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April 14, 2008

News Briefs

Malaysian body offers corporate finance qualification…

SEC penalises former Arthur Andersen partner…

IASB publishes amendments…

Grant Thornton releases results…

EDUCATION Malaysian body offers corporate finance qualification 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.

PEOPLE New Australian securities chief executive appointed 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 Services.

LEGAL SEC penalises former Arthur Andersen partner 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.

STANDARDS US and Chinese standard setters form closer ties 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.

STANDARDS 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.

STRATEGY 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.

FINANCIAL RESULTS 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.

REGULATION 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.”

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