• The Chinese Institute of Certified Public
Accountants (CICPA) has issued guidance and launched a
website to help the accounting profession combat the financial
crisis and enhance market confidence. The guidance reinforces the
importance of the profession’s ethical responsibilities and calls
on the profession to strengthen quality assurance, risk control and
• The Australian Government’s decision to delay the introduction of
its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme should lead to an improved
long-term economic outcome, according to CPA
Australia. CPA Australia president Richard Petty said the
delay would create greater certainty and reduce risk around the
implementation of the scheme. He said it would also enable some key
issues to be addressed, particularly the need for a rigorous and
accurate reporting framework for emissions reports.
• Andrew Conway has become chief executive of the National
Institute of Accountants in Australia. Conway was
previously deputy chief executive. His promotion follows the
departure of Michael Carmody, details of which the institute said
are confidential. Conway has managed the institute’s technical,
advocacy and international divisions since early 2007. He became
acting chief executive after Carmody’s departure.
• Australia’s Accounting and Professional Ethical Standards
Board has updated its quality control standard in line
with the International Federation of Accountants’ revised
international standard on quality control, which was issued late
last year. The new Australian standard, APES 320 Quality control
for firms, ensures firms establish and maintain a system of quality
control for the entire practice. The revised standard will be
effective from the beginning of next year.
• The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Federation of Accountants (AFA) has agreed to accelerate
the development of mutual recognition agreements among its member
bodies. The AFA decided each individual member body should try to
begin negotiations by identifying an initial prospective partner by
August. The AFA includes member bodies from all 10 ASEAN countries:
Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
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• The Confederation of Asian and Pacific
Accountants has initiated an Asian Business Networking
Workshop that will be held in conjunction with the
CICPA. The workshop is organised specially for
accounting firms that have an interest in building relations with
firms in China. It will provide a platform to exchange ideas,
develop an understanding of accounting services and resources in
different countries and provides opportunities for firms to
establish an international network of accounting services.
North America, Latin America
• Four Big Four staff are to join the US Securities and
Exchange Commission’s (SEC) office as professional
accounting fellows for two-year terms starting in 2009.
Wesley Bricker is a senior manager in PricewaterhouseCoopers US’s
national professional services group based in New Jersey. Sagar
Teotia is a manager in Deloitte’s accounting consultation national
office based in Connecticut. John Offenbacher a senior manager in
Ernst and Young’s national professional practice group, and Lisa
Watson a partner in KPMG’s department of professional practice, are
both based in New York.
• The Association of Chartered Certified
Accountants has begun offering its certificate in
international financial reporting in Spanish and Portuguese in
response to Latin America moving towards full adoption of IFRS.
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay all plan to adopt IFRS
between 2009 and 2012. The certificate has been available in
English for five years.
• The Institute of Independent Auditors of Brazil
(IBRACON) is seeking comments on the convergence of six Brazilian
auditing standards to international auditing standards as issued by
the International Federation of Accountants. Brazil is planning to
converge with international auditing standards from the beginning
of 2010. IBRACON said all comments should be submitted to the
Brazilian Federal Accounting Council by 15 June.
• Five US financial organisations have written to the US House
Financial Services Committee stating their continued concern over
mark-to-market accounting and impairment rules. The groups,
including the American Bankers Association (ABA), questioned the
relevance of mark-to-market accounting for the traditional banking
“The US Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) emphasis on
mark-to-market not only results in misleading information in a
distressed market, but it can also result in misleading information
in a typical market,” the letter said.
The ABA also said the FASB’s recent staff position, reaffirming the
definition of fair value, results in a situation where ‘exit price’
gives no consideration to what price a seller is willing to accept
and therefore results in a downward bias in reported values.
• The US Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) has issued
a guide illustrating the vital role public company auditors play in
providing transparency in US markets. The Guide to Public Company
Auditing gives an overview of the key processes, participants and
issues related to public company auditing. Topics covered in the
guide include the relationship between company management, the
audit committee and the auditors; steps in the audit process;
finding fraud; and auditor independence.
“By giving market participants the information they need to make
informed decisions, public company auditors are responsible for an
increasingly invaluable function,” CAQ executive director Cindy
• One in four of Canada’s leading private companies plan to adopt
IFRS, according to a recent study by KPMG Enterprise and the
Canadian Financial Executives Research Foundation. However,
participating executives in the study warned that the differences
between private company GAAP and IFRS, which will be adopted by
public companies by 2011, could present challenges in accessing
equity and debt financing if there is inadequate comparability of
financial reporting under the two standards. Canada’s private
companies will have to adopt either IFRS or the proposed private
company GAAP by 2011.
• The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory
Authority (IAASA) is appointing an enquiry committee to
investigate allegations made against the Institute of
Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI) in a newspaper
article more than two years ago. The allegations related to a
complaint made against KPMG Ireland, one of the institute’s
members, which was considered by the ICAI’s complaints committee in
An article published in Ireland’s Sunday Independent on 7
January 2007 titled ‘KPMG: the great Houdinis’ alleged the ICAI did
not sufficiently investigate and penalise KPMG over audit
shortcomings. A preliminary enquiry committee subsequently set up
by the IAASA found the institute “failed to comply with its
approved investigation and disciplinary procedures” in relation to
the complaint against its member.
• Andrew Hubbard has been appointed president of the UK
Chartered Institute of Taxation. Hubbard is the
national tax policy director at the Tenon Group, specialising in
the taxation of entrepreneurial businesses and their proprietors.
He is also past president of the UK Association of Taxation
• The EC has appointed three new members to the Standards
Advice Review Group (SARG). Rien van Hoepen, Bernard
Raffournier and Mari Paananen are to join the four existing members
for the next three years.The SARG is responsible for advising the
EC on the endorsement process of IFRS and International Financial
Reporting Interpretation Committee (IFRIC) pronouncements. It also
assesses whether the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group’s
opinions on endorsement of IFRS and IFRIC are well-balanced and
• Deloitte France partner Laurence Rivat has been appointed to the
International Financial Reporting Interpretations
Committee (IFRIC). Rivat is the leader of one of Deloitte
global’s IFRS centres of excellence and a member of the Deloitte
IFRS leadership team. She has been appointed to the IFRIC for a
three-year term beginning 1 July.
The IFRIC interprets the application of IFRS, attempting to ensure
consistent accounting practices throughout the world. It also
provides guidance on financial reporting issues not specifically
addressed in IFRS.
• The UK-based Chartered Institute of Management
Accountants (CIMA) and professional training provider BPP
are subsidising courses for graduates coming onto what they say is
the toughest job market in a decade. A recent survey by High Fliers
Research of 16,000 final year university students in the UK found
that 10 percent of respondents were expecting to go into the
accountancy profession after university. However, 30 percent fewer
reported obtaining secure job offers this year, compared with
• The UK Chartered Institute of Taxation has
launched a report on environmental taxes that examines developments
in the area and the options available to policymakers. The report
said pressure groups will be stepping up efforts to get governments
to make more efforts to control carbon emissions and that tax and
other fiscal measures are likely to play an important role. The
institute’s outgoing president, Nick Goulding, said the question
will be “in what way will tax be deployed in achieving these
“Will taxes be used creatively as agents to modify and change
behaviour, or imposed in a blunt manner to penalise bad
environmental practices, possibly using the revenue to reward the
environmentally ‘good’?” Goulding asked.
• The European Commission has issued guidance on
steps EU member states should take to promote and improve good
governance in the tax area. The guidance specifically addresses
providing more transparency, exchange of information and fair tax
It lists the tools the EU and its member states have at their
disposal to ensure that good governance principles are applied at
international level and calls on member states to adopt approaches
that are more coherent with good governance principles in their
bilateral relations with third countries.
The guidance builds on the existing EU policy on good governance
and the recent G20 conclusions concerning uncooperative tax
Africa, Middle East, South Asia
• India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has revealed the
manner in which the Satyam Computer Systems fraud
was engineered. The CBI used cyber-forensic techniques to discover
how the Indian software company generated false invoices to show
inflated sales. Investigations found 7,561 fabricated invoices
worth $1.04 billion hidden in the company’s invoice management
system. They were hidden from all divisions in the company, except
sales and finance, and not dispatched to clients. The false
invoices were generated to inflate sales and 6,603 invoices, worth
$962 million, had already been entered into the accounts.
• The Securities and Exchange Board of India
(SEBI), plans to bear the cost of a peer review of all Nifty and
Sensex companies’ accounting statements to avoid another
Satyam-like financial scandal, according to Indian media sources.
SEBI chairman CB Bhave said SEBI will pay for the peer review fees
so there is no conflict of interest in the minds of investors. The
board will review how to fund the exercise in the future.
The regulator has also decided to subject some listed companies
outside of the Nifty and the Sensex, who will be chosen on a random
basis, to be reviewed.
• Deloitte Global’s managing partner of operations
Manoj Singh has been appointed to the US-India Business Council’s
(USIBC) board of directors. USIBC is a business advocacy
organisation comprised of US and India companies that aims to
strengthen trade between the two countries. Prior to his current
role, Singh was chief executive of Deloitte Asia Pacific.
• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sierra
Leone (ICASL) celebrates its 21st anniversary this month,
according to local media. The institute has enrolled more than
3,000 students under its joint examination scheme with the
Association of Chartered Accountants (ACCA). Since the ACCA scheme
began in 1996, more than 160 students have completed the final
The ICASL currently has 111 members, most of these practice in
private firms or are employed by the government.