• The Accounting Standards Board of Japan has released two accounting standards and an issue paper for public comment. The accounting standard for Construction Contracts (Statement No 15) and the Guidance on Accounting Standard for Construction Contracts (Guidance No 18) are available in Japanese only. The issue paper on accounting for research and development costs has been published for comment until 4 February 2008.
• CPA Australia president Alex Malley has met with former Australian cricket coach John Buchanan to discuss how the keys of success in sport translate to business. Commenting on the meeting, Malley said: “These days, our members – like John – are strategic resource managers. No matter whether they’re managing cash flow, carbon emissions or water usage, they’re key to business.” The discussion can be downloaded from the CPA Australia website.
• The Australian Accounting Standards Board is seeking comments on a proposed definition and guidance for not-for-profit entities. The board said the distinction between profit and not-for-profit entities is a significant aspect of the Australian financial reporting framework because different recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure requirements can apply to each type of entity. Comments are due by 31 March 2008.
• The Financial Services Agency of Japan has published a plan to strengthen the competitiveness of the nation’s financial and capital markets. The agency said bolstering its financial and capital markets has become a pressing policy issue in order to sustain the growth of Japan’s economy because of the country’s ageing population. The plan incorporates providing a business environment that boosts the financial services industry and promotes competition, improving the regulatory environment and improving the broader environment surrounding the markets.
• The Australian Accounting Standards Board has released an exposure draft on proposed amendments to determining the cost of an investment in a subsidiary, jointly controlled entity or associate. The draft incorporates the International Accounting Standards Board’s exposure draft of proposed amendments to IFRS 1 First-time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards and IAS 27 Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements – Cost of an Investment in a Subsidiary, Jointly Controlled Entity or Associate.
• A report from CPA Australia, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia and National Institute of Accountants has highlighted a selection of areas where the International Accounting Standards Board’s proposed IFRS for SMEs needs to be improved.
• BDO McCabe managing partner Albert Au has been elected as president of The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants for 2008. Since joining the council four years ago, Au has served on many committees, including the faculty steering group, whose task is to demonstrate the institute’s professional thought leadership. Wilson Fung and Paul Winkelmann have been elected as vice-presidents.
Africa, Middle East, South Asia • Daniel Dunga has replaced Hennox Mazengera as executive director of the Society of Accountants in Malawi (SOCAM). Mazengera is one of the longest-serving council members on the Eastern Central and Southern African Federation of Accountants. In a farewell speech, he revealed that SOCAM has grown to about 500 members in just over a decade and has a net worth of MWK48 million ($338,000).
• Pengiran Haji Moksin has been elected as the next president of the Federation of Accountants (AFA) of the Association of South-East Asian Nations. Moksin is the president of the Brunei Darussalam Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Malaysian Institute of Accountants president Nik Mohd Hasyudeen Yusoff has been elected as the new vice-president of the AFA. The appointments were announced at an AFA council meeting in Indonesia last month. The new office holders will serve two-year terms.
• Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan past president and council member Syed Mohammad Shabbar Zaidi has been elected as president of the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) for 2008. He was elected this month at the third SAFA board meeting in Mumbai, India. Muhammad Asif Iqbal, director of professional standards compliance and evaluation at the institute, has also been nominated as executive secretary of SAFA.
• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka has revealed that W Fernando will take over as president for the years 2008/2009. He will be joined in a leadership capacity by vice-president D Mudalige.
• The Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) is introducing a programme to certify whether financial contracts between Islamic financial institutions and their clients comply with AAOIFI standards, particularly Sharia standards. The objectives of the programme are to increase awareness of AAOIFI standards, to promote compliance of the standards, and to introduce harmonisation of Islamic finance practices.
• Ernst & Young Middle East (E&Y) has been recognised as the most outstanding business advisory and consulting firm at the fourth Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum recently. It is the second year in succession the firm received the award. Sameer Abdi, head of E&Y’s Islamic Financial Services Group, commented: “We are very inspired by this acknowledgement as it highlights the value of our experience and capabilities in the Islamic finance services industry.”
• The Securities and Exchange Board of India has strengthened ties with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. A new agreement has been signed to identify and discuss regulatory issues of common concern; continue and expand the existing programme of capacity building and technical cooperation; and improve co-operation and the exchange of information in cross-border securities enforcement matters.
Europe • Spanish firm BDO Audiberia has expanded its business in Andalucía, in the south of Spain, through alliances with Engloba and Martinez-Echevarria. The alliances are currently of a temporary nature, but are expected to result in a merger within two years. Engloba Auditores is a professional services firm with fee income in 2007 of about €300,000 ($430,000) together with nearly €150,000 from its collaboration partner Engloba Asesores y Consultores. Growth perspectives for 2008 are estimated at 66 percent, BDO Audiberia said. Martínez-Echaverría has 17 offices in south-east Spain, Africa and the US.
• Three new members have joined the European Court of Auditors for renewable terms of six years. Michel Cretin of France, Henri Grethen of Luxembourg and Harald Noack of Germany began their terms this month.
• Ernst & Young UK (E&Y) has admitted 17 new partners, taking the total number of partners added during the past six months to 29. The appointments are spread across all the firm’s service lines and industry sectors as well as geographically across the UK. E&Y chairman Mark Otty said the Big Four firm has recruited record numbers of staff at all levels recently. “Not only do we have the most international and diverse leadership of any major professional services firm in the UK but we have the highest number of female partners amongst the top six firms,” Otty claimed.
• UK consolidator Vantis, a member of HLB International, has recruited Fiona Cross as an associate tax partner. Cross will operate across the company’s two London offices. She has more than 15 years’ experience in international tax issues, corporate reorganisation, restructuring, acquisitions and disposals. Cross is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales, the Chartered Institute of Taxation and the Institute of Indirect Tax.
• UK local governments and authorities are to prepare their accounts using IFRS from 1 April 2010. The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) outlined details of a two-year programme to develop and implement a new IFRS-based code of practice for local authority accounting. CIPFA said the timetable should ensure councils have enough time to prepare for the move to IFRS.
• Alexander Tutunnik has been appointed as risk advisory services partner at KPMG in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Tutunnik has been working in the banking sector for more than 15 years and has been seconded abroad to the US, UK, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Luxembourg. He specialises in advisory services and bank audit and has previously worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte.
North America, Latin America • International association MGI World has published an opinion article from US-based Accountants Advisory Group (AAG) outlining its predictions for the accounting profession in 2008. AAG noted that large firms would continue to recruit significant numbers of entry-level staff, which would inhibit the ability of small firms to obtain the talent necessary for future growth. This will increase the outsourcing of compliance work and the amount of foreign accountants hired. AAG also predicted that merger transactions and the consolidation of the profession will continue to gain momentum.
• Former Deloitte US director Chip Staton has joined Leading Edge Alliance US member firm Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain (LBMC) as director of operations in its Brentwood, Nashville office. LBMC co-managing principal Mike Cain said Staton’s background “will enable him to contribute rapidly as a leader for our internal support groups”. Staton has more than 19 years’ experience in finance, internal audit and information technology.
• Three well-established South Carolina firms have announced they intend to merge. Schleeter Monsen & Debacker, which was established in 1919, McKnight Frampton CPAs and Elliott Davis intend to combine and operate under the Elliott Davis name. The new entity will be a member of the Leading Edge Alliance.
• Maloney and Novotny US, which was formerly known as Hausser and Taylor, has joined Nexia International. The firm has provided audit and attest services to clients for more than 75 years. Based in Ohio, the firm has 16 partners and approximately 50 professionals.
• The Certified General Accountants Association (CGA) of British Columbia has elected Patrick Keller as its president for 2008. Keller is an electronic commerce audit specialist for the Canada Revenue Agency in Penticton. His role at the CGA chapter is to represent members and students to the business community, educational institutions, government and the public. Keller was first elected to the institute’s board in 2002.
• Brad Wilson has been named chief administrative officer of Grant Thornton US, becoming the newest member of the firm’s senior leadership team. In the new role, Wilson will oversee three internal client service functions: human resources, marketing and sales, and information technology. Wilson is based at the firm’s Minneapolis office, where he is an assurance partner. He recently served on the firm’s national partnership board and was the Minneapolis professional standards partner.
• PricewaterhouseCoopers US (PwC) has revealed that Brad Oltmanns and Rick Rosas will again lead the balloting process for the 80th Academy Awards. PwC has led the balloting process of the Oscars for the past 74 years. Oltmanns commented: “PricewaterhouseCoopers has created an intentionally low-tech process of hand tabulations that reflects the pride we take in having maintained the highest level of security and secrecy for seven decades and counting.”
• Illinois firm Mueller & Co, a member of CPAmerica, has admitted Ann Behrens as a new partner. Behrens joined the firm in 2003 and has 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry. She specialises in the provision of business valuation and tax services to closely held businesses.