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November 2, 2010updated 29 Apr 2022 1:26pm

Region round-up

BDO Spicers Hawkes Bay has combined with Nesbitt Scott & Williams

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan has collaborated on a new corporate governance guide for family-owned companies…

• Five experts have joined Deloitte Germany from Big Four rivals…

• The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has found former Arthur Andersen partner Robert Putnam engaged in improper professional conduct…

Asia-Pacific BDO Spicers Hawkes Bay has combined with Nesbitt Scott & Williams. The merger adds another partner and two new staff members to the New Zealand firm, which now has 35 staff and four partners.

• Australian consolidator WHK Horwath Brisbane is set to acquire Horwath Brisbane to create a new A$25 million ($23 million) mid-tier firm. The merged firm, to be known as WHK Horwath Brisbane, will have 19 principals, 155 staff and funds under advice in excess of $400 million. The transaction is expected to be effective from 1 July with the combined entity continuing its affiliation with Horwath International. In a letter to the Australian Securities Exchange, WHK Group managing director Kevin White said the transaction would increase total acquired revenue in the current financial year to approximately $57.8 million.

Deloitte Australia and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA) have urged the government to introduce an entity flow-through (EFT) tax regime in order to reduce the complexity of tax laws and the compliance burden placed on SMEs. The two bodies released a report to spark debate about EFTs.

ICAA tax counsel Ali Noroozi said: “Currently SME groups predominantly use trusts to achieve flow-through taxation treatment – but this has led to unnecessary complexity, uncertainty and has also created compliance concerns for SME groups. Under the proposed EFT regime, instead of the entities being taxed, the tax effect of transactions would ‘flow through’ to the ultimate owners of the entity.

“Essentially, this results in the operating entity being ignored for tax purposes.”

Audit New Zealand executive director Terry McLaughlin will take the helm of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) on 30 June, when he becomes the new chief executive of the nation’s largest professional body. NZICA president Graham Crombie said McLaughlin, who has spent more than two years on the institute’s executive board, will bring a wealth of experience in accounting and management to the job.

Before moving to Audit New Zealand, McLaughlin was assistant auditor-general in the Parliamentary Group at the Office of the Auditor-General. His private-sector experience includes six years at Ernst & Young in New Zealand and the UK.

• The Malaysia-based Securities Industry Development Corporation (SIDC) is to become the first corporate finance (CF) qualification programme provider outside the UK and Canada after reaching an agreement with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA). The CF qualification was jointly developed by the ICAEW and the CICA.

The SIDC was incorporated in March 2007 and provides capital market education, training and information resources in the Association of South East Asian Nations region. It was formerly the training and development arm of the Malaysian Securities Commission.

SIDC chief executive John Zinkin commented: “This is another step for SIDC towards being internationally-recognised as the leading Asian training and development provider for capital markets.”

Africa, Middle East, South Asia Kreston International has admitted a new Indian member firm Frank & Co. Based in Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, the firm offers accounting and audit, tax and management consulting services. Kreston International now has eight member firms in the country.

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has launched a three-month residential course as part of a scheme to train accountants in soft skills. ICAI president Ved Jain inaugurated the programme, which will comprise of 50 students. The programme will help in developing management and communication skills.

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan has collaborated on a new corporate governance guide for family-owned companies, which is intended for progressive, medium- to large-sized, non-listed, family-owned companies in Pakistan. The guide establishes principles and practices that will help directors improve governance in their entities. The underlying objective of the guide is to support sustainable growth and long-term value creation in family-owned companies.

National Board of Accountants and Auditors Tanzania has teamed up with the Bank of Tanzania to hold a seminar on financial markets. The seminar is aimed at auditors, accountants, audit committee members and students. It covers topics such as: financial reporting requirements by financial institutions; the impact of IFRS to financial markets; IFRS and its contribution to the efficiency of the country economy; key issues on corporate governance; hedging and risk management; and the impact on money laundering to the economy and the profession’s responsibilities in the fight against money laundering.

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) has announced it will hold its final Associate General Accountant (AGA) exam in March 2009. Only students who are currently serving under a registered AGA contract or have completed a registered AGA contract and have an accounting degree are eligible to enrol.

SAICA introduced the AGA qualification in 1997. It was reconsidered in 2003 because the number of candidates who wrote and passed the exam was low and limited interest was shown in the qualification. The qualification was subsequently discontinued with effect from 2003 and no new training contracts were entered into after 1 January 2004.

• The Botswana Institute of Accountants has held what it has described as a long-overdue ethics course for its members. The half-day programme covered raising awareness and fostering dialogue, the changing role of business, an accountant’s role in fostering integrity, professionalism and ethics, and ethics management.

“One of the most topical subjects in the accounting profession today is ethics,” the institute said. “You may be technically up-to-date or satisfy the requirements of annual continuing professional development but if you are not rooted on a solid moral and ethical ground, then all this is to naught.”

Europe RSM Bentley Jennison has acquired independent financial advisory firm Chancery Group to strengthen its financial management division. In the past 12 months, RSM Bentley Jennison has doubled its financial management offering through organic growth and acquisitions, including Chancery Group and the acquisition of Giles Financial Services late last year. The division now has 100 staff and generates £8.5 million ($17 million) in fee income, which RSM claimed makes it the fifth largest financial management practice at a UK accounting firm.

Russell Brennan Keane (RBK), an Irish member firm of Kreston International and the Leading Edge Alliance, has appointed Brendan O’Donoghue as director of corporate recovery. O’Donoghue is the chairman of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland insolvency committee.

RBK chief executive Liam Rattigan said: “Brendan’s accomplished experience and knowledge of the corporate recovery market adds a particular strength to Russell Brennan Keane’s team in this sector.”

KPMG UK senior partner and chair John Griffith-Jones and BDO Stoy Hayward managing partner Jeremy Newman are among 12 members of a working group tasked with developing a code of best practice for the governance of UK audit firms. The Audit Firm Governance Working Group was formed following a recommendation in the recent Market Participants Group report, which tackled audit concentration issues. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Financial Reporting Council established the group.

• UK firm Cooper Parry has appointed Stephen Jones as a partner. Jones’s role will be to take responsibility for both the financial planning and personal tax teams and to lead and develop their service offerings.

Chief executive Jeremy Bowler said: “Stephen’s appointment reflects our ambitions to build the best private client team.”

Jones joined Cooper Parry in July 2005 and became a director of Cooper Parry financial services in January 2006.

Deloitte UK has appointed two directors, Neil Berry and Andrew Cameron, to lead its data practice sector.

Head of data practice, Michael Cullen, said: “We are delighted to have Andrew and Neil on board. Andrew will build our capabilities and market presence in the data-intensive telecoms, media and technology sectors and Neil will be building a pre-eminent capability around the [statistical analysis system] software stack.”

• Five experts have joined Deloitte Germany from Big Four rivals. The new partners have expertise in business development, tax consultancy, corporate finance and financial services. Berlin-based Martin Orth has joined Deloitte from KPMG, tax expert Achim Bollweg has joined Deloitte’s Hanover office after 12 years at KPMG and Daniel Döpfner previously spent 12 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Frankfurt and New York where he was involved in capital markets. Finance transformation specialist Tobias Menzel was most recently with KPMG in Luxembourg and Wolfgang Apel was previously with Ernst & Young and supervised activities leading companies listed on the German stock exchange.

North America, Latin America • Canada’s sixth largest professional services firm has revealed plans to become carbon neutral within five years. BDO Dunwoody has begun calculating its carbon footprint across its 95 offices. Keith Farlinger, the firm’s CEO-elect, said BDO intends to become a market leader on environmental issues and is the first national firm in Canada to commit to carbon neutrality.

• Jeffrey Thomson has been named the acting president and chief executive of the US Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) following the resignation of Paul Sharman. Thomson joined the IMA in 2005 and has most recently served as vice-president in charge of research and applications development. In that role he was responsible for the conception and launch of the IMA Research Center of Excellence, which the institute said has delivered global applications, tools and guidance to enable management accountants to perform as strategic business partners.

KPMG US has established the KPMG International Financial Reporting Standards Institute to raise awareness and address the information needs of US companies, investors, academics and others who may be affected by a transition to IFRS. The institute will hold its inaugural IFRS webcast this month. It will be hosted by KPMG partner Janice Patrisso who is director of the institute.

Ernst & Young Canada (E&Y) has recommended the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) allow Canadian companies to adopt IFRS before the 2011 changeover date. This recommendation was one of several the firm made in response to a concept paper proposing changes to securities rules on acceptable accounting principles for financial reporting. E&Y chief executive and chair Lou Pagnutti said the market should dictate which companies should adopt IFRS early.

Alvarez & Marsal US has appointed new team leaders and a national practice manager. Daniel Galante has joined the firm as a managing director and national practice leader to the transaction advisory practice based in Chicago. Galante brings 20 years of experience to his new position. He was previously a senior managing director of the litigation consulting services firm FTI Consulting. David Hall and Jon Ahern have also joined as managing director and senior director, respectively, within the forensic services team based in Denver. Both individuals specialise in financial, economic and accounting issues related to disputes in investigations and will bring this expertise to their new positions.

• The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has found former Arthur Andersen partner Robert Putnam engaged in improper professional conduct while acting as an audit partner for two US software companies in the late 1990s. The SEC imposed a cease and desist order against Putnam and revoked his ability to practice as an accountant before the commission. He can apply to resume practicing after five years. Putnam agreed to have a cease and desist order imposed without admitting or denying the findings.

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