• PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has
admitted 52 new partners across the Asia-Pacific
• Ernst & Young Australia
(E&Y) has expanded its Brisbane-based tax
• The Institute of Chartered
Accountants of Pakistan has established a faculty help
• Ernst & Young (E&Y)
has opened an advisory office in Algeria…

The US Financial Accounting Standards Board has released a number
of new standards…


Asia Pacific• The
Australian Securities and Investments Commission
(ASIC) has appointed 25 senior executives following its 2008
strategic review. The regulator said the appointments are a
response to demanding changes in the market and will allow the
organisation to be better equipped during the next three to five


ASIC chairman Tony D’Aloisio added: “These
appointments involve internal promotions and external recruiting.
Together these leaders will provide the quality and depth and
breadth of experience and industry knowledge to implement the
initiatives that have come out of our strategic review.”

• The Australian Accounting
Standards Board
(AASB) has released a proposed amendments
paper; ED 166 Simplifying Earnings per Share: Proposed Amendments
to AASB 133. Comments should be submitted to the AASB by 31 October

(PwC) has admitted 52 new partners across the Asia-Pacific region.
Thirty-one of the new partners are from China, 12 from Hong Kong,
eight from Singapore and one from Macau. The admissions bring the
total number of partners to more than 460 in these countries. Since
July, PwC China, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore has operated on a
combined basis, subject to local laws. The combined workforce of
these member firms is 11,000 people.

Ernst & Young has
rolled out its people development framework EYU across 15 countries
and territories in the Far East. The framework will provide
training and coaching to professional and support staff across all
parts of the organisation, including assurance, tax, transactions
and advisory services. The programme offers a competency-based
global learning curriculum, balanced with local content, classroom
and web-based learning, and learning through planned

• The Australian Accounting
Standards Board
has released Interpretation 15: Agreements
for the Construction of Real Estate and Interpretation 16: Hedges
of a Net Investment in a Foreign Operation. The interpretations are
based on International Financial Reporting Interpretations
Committee (IFRIC) 15 Agreements for the Construction of Real Estate
and IFRIC 16 Hedges of a Net Investment in a Foreign Operation.

Interpretation 15 applies to annual
reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2009, with early
adoption permitted. Interpretation 16 applies to annual reporting
periods beginning on or after 1 October 2008, with early adoption

Ernst & Young
(E&Y) has expanded its Brisbane-based tax
team with the addition of seven new employees. The additions are
all former employees of Damien Burke and Associates, a tax and
commercial litigation practice. Damien Burke will head the Brisbane
tax controversy team, which will focus on dispute resolution,
including tax litigation, mediation and negotiated settlements. The
team will also focus on support services in relation to Australian
Tax Office risk reviews and tax audits.

PKF Australia has
promoted Geoff Edwards to director of the firm’s audit and
assurance team in Adelaide. The firm has also appointed and
promoted a series of new partners and principals in offices across
the country.

Africa, Middle East, South

Africa, Middle East, South East Asia• The Chartered
Institute of Management Accountants
(CIMA) Sri Lanka
division has elected its 36th president. Gowri Shakar becomes the
second woman to head the institute in Sri Lanka and the third CIMA
female president globally. Shakar said her aim is to reinforce the
professional excellence of CIMA Sri Lanka.

• The Institute of Chartered
Accountants of Pakistan
has established a faculty help
programme to nurture a more structured relationship between
education faculties and registered accounting education tutors. The
institute said the programme should assist students in academic and
related issues.

• The South African Institute of
Chartered Accountants
(SAICA) is changing the timing of
part one of its qualifying exam (QE1) in an effort to prevent
knowledge loss between examinations. The QE1 is currently held in
March and results are released in June. From next year, it will be
held in January and results will be released in March or April.

The shift to January brings the QEI closer
to the Certificate in the Theory of Accounting, which is written in
November the previous year.

SAICA project director for accounting
Mandy Oliver explained: “Evidence suggests that knowledge can be
lost, particularly for students who start their training contracts
in January, work significant hours immediately thereafter and
accordingly may not have enough time to study.”

Ernst & Young
(E&Y) has opened an advisory office in Algeria. Twenty-five
employees have joined E&Y Algeria with the aim of growing the
business by 25 to 30 percent in 2009. E&Y has operated in
Algeria for more than 25 years.

• The Arab Society of Certified
has published an updated Arabic translation of
the Handbook of International Auditing, Assurance and Ethics
. The handbook will be sectioned into two parts.
Part one includes information about the International Federation of
Accountants. Part two includes information about the clarity
project of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards

• BDO International has strengthened its
representation in Asia with the addition of new member firms in
India. BDO Haribhakti Consulting offers consulting
and management services and Haribhakti & Co is
an audit firm. UK member firm BDO Stoy Hayward will provide
strategic advice and counsel to the new Indian firms.

• Deloitte has set up a corporate finance
venture combining the expertise of its UK and Middle East

Deloitte Corporate Finance
is registered and authorised by the Dubai
Financial Services Authority. It will initially focus on offering
M&A advisory and support services, valuation, business
modelling, IPO advisory, forensic and dispute services, and Islamic
finance advice.


Europe• The UK’s main tax
and accounting bodies have jointly issued new guidance on letters
of engagement for tax practitioners. The guidance follows a major
redrafting exercise and involves a three-step approach including
the letter of engagement and a number of schedules.

Mark Lee, the chairman of the joint
bodies’ working party, which undertook the rewrite, said: “The
professional bodies are confident that the updated guidance and
engagement letter will be a practical and helpful tool for tax
practitioners and their clients.”

• The Chartered Institute of
Management Accountants
(CIMA) has launched six new online
managerial subjects following the successful release of
CIMAstudy.com courses earlier this year. The new courses include
performance evaluation, decision management, organisational
management and information systems and integrated management.
Written and reviewed by the CIMA faculty, each on-line subject
consists of up to 120 hours of interactive learning.

• UK accountancy alliance
CharterGroup and legal network
LawNet have formed a national cross-disciplinary
partnership. The two organisations said the collaboration was due
to changes in the accountancy and law sectors and will result in
referrals between the two groups as well as cross-disciplinary
training. CharterGroup has 55 mid-tier member firms and a combined
annual turnover of more than £166 million ($293 million). LawNet is
comprised of 65 medium-sized, mid-market law firms and an annual
turnover of more than £250 million.

• The UK Financial Reporting
(FRC) is seeking comments on proposed revisions to
its guidance for directors of listed companies on going concern and
financial reporting. The consultation paper has been produced on
the assumption the guidance should continue to exist, however, the
FRC acknowledges that developments in accounting standards and
markets may mean the guidance needs to be refreshed. Amendments
have been kept to a minimum and the views of stakeholders are
sought as to whether more fundamental change is necessary. Comments
are due by 24 November 2008.

PKF UK is working on a
report on the selection and application of accounting policies by
UK Alternative Investment Market (AIM)-listed mining companies
since the requirement to use IFRS was introduced on 1 January 2007.
The report, which is due for release next month, reviews areas
including: exploration costs, amortisation and depreciation;
functional and presentational currencies; hedging; segmental
analysis; and business combinations.

• The UK Accounting Standards
has amended Financial Reporting Standard (FRS) 25,
bringing it in line with the corresponding international standard,
IAS 32 – Financial Instruments: Presentation. The amendments
require equity classification for certain puttable financial
instruments and for certain financial instruments that impose on an
entity the obligation to deliver to another party a pro
share of the net assets of the entity only on
liquidation. These changes are in line with those made to IAS 32 in
February 2008. The FRS amendment will be effective for accounting
periods beginning on or after 1 January 2010. Early adoption is
only permitted for accounting periods beginning on or after 1
January 2009, the earliest date on which EU adoption of IAS 32 is

North America, Latin America

Americas• The US
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman
Christopher Cox has revealed the successor to the regulator’s
1980s-era EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval
system) database. The new system, IDEA (Interactive Data Electronic
Applications), aims to give investors faster and easier access to
key financial information about public companies and mutual funds.
The decision to replace EDGAR marks the SEC’s transition from
collecting forms and documents to making the information itself
readily available to investors to give them better and more
up-to-date financial disclosure in a form they can readily use.

• The US Financial Accounting
Standards Board
has released a number of new standards as
part of its Accounting Standards Codification project. The new
standards are under the business combinations topic and include
FASB Statement 141(R): Business Combinations, FASB Statement 109:
Accounting for Income Taxes, and FASB Interpretation 48: Accounting
for Uncertainty in Income Taxes, which is an interpretation of
Statement 109. The codification project is currently in its
verification phase. When approved in April 2009, it will become the
single source of authoritative US GAAP, simplifying the
organisation of thousands of US pronouncements issued by several
standard setters.

• The impact of IFRS on technology systems
should not be underestimated or left too late in the planning
process, according to a paper from Deloitte US.
The paper focuses on the planning process necessary for companies
to implement the right technology systems, processes and controls
to ensure a smooth transition to IFRS. It warns that viewing IFRS
simply as a reporting change can lead to a costly rework at a later
date, result in cumbersome processes and increase control

• CPExpress, the American
Institute of Certified Public Accountants
’ online
education programme, has reached its millionth course completion.
Navzer Hormazdi, a CPA based in Washington, is the subscriber to
take the millionth course and earn the Continuing Professional
Education (CPE) credit. CPExpress offers 1,200 hours of CPE,
divided into one- and two-credit courses that can be accessed at
any given time.

• The Canadian Accounting
Standards Oversight Council
is seeking a new chair for the
Accounting Standards Board. The current chair, Paul Cherry, will
step down at the end of his term on 31 March 2009.

• Paul Beswick has been appointed deputy
chief accountant at the US Securities and Exchange
. Beswick’s role will involve overseeing the
activities of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board,
managing the resolution of audit independence issues and ethical
matters, and monitoring audit and independence standard-setting