Malaysian body offers corporate finance

SEC penalises former Arthur Andersen

IASB publishes amendments…

Grant Thornton releases results…

Malaysian body offers corporate finance

The Malaysian Securities Industry Development Corporation is to
establish the first corporate finance qualification programme
outside the UK and Canada. The Institute of Chartered Accountants
in England and Wales and the Canadian Institute of Chartered
Accountants helped develop the programme, which provides capital
markets education, training and information resources for Southeast
Asian nations.

New Australian securities chief executive

John Bligh has been named as the new chief executive of the
Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). He was
also recently appointed ASIC’s Victorian regional commissioner.
Bligh has 34 years of experience in the IT and services industries
and most recently ran his own consultancy. He was previously
executive director of services for Accenture Asia Pacific and a
vice-president of IBM Asia Pacific Business Transformation

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SEC penalises former Arthur Andersen

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has found former
Arthur Andersen partner Robert Putnam engaged in improper
professional conduct while acting as an audit partner for two US
software companies in the late 1990s. The SEC imposed a cease and
desist order against Putnam and revoked his ability to practice as
an accountant under the commission’s jurisdiction. He can apply to
resume practicing after five years. Putnam agreed to have the cease
and desist order imposed without admitting or denying the findings.
The charges relate to accounting and auditing services provided to
two US-based specialist software companies, HBO and Company and
Ebix from September 1996 through to July 1999.

US and Chinese standard setters form closer

The US Financial Accounting Standards Board and the China
Accounting Standards Committee have issued a memorandum of
understanding outlining their commitment to strengthen mutual
co-operation. The memorandum also aims to facilitate dialogue
between the US and China on international issues such as
convergence of IFRS.

IASB publishes amendments

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has posted a
list of editorial corrections and changes to the 2008 IFRS bound
volume. There are amendments to IAS 32 Financial Instruments:
Presentation and IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements –
Puttable Financial Instruments and Obligations Arising on
Liquidation. Corrections can be viewed on the IASB website.

Ethics board reveals strategic plan

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants has issued
its 2008-2009 strategic and operational plan. Once the current
projects on independence and improving the clarity of the IFAC Code
of Ethics for Professional Accountants are completed, the board
will focus on its convergence initiatives through consultation with
national standard setters, regulators and others to determine the
basis on which the IFAC Code of Ethics can be established.

Grant Thornton releases results

Grant Thornton International (GTI) has reported combined 2007
global member firm revenue of $3.5 billion in its 2008 transparency
report. The disclosure is in line with new European Union
regulations that require accounting networks to publish information
about their financial performance, risk management, legal structure
and quality control systems. This is the first year accounting
firms have been required to produce the transparency reports,
although GTI has publicly disclosed them for four years. GTI’s
combined revenue makes it the fastest growing of the world’s six
largest global accounting organisations, according to the latest
International Accounting Bulletin world survey.

Irish regulator publishes first report

The Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board (CARB) has published its
first annual report. CARB director Heather Briers said: “The key
challenge facing the board in 2008 will be the transposition of the
8th Statutory Audit Directive. To that end in 2007 we have
concentrated on increasing our resources to meet this monitoring
challenge. 2007 has also seen CARB establish working relationships
with other regulatory bodies and with the Irish Auditing and
Accounting Supervisory Authority and the Financial Reporting
Council in particular.”