• CPA Australia’s Singapore division has
appointed a new president…

Russell Bedford International has admitted
Cameron & Prentice Chartered Accountants as
its first member firm in Cape Town, South Africa…

• The European Commission  has approved
four proposals to cut unnecessary administrative burdens in EU
Company Law…

Ernst & Young Canada (E&Y) has
recommended the Canadian Securities Administrators
allow Canadian companies to adopt IFRS before the 2011 changeover


Asia Pacific• The
Committee of European Securities Regulators has
recommended the European Commission (EC) recognise the equivalence
of US GAAP and Japanese GAAP to IFRS for use on EU
markets but suggested postponing recognition of Chinese
The recommendation was issued following a mandate
from the EC in December 2007 requesting technical advice on the
equivalence of Chinese, Japanese and US GAAP.

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and
will begin offering its qualification in Singapore
later this year. Europe’s largest professional body signed a
memorandum of understanding with the Institute of Certified
Public Accountants of Singapore
(ICPAS), which enables
Singaporean students to study the Associate Chartered Accountant
(ACA) qualification from September. ICPAS president Tan Boen Eng
commented: “As part of ICPAS strategy to enhance the talent pool in
Singapore, ICPAS is pleased to be able to offer this pathway to the
accountancy profession.”

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CPA Australia’s Singapore division has appointed
a new president. Chaly Mah joins the institute after a 30-year
career within the accounting industry, including being chief
executive of Deloitte Southeast Asia and Deloitte Singapore. He is
currently regional managing partner and chief executive of Deloitte
Asia Pacific.

• The convergence project to eliminate the major differences
between IFRS and Japanese GAAP is
on track to be completed by the end of this year, according to
standard setters. Representatives from the International Accounting
Standards Board and the Accounting Standards Board of Japan
recently met to discuss progress of the convergence project, also
known as the Tokyo Agreement. Issues discussed
included consolidation, revenue recognition, insurance contracts –
interaction with other projects, liability and equity, and
financial statement presentation.

CPA Australia has commented on the International
Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee’s draft
interpretation D23 Distributions of Non-Cash Assets to Owners,
stating it would prefer the International Accounting Standards
Board to issue a new standard on the topic. While CPA Australia
agreed the interpretation would reduce the diversity in the
accounting practice, it suggested distributions to owners or
dividends warrants a specific standard.

• The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority in
(ACRA) has signed an agreement with the US audit
watchdog to co-operate in the oversight of audit firms in both
jurisdictions. The Public Company Accounting Oversight
(PCAOB) has recently been strengthening ties with
several overseas regulators. PCAOB director of international
affairs Rhonda Schnare commented: “We are pleased to reach this
milestone with ACRA, an important partner in the region and in the
global capital markets. In light of the number of non-US firms
registered with the PCAOB, co-operative relationships like this one
are critical to the PCAOB’s success.”

Africa, Middle East, South Asia

Africa, Middle East, South East AsiaRussell Bedford
has admitted Cameron & Prentice
Chartered Accountants
as its first member firm in Cape
Town, South Africa. Cameron & Prentice has 50 staff, led by
partners Peter Prentice, Antonie van der Hoek, Chris Norris and
David Warneke. The Cape Town practice has experience in auditing
and due diligence, corporate and personal tax, management
consulting, accounting, payroll processing, company secretarial
services, wills and trusts. Norris said: “We view our link into the
Russell Bedford network as a vital part of our expansion

• The Dubai Financial Services Authority and the
Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong
have announced a joint regulatory initiative to enhance access to
Islamic financial products in Hong Kong and the Dubai International
Financial Centre. The agreement outlines a commitment towards
promoting and developing respective Islamic capital market
segments, in particular on facilitating the distribution of Islamic
funds in both business centres.

• The Arab Society of Certified Accountants (ASCA)
has released a new edition of the ASCA curriculum, which has been
validated by Cambridge University’s International Examinations. The
new curriculum aims to prepare Arab accountants for advances in the
accountancy profession.

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of
has collaborated on a new corporate governance
guide for family-owned companies, which is intended for
progressive, medium- to large-sized, non-listed, family-owned
companies. The guide establishes principles and practices to help
directors improve governance. The underlying objective of the guide
is to support sustainable growth and long-term value creation in
family-owned companies.

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
(ICAI) has clarified best practice treatment for foreign currency
derivatives. Although the professional body recently issued AS 30,
Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement, which contains
accounting for derivatives, it can only be applied voluntarily in a
year’s time and is mandatory from April 2011. One of the key
clarifications issued by the ICAI is that entities are required to
provide for losses in respect of all outstanding derivative
contracts at the balance sheet date by marking them to

• The Chartered Institute of Management
has signed an agreement with the Indian
Institute of Management Calcutta to establish a centre for the
study of management accountancy. The centre will be based at the
Chartered Indian Institute of Management Calcutta
campus and will conduct research on changing and improving
management accountancy practices in India and  neighbouring

Kreston International has admitted a new Indian
member firm Frank & Co. Based in Nagercoil,
Tamil Nadu, the firm offers accounting and audit, tax and
management consulting services. The association has eight member
firms in the country.


Europe• The
UK Accounting Standards Board has issued an
updated version of the Financial Reporting Standard for Smaller
Entities to reflect changes in company law arising from the
Companies Act 2006. The updated standard includes a 20 percent
increase in the thresholds for qualifying as a smaller company; a
requirement to report separately political and charitable
donations; and an increase in the threshold for reporting these
donations to £2,000 ($4,000).

• The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group
has recommended the EC adopt the revised International Accounting
Standard (IAS) 1 Presentation of Financial Statements and the
International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee’s
interpretation 14, which relates to IAS 19 The Limit on a Defined
Benefit Asset, Minimum Funding Requirements and their

• KPMG UK senior partner and chair John Griffith-Jones and BDO Stoy
Hayward managing partner Jeremy Newman are among 12 members of a
working group tasked with developing a code of best practice for
the governance of UK audit firms. The Audit Firm Governance
Working Group
was formed following a recommendation in the
recent Market Participants Group report, which tackled
concentration issues in the audit marketplace. The Institute of
Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Financial
Reporting Council established the group.

• Ian Powell has been elected as the next chairman and senior
partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers UK. Powell, the
firm’s head of advisory, will serve a four-year term from

• The European Commission  has approved four
proposals to cut unnecessary administrative burdens in EU Company
Law. The revised changes include: parent companies with no material
subsidiaries no longer need to prepare consolidated accounts; and
medium-sized companies can be exempted from providing detailed data
in annual accounts. It is estimated that these measures could
result in up to €600 million ($935.6 million) in savings,
especially for SMEs.

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants in
(ICAI) has grown its membership by 6 percent in
the past year, according to its 2007 Annual Report. Ireland’s
largest professional body reported 16,691 members and 1,714
students, which is a 10 percent increase on last year’s student

• The Auditing Practices Board issued four new
advisory bulletins, three of which provide guidance on aspects of
the UK Companies Act 2006 that affect auditors. The majority of the
accounting and auditing requirements of the Act came into force for
periods commencing on or after 6 April 2008.

• A new modular exam structure for the Chartered Tax Adviser
qualification has been set by the UK Chartered Institute of
. The institute said the new structure recognises
the increasing degree of specialisation within the tax profession
while retaining the major benefits of the current system. It is due
to apply to students sitting examinations in May 2009.

North America, Latin America

Ernst & Young Canada (E&Y) has recommended
the Canadian Securities Administrators allow
Canadian companies to adopt IFRS before the 2011 changeover date.
This recommendation was one of several the firm made in response to
a concept paper proposing changes to securities rules on acceptable
accounting principles for financial reporting. E&Y chief
executive and chair Lou Pagnutti said the market should dictate
which companies should adopt IFRS early.

• The US House of Representatives has passed two provisions that
could have a positive impact on the accounting profession. One
provision would restore the proper relationship between tax
preparers and taxpayers by equalising Internal Revenue
disclosure standards. The other provision would
free businesses from recordkeeping requirements for mobile

• The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board
(PCAOB) has voted to adopt Rule 3526 Communication with Audit
Committees Concerning Independence and an amendment to Rule 3523
Tax Services for Persons in Financial Reporting Oversight Roles.
The adoption of Rule 3526 seeks to enhance communication between
audit committees and registered firms regarding the firm’s
independence. It will require a registered public accounting firm
to describe in writing all relationships between the firm and any
of its affiliates to the audit committee.

• Canada’s sixth largest professional services firm has revealed
plans to become carbon neutral within five years. BDO
has begun calculating its carbon footprint across
its 95 offices. Keith Farlinger, the firm’s CEO-elect, said BDO
intends to become a market leader on environmental issues and is
the first national firm in Canada to commit to carbon

KPMG US has established the KPMG International
Financial Reporting Standards Institute to raise awareness and
address the information needs of US companies, investors, academics
and others who may be affected by a transition to IFRS. The
institute will hold its inaugural IFRS web cast in May 2008. It
will be hosted by KPMG partner Janice Patrisso, who is the director
of the institute.

• Canadian financial executives do not believe their staff are
prepared for the conversion to IFRS scheduled for 2011. A report,
developed by the research organisation of Financial
Executives International Canada
and Ernst &
Young Canada
, suggested that the manufacturing, retail and
distribution industries were the least prepared on the impacts of
IFRS. The utilities sector claimed to be most prepared with 90
percent already assessing the impact of IFRS conversion.

• The American Institute of Certified Public
and US National Association of State
Boards of Accountancy
have renewed a trilateral mutual
recognition agreement with professional accounting bodies in Canada
and Mexico. The five-year agreement with the Canadian
Institute of Chartered Accountants
and Mexico’s
Contadores Publicos Certificados was signed on 17