The Financial Services
Agency
(FSA) of Japan has outlined its ongoing efforts to
improve Japan’s regulatory environment in its inaugural progress
report…

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has launched a
new desk to help clients better execute trade and investment
opportunities between India, South Africa and the rest of
Africa.

• The German Accounting Standards Board has
adopted a new accounting standard: GAS 16 Interim Reporting.

• The American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants
has issued new standards for performing and
reporting on peer reviews.

Asia-Pacific

Asia Pacific
KPMG Australia has released a sustainability
reporting guide to provide directors and senior professionals with
a tool when addressing this highly-evolving area of reporting.
Sustainability Reporting: A Guide, discusses the
mainstream trend towards environmental, social and governance
reporting and the need for business communities and individual
companies to respond to the sustainable development issues that may
affect a company’s long term economic performance.

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By GlobalData

• The Financial Services Agency (FSA) of Japan
has outlined its ongoing efforts to improve Japan’s regulatory
environment in its inaugural progress report. The report noted the
FSA has increased discussions with financial institutions and
expanded its public profile, including speeches, lectures, and a
growing use of English on its website. The FSA said it strengthened
co-operation with foreign authorities and had expanded research
functions, including the establishment of a market analysis office
in February 2008.

• The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public
Accountants
(HKICPA) raised more than H$1.5 million
($192,265) last month to help earthquake victims in Sichuan, China.
More than 300 members and institute staff donated nearly H$1.2
million, which was topped up to H$1.5 million by the HKICPA
Charitable Fund.

The institute said all its contributions will go to the Red
Cross to aid relief efforts in the stricken region. The institute
established a daily tally on contributions from its members on its
website, along with a list of its members who have donated money
towards the earthquake appeal.

• CPAs and accounting professionals in Singapore are not
confident about the economic outlook for the rest of 2008,
according to a survey conducted by the Institute of
Chartered Public Accountants of Singapore
. The economic
outlook expressed by 64 percent of the respondents ranged from
neutral to pessimistic, while all the respondents said the local
economy would be affected by the recent financial credit turmoil
and probable US recession. Inflationary pressure was another area
of concern amongst respondents.

• The Australian Accounting Standards Board has
publicly disagreed with the International Financial Reporting
Interpretations Committee’s Draft Interpretation D24 Customer
Contributions. D24 requires the payment of asset handover for
network connections, such as connections to pipelines and
electrical networks, to be recognised as revenue over the entire
period that the network service is provided. In contrast, the
current requirement is to recognise the revenue at the time of
installation of the network connection.

CPA Australia has opened a new office in
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. CPA Australia has more than 8,000 members
in Malaysia and said it moved to the new premises to accommodate
the needs of its members and their prospects for future career
growth. More than 120 people were present at the opening ceremony
including Malaysian Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Kong Cho Ha, the
Australian High Commissioner and CPA Australia president Alex
Malley.

Africa, Middle East, South Asia

Africa, Middle East, South East Asia• The corporate laws
committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of
India
(IACI) is exploring the development of corporate
affairs standards that would deal with business valuation, investor
protection, corporate restructuring and other areas to guide
members and stakeholders on best practice. The ICAI told The
Accountant the idea is still in its infancy.

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of
India
has approved Accounting Standard (AS) 32 Financial
Instruments: Disclosures. The standard requires entities to provide
certain disclosures in their financial statements to enable users
to evaluate the significance of financial instruments for the
entity’s financial position and performance. It also allows users
to evaluate the nature and extent of risks arising from financial
instruments and how the entity manages those risks.

• The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)
has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Securities and
Exchange Commission of Cyprus. The agreement is intended to enhance
information sharing and co-operation between the two organisations
as they both regulate Cypriot firm branches and subsidiaries that
operate in the Dubai International Financial Centre.

DFSA chief executive David Knott said: “As a member of the
European Union, Cyprus is an active participant in the work of the
Committee of European Securities Regulators, adopting and
harmonising international standards in Europe and continuing to
establish world class standards in the regulation of capital
markets.”

• The UK Chartered Institute of Management Accountants has
reassessed the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants
of Pakistan
(ICMAP) syllabus and granted exemption in
their certificate level and managerial level papers to ICMAP
members and students. Students joining the institute in Stage-3 or
above will be assumed to have completed the accredited programme
and will be awarded exemptions appropriately.

• UK-based South African chartered accountants have established
a Thuthuka Bursary Fund. More than 2,300 UK-based chartered
accountants are members of the South African Institute of
Chartered Accountants
. The Thuthuka programme provides
education assistance to students from disadvantaged backgrounds and
bursary funding to promising students who might otherwise struggle
to obtain higher education.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has launched a
new desk to help clients better execute trade and investment
opportunities between India, South Africa and the rest of Africa.
The India-Africa Desk will assist businesses to identify
opportunities and potential partners and help manage the commercial
uncertainties of doing business in both regions. PwC project leader
Troopti Naik said India’s emergence as an economic powerhouse has
triggered a rise in trade and investment between the two
regions.

Naik added: “Indian companies want to come to South Africa as
part of their global expansion plans; and South Africa companies
are evaluating expansion opportunities in India.”

Europe

Europe• The
European Commission (EC) has become a member of
the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB) nominating
committee.

The PIOB oversees the public interest activities of the
International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) such as the setting
of international auditing standards and ethical and education
standards for the accounting profession. The committee also
reappointed eight current PIOB members and appointed two former EC
observers as full members of the PIOB.

• The Committee of European Securities
Regulators
(CESR) has recommended the European Commission
accept Canadian GAAP and South Korean GAAP as equivalent to IFRS in
the EU until the end of 2011. CESR made the recommendation after
both countries declared they would adopt IFRS by 31 December
2011.

• The UK Association of Accounting Technicians
(AAT) and the Association of Chartered Certified
Accountants
(ACCA) have signed a joint memorandum of
understanding in an attempt to drive the professional development
agenda and provide benefits to both sets of members. Through the
agreement, employer organisations already recognised by the ACCA’s
approved employer programme will have the opportunity to become
accredited by AAT under its equivalent scheme, without having to go
through AAT’s full assessment process.

• Norman Adams is the new president of the Institute of
Certified Public Accountants Ireland
(CPA Ireland). Adams
previously had a 25-year career with KPMG Ireland and now runs an
accountancy practice in the coastal town of Malahide, near Dublin.
John White and Geoffrey Meagher have been named as the
vice-president and junior vice-president respectively.

• Jim Aiken succeeded Vincent Sheridan as the president of the
Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland
(ICAI) at the institute’s AGM in Belfast recently. The institute
elected Tom Fitzpatrick as its deputy president and Paul O’Connor
as vice-president. Meanwhile, the ICAI recently established a post
qualification diploma in forensic accounting.

• The German Accounting Standards Board has
adopted a new accounting standard; GAS 16 Interim Reporting. GAS 16
explains the overarching requirements of the Transparency Directive
Implementing Act and requirements governing half-yearly financial
reporting, quarterly financial reporting and interim management
statements.

• The Irish Auditing & Accounting Supervisory
Authority
(IASSA) has appointed three professional staff.
John O’Malley has joined as head of legal services and secretary of
the authority, Trevor Rushe as project manager in the regulatory
and monitoring supervision unit and Maurice Barrett as a project
manager in the financial reporting supervision unit.

• The UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has
appointed the next chair and executive director of its Accountancy
and Actuarial Discipline Board. Timothy Walker joins the board
after an extensive career within the civil service, dealing with
many international and high profile regulatory matters. Walker will
take over from Mike Fogden on 1 June 2008.

North America, Latin America

Americas
Jeannie Patton has been appointed to the American Institute
of Certified Public Accountants
’ newly created position of
vice-president – students, academics and membership. Her
responsibilities will include overseeing student recruitment and
serving the needs of young CPAs.

• The US Public Company Accounting Oversight
Board
is seeking nominations for its 2009-2010 Standing
Advisory Group. The group was initiated in 2003 to advise the board
in carrying out its standard setting responsibilities. It currently
consists of 36 members with backgrounds in accounting, auditing,
corporate finance, corporate governance and investment.

• The American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants
has authorised the creation of a new CPA
credential in forensic accounting. The Certified in Financial
Forensics credential will combine specialised forensic accounting
expertise with the core knowledge and skills from professionals in
the service area. A CPA must be an AICPA member, have at least five
years’ experience in practicing accounting and meet minimum
requirements in relevant business experience and continuing
professional education to apply.

• The Accounting Standards Board of Canada has
commenced discussions on the principles to be used in developing
GAAP standards for private enterprises. Principles guiding the
project include using the same conceptual framework that applies to
publicly accountable enterprises.

• More than 64,000 students graduated with accountancy degrees
in the US last year – the largest number in 30 years. An
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
report noted a rise in the number of annual graduates of 19 percent
since its previous graduate survey of the 2003-04 school year.

• The American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants
has issued new standards for performing and
reporting on peer reviews. The standards are intended to produce
simpler reports that will provide greater transparency to state
boards of accountancy, federal agencies and the private sector. A
key difference in the new peer review standards is the elimination
of letters of comment and the old three-tier system of unmodified,
modified and adverse grades given to firms by reviewers.

• The US Financial Accounting Standards Board
(FASB) has issued FASB Statement 162, The Hierarchy of Generally
Accepted Accounting Principles. The new standard is intended to
improve financial reporting by identifying a consistent framework,
or hierarchy, for selecting accounting principles to be used in
preparing financial statements for non-government entities using US
GAAP.

KPMG Canada has released its fifth annual
social responsibility report, outlining environmental objectives
and providing details on social and economic performance.