PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has admitted 52
new partners across the Asia-Pacific region… The
Institute of Management Accountants has released a
report on a two-year study about the…
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has made a $4 million
donation to the Office of the United… PKF
Australia
has promoted Geoff Edwards to director of the
firm’s audit and assurance team in Adelaide… The
Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) has
released an amendment to AASB 2008-7…  The
South African Institute of Chartered Accountants
(SAICA) has launched a new training model… The Australian
Securities & Investments Commission
(ASIC) has
outlined five key market issues…

Africa, Middle East, Asia-Pacific

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has admitted 52 new
partners across the Asia-Pacific region. Thirty-one of the new
partners are from China, 12 from Hong Kong, eight from Singapore
and one from Macau. These admissions bring the total number of
partners to more than 460 in these countries. Since July, PwC
China, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore has operated on a combined
basis, subject to local laws. The combined workforce of these
member firms is 11,000 people.

Within these countries, PwC is located in Beijing, Hong Kong,
Shanghai, Singapore, Chongqing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Macau, Qingdao,
Shenzhen, Suzhou, Tianjin and Xi’an.

• The Institute of Management Accountants has
released a report on a two-year study about the development of
Chinese accounting standards and accounting systems, as well as the
cost accounting system and cost management practices of Chinese
enterprises.

Costing Methodologies and Cost Management Practices in the
People’s Republic of China
reviewed the costing practices of
more than 200 Chinese state-owned enterprises, listed companies and
privately-owned companies.

The study found that most Chinese companies follow traditional
methods for allocating costs to products, although the use of more
accurate costing techniques is emerging. It also noted that while
differences exist between the costing practices of Chinese
companies and those used by Western companies, a convergence of
practices is in process.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has made a $4
million donation to the Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for Darfur refugees as part of
its Power of 10 campaign. The ten-day global campaign was
established with the UNHCR to mark the tenth anniversary of the
firm and involved PwC employees from 102 countries.

Funds are to be used to build and run schools for 20,000 Darfur
refugee children living in Eastern Chad. Children and teachers will
also receive a daily meal, teacher training and school supplies as
part of the programme.

PKF Australia has promoted Geoff Edwards to
director of the firm’s audit and assurance team in Adelaide. The
firm has appointed and promoted a series of new partners and
principals in offices across the country recently.

• South Africa’s accounting and legal professions have agreed on
interim measures to satisfy the compliance requirements of the
Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA)
and provincial law societies.

The agreement involves standardising the format of the assurance
report required for attorneys’ trust accounts. Joint Attorneys’ and
Accountants’ Committee chair Vincent Faris said the need to review
and update audit procedures was due to a changing technological
environment as well as changes to international reporting standards
and procedures.

The IRBA is currently drafting a new set of guidelines,
procedures and an audit report, which it anticipates will be
effective from the end of February 2009.

• The Australian Accounting Standards Board
(AASB) has released an amendment to AASB 2008-7 Cost of an
Investment in a Subsidiary, Jointly Controlled Entity or
Associate.

The amendment responds to concerns regarding the initial
measurement of cost, in accordance with AASB 127 Consolidated and
Separate Financial Statements, in the separate financial statements
of a new parent formed as a result of a specific type of
reorganisation.

It also responds to the retrospective determination of cost and
applying the cost method in accordance with AASB 127 on first-time
adoption of Australian equivalents to IFRS. Use of AASB 2008-7 is
mandatory from 1 January 2009, with early adoption permitted.

• The South African Institute of Chartered
Accountants
(SAICA) has launched a new training model that
combines the competencies incorporated in the institute’s two
training models into a single model. At present, SAICA students
qualify by either training inside public practice or training
externally, in private business or the public sector.

SAICA project director for training Adri Kleinhans said the new
model aims to ensure the SAICA programme responds to the needs of
the South African economy and ensures the CA designation remains
relevant and sustainable.

Kleinhans explained that the competencies currently prescribed
for the SAICA training programme would be redefined with a more
equal weighting of auditing and other core technical areas such as
tax, management accounting, financial management and financial
accounting.

• The Australian Securities & Investments
Commission
(ASIC) has outlined five key market issues it
will focus on over the coming months, which specifically respond to
concerns emerging from current market conditions.

Audit and accounting issues surrounding present valuation
methodologies and disclosure for complicated financial assets were
highlighted as areas of importance. ASIC commissioner Belinda
Gibson said because financial results for the year to 30 June are
due, ASIC’s accounting team will focus on valuation accounting, the
correct treatment of off-balance sheet entities and correct
classification of debt as current or long-term.

• The US Securities and Exchange Commission and
the Australian Securities and Investments
Commission
have signed a mutual recognition arrangement
that will allow US and Australian stock exchanges to operate in
both jurisdictions without the need of separate regulatory checks
in both countries. Under the arrangement, US and Australian
broker-dealers and stock exchanges will be able to promote a freer
flow of capital in providing wider investment opportunities where
previous investor protection regulatory regimes were in place.

• The Accounting Practices Committee of the South
African Institute of Chartered Accountants
has proposed
changes to the standard AC 503 – Accounting for Black Economic
Empowerment (BEE) Transactions, which brings the local standard in
line with recent revisions to IFRS 2 – Share-based Payment. The
changes are primarily expected to affect companies that have
entered into BEE transactions with non-market performance targets,
which are targets that are not linked to the company’s share price.
The amendments are due to take effect for annual periods beginning
on or after 1 January 2009.

Europe

• Natalia Pryhoda has been appointed senior manager in the tax and
legal services department at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
Czech Republic
. Pryhoda has been with the international
network for eight years after joining the PwC US transfer pricing
practice in 2000. In her new role, she will be responsible for
client offerings in transfer pricing and will contribute to the
practice’s development throughout Central and Eastern Europe.

Grant Thornton UK has appointed a new partner
in its corporate finance team. Ian Wilson previously worked at
Ernst & Young in both London and New York, where he spent five
years as partner and headed up the global network’s aerospace team.
Wilson has also worked at Bear Stearns as a managing director
within the investment bank’s technology coverage team. Part of his
new role at Grant Thornton will be driving industry initiatives in
aerospace, defence and related sectors.

Deloitte UK has expanded its site location
services team with the appointment of a new senior manager. Steve
Halsall joins the firm following an extensive career within the
client services industry. Deloitte’s site location services team
helps retail clients assess their store portfolios to determine
whether sales from each store reflects the size, location and local
market. Halsall’s new responsibilities include leading the site
location offering with the banking and leisure sectors, and working
with Deloitte’s retail clients.

• Tax specialists Kirsten Tassell and Adam Waller have been
promoted to partner in the private client services practice at
Deloitte UK.

KPMG Turkey has established a new company to
provide services related to customs and trade. Akis
Yetkilendirilmis Gümrük Müsavirligi will offer clients services to
help companies move commodities at lowest cost as well as advisory
services on judicial and administrative disputes.

• Maggie Stilwell, Richard Indge and Jim McCurry have joined the
Ernst & Young UK fraud investigation and
dispute services practice in London. The firm said the number of
partners in the practice has doubled across the UK in the past
year.

Head of fraud investigation and dispute services John Smart
commented: “With the current slowdown in the UK economy, we expect
companies to experience increased levels of scrutiny from their
investors as they attempt to reduce the level of risk held in their
portfolios and also from regulators.”

Tyrrell and Company, a tax consultancy firm
based in Cambridgeshire, UK, has promoted Kerstin Meeson-Smith to
partner. Since joining the firm 16 months ago, Meeson-Smith has
specialised in general practice, business coaching and business
development.

• Barry Murphy has been named the new technology sector leader
for PricewaterhouseCoopers UK. Murphy joined the
firm in 1994 and has worked across the technology, media and
telecoms sectors in the UK and US. Murphy’s new role as the head of
technology will see him driving research, helping the firm’s
practice capabilities when going to market and sharing his
expertise across PwC’s global network.

North America, Latin America

McGladrey & Pullen has added two new
partners to a specialised practice that provides audit services to
credit unions across the US. Co-founder of the credit union audit
practice Gene O’Rourke said the addition of Sherry McCoy and Tracy
Whetstone was part of the firm’s long-term strategy to add even
greater depth and expertise for better client service and
responsiveness.

Grant Thornton US has admitted 36
professional staff as partners and principals across the
country.

Chief executive Edward Nusbaum said: “Grant Thornton is
fortunate to have professionals of this calibre and character and
we look forward with enthusiasm to their continued success.”
Meanwhile, Joshua Bushard has been appointed to head the national
hospitality industry practice at the firm after 13 years within
audit services. Grant Thornton’s hospitality practice focuses
primarily on large restaurant franchises, hotels and resorts,
casinos, and sports and entertainment entities.

• The US Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) chairman Christopher Cox has revealed the successor to the
regulator’s 1980s era EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis,
and Retrieval system) database. The new system, IDEA (Interactive
Data Electronic Applications), aims to provide investors faster and
easier access to key financial information about public companies
and mutual funds. The decision to replace EDGAR marks the SEC’s
transition from collecting forms and documents to making the
information freely available to investors to give them better and
more up-to-date financial disclosure in a form they can readily
use.

• US business services firm LECG has
strengthened its finance and accounting practice with the addition
of 16 professionals. The staff previously worked at the financial
advisory and litigation consulting practice of Aon Consulting. They
have expertise in forensic accounting, corporate investigations,
auditing and litigation consulting.

Deloitte US has expanded its discovery
practice with the launch of a new electronic discovery solutions
centre. Based near Nashville, Tennessee, Deloitte said the new
13,180 square-foot centre will enable clients to address discovery
challenges in a more effective manner.

Deloitte Financial Advisory Services chairman Frank Piantidosi
said: “In today’s global business environment, multinational
companies may need to collect and process data on servers, hard
drives and devices throughout the world for just one discovery
request… The electronic discovery solutions centre allows us the
flexibility to grow as the marketplace advances.” The new centre
will employ about 100 professionals.

Grant Thornton US has published Insights
on Revenue Recognition
, a guide that includes
industry-specific advice on software revenue transactions. The firm
said the publication provides a simplified road map that assists
users to navigate through the maze of accounting literature related
to revenue recognition. It also incorporates examples to illustrate
the application of US GAAP and addresses specific guidance for
software companies.