Region round-up

Asia-Pacific

• 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.