ASIA – PACIFIC

• KPMG Australia has acquired independent economic
consultancy Econtech to service the rising demand for
macro-economic modelling from the private and public sectors. Chief
executive Geoff Wilson said there has been a surge in demand for
macro-economic modelling and analysis capabilities, particularly
around the impacts of climate change, skills shortage, tax reform
and the credit crunch.

“In this increasingly sophisticated global environment we are
experiencing strong demand for macro-economic analysis from our
clients so this acquisition will bolster our existing team as well
as complement many of our related business lines such as
demographic analysis, risk advisory and actuarial services,” Wilson
said.

KPMG Australia chief economist Brendan Rynne said the
acquisition would greatly assist his team to meet the demand from
private and public sector clients requiring more detailed analysis
on investing in new projects and policies. The nine team members of
Econtech started at KPMG on 1 August.

Deloitte New Zealand has appointed Bruno
Dente as partner. Dente, previously based in South Africa, joins
the firm’s Hamilton office audit practice. He has experience across
a wide range of industries including financial services, mining,
transport, property, advertising and manufacturing. The Hamilton
office now has eight partners and 130 staff.

• The Australian government’s response to climate change must
include other complementary policy initiatives over and above the
proposed emissions trading scheme to ensure Australia remains
economically competitive, according to the head of the country’s
largest accounting institute.

CPA Australia president Alex Malley suggested
several possible policy initiatives, including an investment
allowance of up to 20 percent for capital expenditure on new low
emissions technology. He also proposed higher research and
development tax concessions of up to 200 percent into low emissions
technology, and allowing companies, particularly electricity
generators, in a loss situation to exchange their tax losses for
emissions permits.

• David Evans has joined KPMG Australia’s risk
advisory services practice in Perth from Westpac bank, where he was
the chief manager for the Fijian Islands. Evans has more than 30
years of senior banking and finance experience in Australia and the
Asia-Pacific region.

KPMG Australia chairman Steve Scudamore said: “Our focus at KPMG
is to deliver a high level of service to our clients in the
financial services industry and David’s appointment will complement
the skills of our existing team and bring new insight that will
benefit our clients.”

CPA Australia is seeking comments from
members about the Australian Accounting Professional and Ethical
Standards Board’s proposed standard on forensic accounting
services. APES 215 Forensic Accounting Services includes mandatory
requirements and guidance on fundamental responsibilities,
professional competence, confidentiality requirements and
professional engagement matters. It also covers witness services,
quality control requirements and professional fees.

AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST, SOUTH ASIA

• South Africa is set to implement 17 accrual-based public sector
standards of Generally Recognised Accounting Standards within the
next year. Modelled on International Public Sector Accounting
Standards, they will apply to all public sector entities and lead
to enhanced financial reporting, transparency and
accountability.

Patrick Kabuya, the project director for public sector at the
South African Institute of Chartered Accountants,
said the application of the standards will bring to fruition a
reform process that started in 2003. He said the implementation
will make South Africa one of the few countries in the world to
adopt accrual-based standards in the public sector. The standards
were developed by South Africa’s Accounting Standards Board.

• The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) is to open an
office in Dubai. IMA Middle East business
development manager Faten Dabboussi will head up the office and is
responsible for the development of membership, corporate
involvement, training partners and individual member services.

IMA president and chief executive Jeffrey Thomson said: “The
expansion of IMA into the Middle East is a huge milestone for the
institute, its members and accounting and finance professionals
around the world. As Dubai becomes a financial powerhouse, it is
only fitting that IMA has an office to serve the thousands of
finance and internal accounting professionals in the region.”

• The implementation of IFRS 7 Financial Instruments:
Disclosures is causing greater problems for South African companies
than originally predicted, according to Ernst & Young
South Africa
(E&Y).

IFRS 7 deals with the disclosure requirements surrounding an
entity’s financial instruments. When the standard was released,
E&Y said, clients perceived IFRS 7 would only focus on
disclosure requirements and not present implementation
difficulties. However, the comprehensive disclosure requirements of
IFRS 7 create a complication because current financial reporting
systems are not equipped to generate the required information,
according to Laura Elliott, a senior manager at E&Y’s
Johannesburg office.

“Even though IFRS 7 requires disclosures based on management’s
perception of risk, systems were not created with IFRS 7
requirements in mind,” Elliott said. “More detailed disclosures are
seldom recorded.”

The new requirements necessitate preparers and auditors have an
intimate knowledge of financial instruments. Elliott said this is a
problem in a country with a skills shortage.

The Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of
Bangladesh
recently discussed the economic impact of
Cyclone SIDR, which devastated Bangladesh in November last year.
The impact was outlined in a survey report, Devastations Caused
to the Bangladesh Economy by Cyclone SIDR-2007
, presented by a
past-president of the institute, Nurul Hassan.

The report estimated the total cost to the economy stands at
BDT307.9 billion ($4.4 billion).

EUROPE

Ernst & Young has appointed UK partner Karl
Havers to lead the technology practice across Europe, the Middle
East, India and Africa (EMEIA).

Havers will be responsible for a technology team that operates
across 87 country practices in the firm’s new EMEIA area. The new
area generates $11.2 billion in revenue with more than 60,000
people and 3,300 partners.

• Patrick Potter has joined PKF UK’s Guildford
office from Ernst & Young. The mid-tier firm’s new assurance
and advisory partner has more than 26 years of experience working
within the manufacturing, technology, communications, leasing, and
transport and logistics sectors.

Ernst & Young Slovakia has promoted
Robert Srnka to director of business advisory services. Srnka, who
has been with the Big Four firm for two years, will help to develop
the team and services, focusing on business advisory, internal
audit, forensic services, fraud detection and solutions in project
management and risk management.

National managing partner Stan Jacubek said: “We perceive the
economic growth in Slovakia through the ongoing growth of our
department. We have also witnessed a steady increase in the number
of clients and their demands and we have therefore decided to
strengthen business advisory’s management and appointed Robert, who
is an experienced senior manager.”

Deloitte UK has promoted four members of its
insurance team after significant growth at the practice. Paul
Coulthard has been appointed as a partner; Amish Desai has been
promoted to associate partner; and Philip Oliver and Julia Holden
have become directors.

Deloitte life actuarial and insurance practice lead partner
Roger Simler said in spite of current market uncertainty, the
insurance practice at Deloitte had seen significant growth this
year and the promotions highlight the firm’s investment in client
service.

• UK Morison International member firm Tenon
has appointed a new national head of financial services to drive
the growth of the business. Peter O’Sullivan, previously regional
director, embarks on his new role at the same time the firm is
preparing to launch a new range of services and products.

• Gavin Phillips has become the new head of
PricewaterhouseCoopers UK (PwC) London Market and
Lloyd’s insurance group. The PwC partner has also become a member
of the UK insurance leadership team at the firm. Phillips takes
over from Philip Calnan, who will continue to work with clients
both in the Lloyd’s, London Market and wider insurance sector.

Baker Tilly UK has won the Pension Scheme
Accountants of the Year title at the inaugural European Pensions
Awards. UK firm RSM Bentley Jennison was the
runner-up.

Baker Tilly head of pensions Ian Bell commented: “Our strategy
of putting scheme trustees first, building up their knowledge and
confidence and preparing them for the many changes in the industry
has clearly been recognised by the judges.”

NORTH AMERICA, LATIN AMERICA

• Northeast US firm Marcum & Kliegman
(M&K) has expanded its real estate financial services group by
admitting two new partners. Matthew Pinto has more than 20 years of
experience in finance and accounting for real estate, construction
and asset management, while Robert Weiner specialises in financial
statement preparation, accounting systems, financial modelling and
investor reporting.

Jeffrey Weiner, managing partner of the Leading Edge Alliance
member, said: “Matthew and Robert bring a highly-successful track
record to M&K. They will each play an integral role in
expanding our growing real estate and construction practice areas.”
M&K has six offices and 500 professionals.

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of the
Caribbean
(ICAC) and the Association of Chartered
Certified Accountants
have signed an agreement to
implement a regional practice monitoring programme in Barbados,
Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Firms within the three regions will be monitored to ensure audit
reports and audit procedures are in compliance with international
standards on auditing and other internationally recognised rules.
The programme is a regional initiative of the ICAC and is intended
to put the Caribbean region on par with the UK, US, Canada and many
other countries that have already implemented similar
programmes.

Deloitte US has completed the acquisition of
systems integration firm Solbourne. The Big Four
firm said the acquisition will improve its ability to capitalise on
enterprise software company Oracle’s strategic direction by
broadening and deepening the firm’s service capabilities in core
and emerging applications.

The management team and more than 120 professionals have joined
Deloitte and are expected to move into the firm’s enterprise
applications, technology integration and human capital service
areas. Deloitte’s worldwide Oracle service line has access to more
than 5,400 professionals.

• CPAmerica International firm ERE has merged
with small Manhattan-based CPA practice Goldman and
Company
. As part of the combination, Lewis Goldman and
Melissa Goldman will join ERE as principals in the firm’s
international tax and private client services group.

Lewis Goldman has worked for more than 40 years as a tax
attorney, CPA and a business consultant. Melissa Goldman has 20
years of experience as an attorney in tax law.

ERE is a full-service accounting firm with 125 staff, 20
partners and principals. It has offices in Manhattan and
Westchester, New York.

• Elisse Walter has been sworn in as a commissioner of the
US Securities and Exchange Commission. Walter was
appointed by US President George Bush and inaugurated by commission
chairman Christopher Cox.

• Leading Edge Alliance Arizona member Henry &
Horne
has admitted new partner Jeremy Smith.

Smith specialises in taxation and cost segregation and has
worked at Henry & Horne for nine years.