s already strong foundation, expanding our solid
reputation as industry experts and providers of specialised
services in the region,” CB&H partner-in-charge Paul
Fedorkowicz said.

• Global professional services firm
Alvarez & Marsal has appointed Sandra Dunleavy
as a managing director in its financial industry advisory services
group.

Dunleavy has more than 30 years of leadership
experience in the financial services industry, including 26 years
at the Bank of America, where she served in a variety of executive
management roles.

A&M financial industry advisory services
head Samuel Golden said Dunleavy’s experience and knowledge will
serve as valuable assets to the group.

“She brings a truly unique set of expertise
having run nearly every banking business unit, from branches to
commercial, mortgage and student lending,” he said.

Dunleavy will be based in the firm’s
Washington DC office.

Deloitte US has agreed to
pay $950,000 to settle a class action lawsuit brought forward by
investors in Beazer Homes. The total settlement was worth almost
$31 million, with the remaining $30 million to be paid by Beazer
Homes and four of its executives.

The class action was filed in 2007 on behalf
of investors who bought Beazer securities at allegedly artificially
inflated prices between 27 January and 12 May 2008.

Deloitte was the home building company’s
auditor at the time. The complaint alleges that the class bought
Beazer stocks at prices artificially inflated as a result of the
defendants’ dissemination of materially false and misleading
statements. In making the settlement, Deloitte denied any
wrongdoing or liability.

Alvarez & Marsal has
recruited Barron Green as a senior director in the firm’s business
consulting practice. Green brings more than 20 years of experience
to the firm. He specialises in improving operational performance
for communications companies and enhancing the performance of
telecommunications systems while reducing overall spending.

Green’s most recent assignments prior to
joining A&M included assisting a health care provider
renegotiate its current telecom contract.

Previously, Green was a founding management
director with Protiviti, an international risk consulting firm.

He was also a partner of Arthur Andersen’s
business and risk consulting practices, where he served as the
global co-leader of the firm’s revenue assurance practice from 2000
to 2002. Green joins the A&M office in Dallas, Texas.

• Philadelphia firm Shechtman Marks Devor is
to join AGN International. The firm has eight
partners and 49 staff, and provides audit and tax services to
health care professionals and the real estate industry. AGN
International is the world’s 18th largest accountancy group,
according to last year’s International Accounting
Bulletin
’s world survey. It admitted Minneapolis firm
Froehling Anderson in January.

• One in four of Canada’s leading private
companies plan to adopt IFRS, according to a recent study by
KPMG Enterprise and the Canadian Financial
Executives Research Foundation.

However, participating executives in the study
warned that the differences between private company GAAP and IFRS,
which will be adopted by public companies by 2011, could present
challenges in accessing equity and debt financing if there is
inadequate comparability of financial reporting under the two sets
of standards. Other concerns came from smaller companies, which
were mostly concerned by the cost implications of adopting
IFRS.

• US consolidator CBIZ, a
member of Kreston International, has reported revenue growth of 12
percent to $220 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2009.
Revenue from newly acquired operations, net of divestitures,
contributed $26.8 million to revenue growth in this period. CBIZ
also repurchased about 838,000 common shares in the first quarter
at a cost of approximately $6.7 million.

“We are very pleased with our first-quarter
results, which reflect growth in revenue and earnings in line with
our expectations for 2009,” CBIZ chairman and chief executive
officer Steven Gerard said.

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