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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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