• Deloitte Australia has appointed Cindy Hook
as the new leader of its New South Wales (NSW) assurance and
advisory practice. Hook previously worked as a senior audit partner
at Deloitte US and brings more than 20 years of professional
experience, specialising in the life sciences and health care

She will focus on growing the firm’s NSW
client base of large listed companies, act as a mentor to new
partners and drive Deloitte’s Inspiring Women programme.

Deloitte assurance and advisory national
leader Rob Smith said the firm recognises that equal opportunity
for women and cultural diversity are critical to its ability to
attract and retain talent.

“Having an experienced female partner like
Cindy leading our largest audit practice provides a great role
model for women across the firm,” he said.

• KPMG Australia and Macquarie Bank joined
forces to create a full-scale carbon trading simulation under the
proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). The simulation
is designed to test drive clients’ emissions trading strategies and
assess their skills, knowledge and business readiness in order to
participate in the scheme.

“With the CPRS set to go live in less than two
years and a potential first permit auction in early 2010, business
can’t afford to be sitting on its hands,” said Jennifer Westacott,
KPMG head of climate change, sustainability and water. “Emissions
trading is a new discipline for most Australian organisations and
the simulation gives them the opportunity for hands on learning in
the mechanics without the financial, reputation and compliance
risks of the real deal.”

• Ernst & Young China (E&Y) has asked
its staff to take low-pay leave in a bid to save operating costs
amid the economic downturn, according to media reports. The
initiative will encourage E&Y staff to take 40 days of low-pay
leave between July 2009 and June 2010. Those who agree to
participate in the programme will get 20 percent of their usual
salary while retaining all of the benefits of a full-time

• The Deloitte Malaysia corporate advisory
services practice is the first professional services firm to become
an observer member of the Islamic Financial Services Board. Seven
other observer members were also admitted, including Etiqa Takaful
Berhad (Malaysia), Maybank Islamic Berhad (Malaysia), Barwa Bank
(Qatar), Woori Investment and Securities (South Korea), Islamic
Insurance Company (Sudan), Al Hilal Takaful Company (United Arab
Emirates) and Moody’s Middle East Limited (United Arab

North America, Latin

• JHI member firm Marks Paneth and Shron
recently merged with Montalto CPA, an accounting firm based in
Westchester, New York. Montalto CPA provides tax preparation and
compliance, as well as family office and business management
services to more than 350 businesses. Partner Anthony Montalto,
senior tax manager Lucille Murray and four support staff will join
Marks Paneth and Shron in its Tarrytown, New York office.

• Jeff Szafron has been appointed as a
managing director in the Alvarez and Marsel (A&M) dispute and
forensic services team in Boston.

Szafron will focus on internal investigations
and forensic accounting disputes. He was previously a managing
director with the accounting and financial consulting practice of
Huron Consulting Group and also worked for the audit practice and
the disputes consulting practice of Arthur Andersen.

“Jeff has led numerous internal investigations
of public registrants into complex accounting and financial
reporting issues and is a great addition to our team,” A&M
dispute analysis and forensics services head Bill Abington

• PricewaterhouseCoopers US predicts even
greater internal audit budget constraints in 2009 due to the
economic downturn, according to a recent study. The study,
State of the internal audit
, found that budget reductions had doubled
compared to the same study last year, with more than a third of
participants (36 percent) expecting their budgets to decrease in
2009 and 49 percent predicting they would remain flat.

Only 13 percent of respondents indicated that
their departments allocated at least 25 percent of resources to
strategic and business risks, while the majority (57 percent)
assigned this to more traditional financial risk. The survey was
conducted in the fourth quarter of 2008 with 700 internal auditors

• CPA Associates International has expanded in
the US state of Louisiana with the admission of Ericksen, Krentel
& LaPorte. The New Orleans-based firm has eight partners and 42

“We are very pleased to have added a second
outstanding firm in the state of Louisiana during the past year,”
CPA Associates International president Jim Flynn said. CPA
Associates International is an international association with 148
member firms in 72 countries.

• The criminal investigation into Madoff
accountant David Friehling has been extended by a month until an
indictment, further charges, or a plea has been made. Last month,
the US Securities and Exchange Commission sought charges against
certified public accountant Friehling and his firm, Friehling &
Horowitz CPAs. The regulator alleged that from 1991 to 2008
Friehling falsely claimed to audit financial statements and
disclosures of Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities. Reports said
Friehling and his lawyer consented to the extension and
investigators have until 17 May to file further charges against
Friehling. He could also be indicted by a grand jury or agree to
plead guilty to certain charges.

• Martin Baumann is the new chief auditor and
director of professional standards at the Public Company Accounting
Oversight Board (PCAOB).

Baumann replaces Thomas Ray, who left the
board in early March to return to the private sector. Deputy
director Jennifer Rand has been acting in the position.

Baumann joined the PCAOB in 2006 as director
of research and analysis.

He previously worked at
Pricewaterhouse-Coopers for 33 years, serving as deputy chairman of
the global financial services practice, global banking leader and
audit partner-in-charge of some of the Big Four firm’s largest


• Alvarez & Marsal Germany has appointed
Nedim Cen as managing director and co-head of the firm’s
restructuring practice. Cen previously worked as part of the
Goldman Sachs strategic advisory team and also served as engagement
manager at McKinsey & Company.

• KPMG UK has set up a data analytics platform
in its forensic advisory business to help organisations reduce
commercial risk and gain a competitive advantage.

KMPG said the new software will allow fast
analysis of computer-based data to help clients better understand
their businesses, reduce commercial risks and maximise profits.

• PricewaterhouseCoopers UK (PwC) has hailed
the European Parliament’s adoption of the Solvency II directive as
another major milestone on the path to new insurance regulations.
PwC UK partner Mark Batten believes any doubts about the 2012
deadline have been dispelled and implementation is well on

“There is still a good deal of work remaining,
including another QIS exercise, probably next year. But the good
news is we now have a clear framework and a clear path to the
finishing line,” he said.

• Going concern and related audit
considerations dominated a recent Forum of Firms symposium in

The symposium featured panel discussions on
topics including clients’ access to funding, and financial
statement and audit report implications related to going concern.
Audit considerations such as valuation and impairment, materiality,
and internal control implications were also debated.

The symposium was attended by more than 70
partners and senior executives from 24 international accounting

Forum of Firms chairman David Maxwell said:
“[The symposium] brings together the forum membership in a unique
manner to hear and openly exchange views, including hearing the
latest developments from the International Auditing and Assurance
Standards Board.”

Also at the meeting, it was revealed that
Baker Tilly International will leave the forum in December (see
International Accounting Bulletin 445).

• Deloitte UK has appointed Nick Robinson as a
director of its reorganisation services team. Robinson is a former
restructuring and distressed funds attorney of offshore law firm
Walkers. He specialises in corporate restructuring and cross-border
insolvency, and has experience advising clients in distressed fund

Nick Dargan, partner and head of UK
reorganisation services, commented: “His experience in advising
many of the largest distressed funds of recent years will prove
invaluable, particularly during these difficult times, and will
help to ensure that we continue to offer first class services to
our clients.”

• UK Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and
PLUS-quoted companies with a turnover of £50 million ($80 million)
will be regarded as major audits when the Professional Oversight
Board conducts its 2009 audit inspections.

The watchdog said it reduced the market
capitalisation threshold from £100 million to £50 million due to
the significant reduction in the overall market capitalisation of
these companies during the past year. Grant Thornton UK audits the
most AIM-listed companies.

Africa, Middle East, South

• The Satyam Computer Services board has
selected Tech Mahindra subsidiary Venturbay Consultants to acquire
a controlling stake in the company.

An accounting fraud totalling more than $1.44
billion was revealed at Satyam in January this year and the Indian
IT company has been searching for an investor to purchase a 51
percent stake since 9 March.

The Satyam board said Tech Mahindra, an
India-based IT and telecoms company, was the highest bidder. The
sale is subject to approval from India’s Company Law Board. Indian
firm Price Waterhouse was the auditor of Satyam at the time of the

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of
India (ICAI) has chosen 1,240 audit firms for a peer review in the
wake of the Satyam scandal.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India
(SEBI) recommended that all listed companies be audited by firms or
auditors that have been issued a peer review certificate by the
ICAI peer review board.

The institute previously peer-reviewed 4,000
firms and is said to be fast-tracking the next group.

In addition, the accounting regulator has
formulated a framework for corporate affairs standards. The
framework will be used to develop a benchmark, concepts,
principles, practices and procedures in relation to the

An ICAI committee has already drafted a
corporate affairs standard on business valuation and auditors’
appointment, among others.

The institute hopes the standards will ensure
Indian corporate governance is benchmarked with global best

• The South African Institute of Chartered
Accountants (SAICA) has become a certified training partner of the
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

GRI guidelines are the most popular framework
for sustainability reporting. SAICA is currently organising
training courses based on the GRI process.

• The Chartered Institute of Management
Accountants (CIMA) has opened an office in Karachi, Pakistan, in
response to the increasing demand for international finance
professionals throughout the region.

CIMA director Andrew Harding said the average
GDP growth in Pakistan is 6-8 percent and the country is an
exciting emerging market that is attracting multinationals from
around the globe.

“Our new office in Karachi will allow us to
offer even greater support to our existing members and students and
to create opportunities for the talented young people of Pakistan,”
he said.

• The Arab Society of Certified Accountants
has signed an agreement with the Development Institute for Science
& Computer in Dubai to train certified accountants.

The courses will qualify accountants under the
Arab Certified Professional Accountant curriculum and also offer
training in accordance with international accounting and auditing