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April 30, 2008

Region round-up

• Deloitte New Zealand has announced plans to merge with corporate recovery and forensic firm McCallum Petterson on 1 June this year…

Russell Bedford International has admitted Cameron & Prentice Chartered Accountants as its first member firm in Cape Town, South Africa…

KPMG Europe has appointed Richard Reid as the firm’s new London chairman…

• Kreston International US member CBIZ has acquired national executive search firm EFL Associates. Based in Kansas, EFL has offices in Denver, Chicago and Boston…

Asia-Pacific

• Horwarth International member firm WHK Group has completed a merger with KPMG Albury and its financial planning business unit, Excel Financial Planning. The firm has paid an undisclosed sum of money and will issue 1.2 million shares for the New South Wales practice.

• The Committee of European Securities Regulators has recommended the European Commission (EC) recognise the equivalence of US GAAP and Japanese GAAP to IFRS for use on EU markets but suggested postponing recognition of Chinese GAAP. The recommendation was issued following a mandate from the EC in December 2007 requesting technical advice on the equivalence of these jurisdictions.

Deloitte New Zealand has announced plans to merge with corporate recovery and forensic firm McCallum Petterson on 1 June this year. The McCallum Petterson team comprises 28 professionals with centres in Auckland and Wellington. Deloitte New Zealand chief executive Murray Jack said: “Given the challenging conditions in the market for businesses, we anticipate increasing demand for assistance in the area of corporate recovery so it made sense to bolster our resources in that area. The forensics practice will enhance Deloitte’s existing capabilities, focussing on the opportunities surrounding the hidden risks facing many companies. “We are confident that it will complement our strong existing capabilities in the area of risk management and analytical tools such as D’Tect.”

• Australian consolidator WHK Group has acquired a series of new businesses under purchase arrangements with existing members firms. The acquisitions consist of three accounting and finance broking businesses spread across the states of Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania. The total annualised revenue of the acquisitions is more than A$2 million ($1.9 million). WHK Group is Australia’s largest mid-tier accounting group and a member of Horwath International.

• The convergence project to eliminate the major differences between current IFRS and Japanese GAAP is on track to be completed by the end of this year, according to standard setters. Representatives from the International Accounting Standards Board and the Accounting Standards Board of Japan met to discuss progress of the convergence project, also known as the Tokyo Agreement. Issues that were discussed included consolidation, revenue recognition, insurance contracts – interaction with other projects, liability and equity and financial statement presentation.

CPA Australia’s Singapore division  has appointed a new president. Chaly Mah joins the institute after a 30-year career within the accounting industry, including being chief executive of Deloitte Southeast Asia and Deloitte Singapore. He is currently regional managing partner and chief executive of Deloitte Asia Pacific.

Africa, Middle East, South AsiaRussell Bedford International has admitted Cameron & Prentice Chartered Accountants as its first member firm in Cape Town, South Africa. Cameron & Prentice has 50 staff, led by partners Peter Prentice, Antonie van der Hoek, Chris Norris and David Warneke. The Cape Town practice has experience in auditing and due diligence, corporate and personal tax, management consulting, accounting, payroll processing, company secretarial services, wills and trusts. Commenting on the firm’s decision, Norris said: “Cameron & Prentice is a progressive firm and we view our link into the Russell Bedford network as a vital part of our expansion programme.”

• The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants has opened a new eastern region office in Durban.

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) will introduce an accounting technician qualification. India’s largest accounting institute said the qualification has been created to cope with a growing demand for unqualified staff fuelled by India’s strong economy. The new course will be split into three stages requiring an entrance exam, the completion of a technical accounting curriculum and a year of practical work experience. The course will comprise of four papers on: accounting; law, general commercial knowledge and business communication; cost accounting and financial management; and taxation (direct and indirect).

• The Dubai Financial Services Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong have announced a joint regulatory initiative to enhance access to Islamic financial products in Hong Kong and the Dubai International Financial Centre. The agreement outlines a commitment towards promoting and developing respective Islamic capital market segments, in particular on facilitating the distribution of Islamic funds in both business centres.

• The Arab Society of Certified Accountants (ASCA) has released a new edition of the ASCA curriculum, which has been validated by Cambridge University’s International Examinations. The new curriculum aims to prepare Arab accountants for advances in the accountancy profession and includes new standards of accounting and auditing.

• The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) has signed an agreement with the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta to establish a centre for the study of management accountancy. The centre will be based at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta’s campus and will conduct research on changing and improving management accountancy practices in India and the surrounding countries.

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has clarified best practice treatment for foreign currency derivatives. Although the professional body recently issued AS 30, Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement, which contains accounting for derivatives, it can only be applied voluntarily in a year’s time. One of the key clarifications issued by the ICAI is that entities are required to provide for losses in respect of all outstanding derivative contracts at the balance sheet date by marking them to market.

EuropeNitter og Simensen Asker has joined Russell Bedford International. The firm is located near Oslo and serves about 190 clients that are mostly small- to medium-sized enterprises. A significant proportion of these are engineering companies. The majority of the firm’s work is in auditing, tax consulting and management consulting. Nitter og Simensen was created when Halfdan Nitter and Petter Simensen acquired an existing audit practice in 2002.

Kreston International has admitted a new member firm in Cyprus, strengthening its presence in the country. Prois Audit, a four partner firm based in Nicosia, is the second Cypriot firm to join the association.

• British firm UHY Hacker Young has promoted Chris Kyffin-Walton to partner in its Brighton office. Kyffin-Walton has worked at the firm for eight years and provides business advisory, audit and accounting services to the local hotel and restaurant sectors.

KPMG Europe has appointed Richard Reid as the firm’s new London chairman. Reid, who joined KPMG in 1980, has replaced Ian Barlow, who is retiring after serving as London chairman for more than six years. Reid’s role involves strengthening links with business leaders and communities across London and helping to promote the City as a leading international centre for professional services.

PricewaterhouseCoopers UK has appointed a new director to head its forensics services team in Scotland. Richard Neave joins from the firm’s assurance practice where he specialised in providing audit services and regulatory compliance advice to financial services firms.

KPMG Europe has advised the UK Ministry of Defence on the nation’s largest single private finance initiative to date. The £13 billion ($26 billion) initiative involves replacing the Royal Air Force’s air-to-air refuelling fleet. KPMG has been the principal financial advisor to the ministry on the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft project since 1999 and helped the ministry establish and negotiate the commercial principles and structure of the deal.

Deloitte UK has appointed Stuart Sparkes as a corporate finance director in the firm’s technology, media and telecommunications specialist M&A team. Sparkes said that the new role should allow him to expand his horizons into the broader media sector.

Xavier Maitrier has been appointed as director of PricewaterhouseCoopers France’s (PwC) management consulting business. Maitrier has more than 15 years of experience in consulting at PwC, where he became a partner in 1997.

JHI has admitted a new member firm in Belgium. A&F Services is a two partner firm that specialises in financial and forensic audit, accountancy and advisory services. The firm has clients from a variety of industries, including maritime, pharmaceutical, production and services, hospitals, social and not-for-profit.

North America, Latin AmericaPricewaterhouseCoopers US chair and senior partner Dennis Nally has publicly argued the transition from US GAAP to IFRS is inevitable and a positive development that would help make America’s capital markets more competitive while reducing the cost and complexity for multinationals.

• Michael Sorelle has joined Grant Thornton US as an executive director and leader of the firm’s Philadelphia health care practice. Sorelle has 19 years’ experience serving the diversified health care not-for-profit sector. This includes consulting on accounting and auditing issues, joint venture transactions, bond financings, feasibility studies, merger and acquisition analyses, reimbursement issues and financial advising.

Deloitte US has appointed a new leader to its mergers and acquisitions strategy department. Mark Sirower joined Deloitte from PricewaterhouseCoopers US.

• Kreston International US member CBIZ has acquired national executive search firm EFL Associates. Based in Kansas, EFL has offices in Denver, Chicago and Boston. It provides services to commercial and industrial companies, organisations at a developmental stage and non-profit organisations in the fields of higher education and the public pension retirement industry. EFL recorded about $4.8 million in revenue during 2007 and has 34 associates. CBIZ is a member of Kreston International.

• Baker Tilly US member Cherry Bekaert & Holland (CB&H) has acquired two-partner practice Massey + Pittman. CB&H said the acquisition provides it with a larger presence in metropolitan Atlanta and greatly expands its firm-wide real estate and construction industry group. CB&H operates in almost 20 centres across Southeast US.

• The Leading Edge Alliance has admitted US firm Jones & Roth as a member. Jones & Roth is a 61-year-old Oregon firm with three offices and 100 staff and partners. “Our membership in the Leading Edge Alliance enables Jones & Roth to tap the resources of a multibillion dollar global professional services organisation,” Jones & Roth managing partner Doug Griesel said.

Polaris International has increased its global membership by admitting three new member firms: Perisho Tombor Ramirez Filler & Brown in the US, Juárez & Fú Accounting & Consulting Group in Honduras and Webb Martin Consulting in Australia.

• A CPAmerica member firm, Hughes Pittman & Gupton, has appointed a new partner to join its corporate tax subsidiary. Heather Drake will focus on corporate tax and business planning, and consulting clients in industries including biomedical and pharmaceutical, software and technology development, manufacturing and venture funds.

Grant Thornton US has been named to the 2008 Companies That Care Honor Roll for the fourth consecutive year, joining KPMG and Deloitte among 41 organisations on the list. The distinction recognises an outstanding and measurable commitment to their communities.

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