Deloitte Australia has appointed a new leader
for its energy, infrastructure and resources group…

• A group of Indian and French accounting institutes have agreed
to work together on international accounting issues following a
recent summit in Delhi…

Grant Thornton UK will hold a seminar to
reveal information on the pre- and post-merger periods before its
combination with the firm Robson Rhodes…

Kolb+Co, a group of business advisory
companies operating in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has announced the
formation of a new affiliate, Kolb+Co Corporate Finance…

Asia-Pacific

Deloitte Australia has appointed a new leader
for its energy, infrastructure and resources group. Phil Hopwood
has been with Deloitte for 12 years. His background is in
consulting and he specialises in operational improvement, supply
chain, large technology engagements and extracting value from IT.
Hopwood said there is room to develop Deloitte’s position in the
resources sector. “Infrastructure also presents strong
opportunities, particularly given the current resources boom and
the strength of the Australian economy,” he said, adding that water
is also a crucial issue for Australia.

• The number of women signing up to CPA
Australia
’s entry programme is exceeding men, according to
research by the professional body. In 2007, 14,062 women enrolled
to study the CPA Australia programme compared with 10,150 men, a 16
percent difference. Women now account for 41 percent of CPA
Australia’s 117,000 members. Ten years ago, women accounted for 29
percent of the overall membership (87,000).

• The Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards
Board
has issued an exposure draft for comment. The
proposed Standard on Assurance Engagements (ASAE) 3500, Performance
Engagements, establishes mandatory requirements and provides
explanatory guidance for undertaking and reporting on performance
engagements. It is intended that this proposed standard will be
used for performance engagements beginning on or after 1 July 2008.
Comments should be submitted by 15 April 2008.

• An Australian government body, Equal Opportunity for Women in
the Workplace Agency, has named Ernst & Young
an employer of choice for women. Criteria for the accolade included
recruitment and selection processes, promotion and transfer
opportunities, training and development programmes, conditions of
service and benefits, and harassment and discrimination
policies.

• The Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards
Board
has released a guidance statement for reporting on
investment management services. GS 007 Audit Implications of the
Use of Service Organisations for Investment Management Services
provides guidance to all organisations that focus on investment
management services. Key features include expanding the scope of
guidance to apply to a wider range of organisations and clearly
separating guidance for ‘user’ auditors and ‘service’ auditors to
facilitate usability. It is effective from 1 July 2008.

• The Japanese Institute of Certified Public
Accountants
executive board recently approved a series of
amendments, including amendments to the ‘Interpretive Guidance for
Independence’ and amendments to ‘An Auditor’s Checklist’. The
changes have been made in order to conform to Japan’s amended
Certified Public Accountant Act, which is effective on 1 April
2008.

Ernst & Young Hua Ming, the network’s
Chinese member firm, has been officially appointed the financial
adviser for the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China. The agreement
was signed between the Big Four firm and the Bureau of Shanghai
World Expo Coordination. More than 70 million visitors are expected
to attend the expo, which will run from May to October.

Africa, Middle East, South Asia

• A group of Indian and French accounting institutes have agreed to
work together on international accounting issues following a recent
summit in Delhi. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of
India
(ICAI), Conseil Supérieur de l’Ordre des
Experts-Comptables and Compagnie Nationale des Commissaires au
Comptes have agreed to consult one another on responses to
international accounting and auditing standards. The institutes
will also investigate recognition of their respective
qualifications. The ICAI and both the accounting bodies in France
will also provide technical assistance for the development of the
accounting profession in developing and under-developed
economies.

• The Dubai Financial Services Authority has
registered two new firms as auditor and ancillary service providers
in the Dubai International Financial Centre. Farahat & Co, a
member of Leading Edge Alliance, and Sajjad Haider Chartered
Accountants, a member of Nexia International, have both been
enlisted as limited liability partnerships.

• Indian accounting delegates have met with Japanese
counterparts to establish a joint approach to tackle the move of
convergence from present accounting standards to IFRS, which will
be adopted by both countries in 2011. The meeting, which was
attended by members of both the Accounting Standards Board of Japan
and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of
India
, discussed both countries’ concerns regarding the
future adoption of IFRS. Decisions were then made to work closely
together for future convergence issues relating to the adaptation
of these standards.

• The number of black South African chartered accountants (CA)
has increased due to a targeted programme launched by the
South African Institute of Chartered Accountants
(SAICA). The initiative, Thuthuka, was launched four years ago as a
holistic approach designed to nurture promising black students from
high school and university to prepare them for their qualifying
examinations towards becoming CAs. An overview of the 2007
university pass rates of Thuthuka-sponsored students revealed that
88 percent passed their first year examinations with 82 percent
passing through the second year. Nthato Selebi, Thuthuka bursary
fund manager, anticipates more than 100 Thuthuka bursary funded
students will be taking exams at honours level in 2009.

• Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh
Organization
, has been appointed chairman of the
Encyclopedia of Excellence and Civilisation Committee by the
Encyclopedia’s Board of Trustees. The Encyclopedia is a Saudi
Arabian initiative aimed at highlighting the boundaries of the
country and includes all economic and developmental sectors within
the kingdom. Abu-Ghazaleh said: “It is a great honour to be part of
this endeavour that works relentlessly to promote excellence and
distinction within the Arab Islamic culture.” Abu-Ghazaleh is well
known within the accountancy profession and heads the independent
firm Talal Abu Ghazaleh International.

Europe

• A retired PricewaterhouseCoopers UK partner has
received an award from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in
England & Wales (ICAEW) for his significant contribution to
regional business and commitment to helping disadvantaged groups in
Yorkshire. Commenting on receiving the ICAEW’s 2008 outstanding
achievement award, Sean Mahon said: “I am delighted, surprised and
flattered to be presented with the award for outstanding
achievement. To receive the award is particularly special because
it is an acknowledgment by my peers.”

Grant Thornton UK will hold a seminar to
reveal information on the pre- and post-merger periods before its
combination with the firm Robson Rhodes. The seminar ‘Making
Mergers Work’ will highlight some of the successes and difficulties
faced along the way, and the key learning points that arose from
the merge of the two firms. It will be aimed at all senior finance
managers across the professional service firms. Grant Thornton UK
head of professional practice group Peter Gamson said: “Growth in
the professional services sector is more likely to come from
mergers than through external finance, so this will be an excellent
opportunity for anyone considering a merger in the future to learn
from our experience.”

Deloitte UK has announced the appointment of
a new strategic adviser to its public sector practice. Norman
Warner, a Labour peer and former Minister of State for Reform in
the Department of Health, will work with Deloitte’s clients
enabling the successful delivery of health and social care
policies. Deloitte UK head of public sector Mike Turley said: “Lord
Warner’s wealth of experience in formulating and delivering
successful health and social care policies will be invaluable to
our clients. His insights will inform our thinking and ensure we
remain at the forefront of developing solutions to the many complex
and challenging issues facing Government and the wider public
sector.”

Horwath Clark Whitehill has appointed a new
partner to join its risk and assurance group in London. Louis
Cooper brings more than 15 years of experience and has previously
worked at a Big Four firm. His expertise includes developing and
delivering technical support in areas such as: the corporate
governance requirements of the UK Combined Code and Turnbull
Guidelines; risk management frameworks and internal control; and
internal audit advisory, partnering and outsourcing services.
Horwath Clark Whitehill now has 71 partners across eight
offices.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Ireland partner Fergal
O’Rourke, and Tom Donohue, a senior tax partner with Leading Edge
Alliance member Russell Brennan Keane, are among 18 members of the
nation’s new Commission on Taxation. The commission has been
established by Irish Minister for Finance Brian Cowen to review the
structure, efficiency and appropriateness of the Irish taxation
system. The 18 members include the chair, Frank Daly, who is
chairman of Ireland’s Office of the Revenue Commissioners.

North America, Latin America

• IGAF Worldwide US member firm Stone Carlie
& Company
has appointed Rita Schwager as a principal
in the firm’s tax and business services department.

• The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has
published a staff notice following a review of compliance with
environmental reporting requirements by key industries. The notice
summarised key findings following a review of 35 Ontario-based
reporting issuers in the environmental services, industrial
products, mining, oil and gas, steel, transportation services and
utilities sectors. Staff looked at reporting of environmental
liabilities, asset retirement obligations, financial and
operational effects of environmental protection requirements,
environmental policies fundamental to operations, and environmental
risks. The review identified several areas of insufficient
disclosure.

Kolb+Co, a group of business advisory
companies operating in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has announced the
formation of a new affiliate, Kolb+Co Corporate Finance, which has
been formed to facilitate the expansion of Kolb+Co’s M&A
services to middle-market companies. The team will be led by
managing director John Kielich, who has more than 30 years of
experience in the manufacturing, financial services and public
accounting industries. The Kolb+Co group has 100 employees, 14
shareholders and is a member of IGAF Worldwide.

• US certified public accounting firm Hunter
Group
has promoted Maria Campanella Plucinsky as a
director. Plucinsky, who was formerly a senior manager with the New
Jersey-based firm, currently oversees accounting and auditing
services for both commercial and non-profit clients. Hunter Group
is a member of CPAmerica International.

• US firm RSM McGladrey has received an award
for its commitment to work-life balance. RSM McGladrey received the
Conference Board’s Moving Into the Future Award for its
Coach-on-Call programme. The programme offers 8,000 employees free
access to work-life coaching services from professional coach Karen
Lanson. Lanson helps employees develop, structure and manage ways
to maintain an effective work-life balance.

PKF Texas, a member of PKF International, has
announced the promotion of its new director for international tax
services. Frank Landreneau has been a member of the tax department
since 2005. He specialises in domestic and international tax
consulting and compliance services to public and private entities.
His experience also includes assisting clients operating in various
foreign tax jurisdictions with a variety of international tax
issues, such as transfer pricing, global tax minimisation, and
international organisational structuring.

Deloitte US has appointed a new director to
head the firm’s regulatory and capital markets consulting team.
Thomas Rollauer will rejoin the firm after working for four years
at Citigroup, where he managed the global compliance team.
Rollauer’s new responsibilities will include advising global
banking clients on the critical issues facing the industry with
specific reference to areas such as compliance, controls, corporate
governance, regulatory relations and risk management issues.