Mills chosen to lead UK
oversight board…
IASC releases revised constitution
review proposals… European standard setters call for
financial reporting review
…  Global
auditing board outlines three-year strategy

IASB launches credit crisis webpage
IFRIC releases interpretations on real estate and hedge
accounting… Singaporean accountants rise rapidly, research finds…
IFAC division issues proposals to clarify code of ethics… Audit
standard setter issues revised standards… Deloitte UK hits £2
billion mark…

 

PEOPLE
Mills chosen to lead UK oversight board

A barrister and adjudicator for Her Majesty’s Revenue and
Customs (HMRC) has been appointed as the next chair of the UK
Professional Oversight Board. Barbara Mills will replace John
Bourn, who served more than two terms as chair of the board and its
predecessor. Mills, who takes on her new role on 1 October, has
been adjudicator for HMRC since 1999 and is also a member of the UK
Competition Commission. Her career as a barrister included work on
financial fraud cases. Mills’ career highlights include being
appointed as a Queen’s Counsel in 1986 and director of public
prosecutions from 1992 to 1997.

REGULATION
IASC releases revised constitution review proposals

The trustees of the International Accounting Standards Committee
Foundation have released revised proposals for the creation of a
monitoring group and changes to the size and composition of the
International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). One change from
the initial proposal is the trustees are now recommending the IASB
normally be comprised of four members from Asia/Oceania region,
four members from Europe, four members from North America, one
member from Africa, one member from South America and two members
from any area subject to maintaining overall geographic balance.
The previous proposal did not mandate representation from Africa
and South America, instead suggesting there should be four members
from any area. Comments on the proposal are due by 20
September.

REGULATION
European standard setters call for financial reporting
review

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By GlobalData

Financial reporting did not cause the current crisis in global
financial markets, according to a group of European standard
setters. However, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group
and UK, French and German standard setters do believe existing
financial reporting requirements should be reviewed. Four possible
areas of weakness worth exploring were identified, including
disclosures that should be provided to support the measure used,
and derecognition and the disclosures provided about off-balance
sheet items. Measuring financial instruments at fair value,
particularly in illiquid markets, was another area singled out for
review.

STRATEGY
Global auditing board outlines three-year strategy

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB)
has released its strategy and work programme for 2009 to 2011. The
three-year plan includes emphasis on the development of standards
that contribute to the effective operation of the world's
capital markets and that address the needs of small- and
medium-sized entities and small- and medium-sized practices. IAASB
chair John Kellas commented: “The IAASB's vision is that
the high-quality standards on assurance, related services and, in
particular, International Standards on Auditing that we develop in
the public interest are adopted and applied internationally.”

STRATEGY
IASB launches credit crisis webpage

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has created
a dedicated section on its website to outline the initiatives it
has underway that are related to the credit crisis. The webpage
lists the responses the IASB has made in relation to the April 2008
report from the Financial Stability Forum (FSF), which suggested a
series of recommendations for enhancing market and institutional
resilience in the wake of recent market turbulence. According to
the IASB, three of those recommendations relate to enhancements to
financial reporting and that forms the core of the IASB’s response
to the credit crisis. The IASB has also responded to FSF
recommendations on accounting for off balance sheet vehicles and
strengthening standards to achieve better disclosures about
valuations and methodologies.

STANDARDS
IFRIC releases interpretations on real estate and hedge
accounting

The International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee
(IFRIC) has released two new interpretations. IFRIC 15 Agreements
for the Construction of Real Estate provides guidance on how to
determine whether an agreement for the construction of real estate
is within the scope of International Accounting Standard (IAS) 11
Construction Contracts or IAS 18 Revenue. It is effective for
annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2009 and is to be
applied retrospectively. IFRIC 16 Hedges of a Net Investment in a
Foreign Operation was created after constituents asked for guidance
on accounting for the hedge of a net investment in a foreign
operation in an entity’s consolidated financial statements. It is
effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 October
2008.

RESEARCH
Singaporean accountants rise rapidly, research finds

New professionals can quickly rise through the ranks within the
first few years of their career, according to research by the
Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore. On average,
accountants surveyed for the study had been in the profession for
six years but the level of experience and age gaps between the more
junior and senior staff was not significant. The study revealed 21
percent of accountants had risen into managerial positions within
five years of joining the profession.

STANDARDS
IFAC division issues proposals to clarify code of
ethics

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants, an
independent standard-setting board within the International
Federation of Accountants (IFAC), has proposed some changes to the
IFAC Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants. The proposals aim
to significantly enhance the clarity and understanding of the
provisions in the code, while refining the application of its
strategic framework. Comments are requested by 15 October.

STANDARDS
Audit standard setter issues revised standards

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board has
released a revised ISA and three clarity redrafted ISAs. ISA 550
Related Parties was revised due to the involvement of related
parties in major corporate scandals. The three clarity redrafted
standards are: ISA 250 Consideration of Laws and Regulations in an
Audit of Financial Statements; ISA 510 Initial Audit
Engagements-Opening Balances; and ISA 570 Going Concern. The
standard setter said it is on track to finalise its clarity project
by the end of this year.

FINANCIAL RESULTS
Deloitte UK hits £2 billion mark

The UK’s second-highest fee-earning firm has reported revenues
for its 2007/2008 financial year climbed to £2 billion ($4 billion)
following growth of 11.5 percent. Deloitte UK’s strong growth
followed a 16 percent increase in fee income last year and 15
percent in 2006. The results push Deloitte closer to UK market
leader PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2007 fee income of £2.1 billion.
Deloitte, whose financial year ends on 31 May, is the first UK Big
Four firm to report its interim results.