• The Accounting Standards Board
of Japan (ASBJ) is seeking comments on an exposure draft…
• The Malaysian Accounting Standards Board has issued three new
standards…
• The European Commission has
adopted the consolidated text of all IFRS in force in the
EU…
• The Jordan-based Arab Society of
Certified Accountants has issued an updated Arabic version of
IFRS…
• The Canadian Institute of Chartered
Accountants has issued a special alert…

Asia-Pacific

Asia Pacific
The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB)
has released a discussion paper addressing the inconsistent
accounting treatments for particular types of intangible
assets.

Currently, accounting standards treat
intangible assets acquired as part of a business acquisition
differently from the same types of intangible assets that are
internally generated.

The discussion paper, authored by AASB
staff with support from the National Standard Setters, is intended
to encourage the International Accounting Standards Board to
undertake a review of current accounting standards relating to
intangible assets.

• Singapore’s Audit Committee
Guidance Committee
has released a guidebook for audit
committees. The guide is intended to strengthen the corporate
governance practices of listed companies in Singapore. It will be
distributed to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Accounting
and Corporate Regulatory Authority and the Singapore Exchange.

• The Financial Reporting
Standards Council
(FRSC) in the Philippines has amended
Philippine Accounting Standard 39 and Philippine Financial
Reporting Standard 7 to mirror amendments to IAS 39 and IFRS 7. The
amendments to the international standards were part of the
International Accounting Standards Board’s response to the credit
crisis.

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• The Australian Auditing and
Assurance Standards Board
has issued guidance to help
auditors understand their responsibilities when conducting audits
of self-managed superannuation funds. GS 009 (Auditing self-managed
superannuation funds) assists auditors on matters concerning
planning, conducting and reporting these audits. It also includes
aspects that an auditor should consider including issuance date,
preliminary engagement activities, risk assessment procedures and
audit evidence.

• The Accounting Standards Board
of Japan
(ASBJ) is seeking comments on an exposure draft
entitled Tentative Solution on Reclassification of Debt Securities.
The ASBJ said it has received questions on reclassification of debt
securities since the International Accounting Standards Board
(IASB) issued reclassification amendments to IAS 39 and IFRS 7 on
October 13.

The new draft is only available in
Japanese. Comments are due by 28 November 2008.

• The Malaysian Accounting
Standards Board
has issued three new standards, two new
interpretations, plus two draft amendments and four draft
interpretations. All the documents form part of Malaysia’s planned
conversion with IFRS by 2012.

MASB executive director Nordin Zain said:
“There are a number of IASB documents which will be effective 2009
internationally and we plan to progressively expose and adopt them
in Malaysia between now and 2012 deadline.”

• The Institute of Chartered
Accountants in Australia
has made a number of appointments
to its regional councils. Chief financial officer at Brierty
Limited Tony Bevan has been appointed chairman of the institute’s
Western Australia council. He is joined on the state board by Mel
Ashton. Both appointments will be effective from January 2009.

Nigel Stevenson and Darren Ball have been
appointed as members of the institute’s South Australia regional
council. Steven McDonnell, Adrian King and Greg Field have been
appointed to the Australian Capital Territory regional
council.

Africa, Middle East, South Asia

Africa, Middle East, South East Asia

• The Jordan-based Arab Society of
Certified Accountants
has issued an updated Arabic version
of IFRS. The society has also released a second Arabic edition of
IFRS Practical Implementation Guide and Workbook 2008. The
guide demonstrates the practical application of IFRS standards
using easy explanations and simple examples. It also addresses the
challenges faced by an auditor or accountant in applying such
standards and reading and understanding the financial statements
produced.

Accounting and Auditing
Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions
(AAOIFI)
has issued a revision of its accounting standard on investment. The
standard has been revised with reference to the accounting
treatment for unrealised losses resulting from re-measurements at
fair value of Islamic financial institutions’ available-for-sale
investments in sukuk (Islamic bond) and shares.

The revision will enable those unrealised
losses to be recognised in the institutions’ statement of financial
position under investment fair value reserve regardless of the
balance of such reserves.

• The Dubai Financial Services
Authority
(DFSA) has entered into a co-operation agreement
with the Financial Supervisory Commission of Chinese Taipei (FSC).
The FSC is responsible for the supervision of all Taiwan’s
financial institutions including professional services firms, banks
and securities firms.

DFSA chief executive David Knott said the
signing of the agreement formalised arrangements for co-operation
and information sharing between the two regulators. “It recognises
that both regulators place reliance on the quality of regulatory
standards administered in the other’s jurisdiction,” he said.

• The president of the Institute
of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan
, Asad Ali Shah, has
been elected as vice-chairman of the Intergovernmental Working
Group of Experts on International Standards on Accounting and
Reporting, which is part of the United Nations Conference on Trade
and Development, based in Geneva, Switzerland. ISAR aims to enhance
the quality of financial reporting, corporate disclosure and
transparency within the accounting community. Its members include
international governmental departments and global standard
setters.

• The Arab Society of Certified
Accountants
(ASCA) is to introduce a certified technician
qualification. Arab Certified Accounting Technician holders will
become members of ASCA and will be qualified for the Arab Certified
Public Accountant examinations, ASCA chair Talal Abu-Ghazaleh
said. 

Europe
Europe
•The UK Professional Oversight Board (POB) has given practical
effect to EC requirements for the regulation of non-EU auditors of
companies that have listed on regulated markets within the EU. The
POB estimates that in the UK there are about 570 such issuers from
50 countries audited by about 150 third-country audit firms. The
requirements reflect a decision by the EC in June on transitional
arrangements for audit firms from specified countries in respect of
the audits of accounts for financial periods starting between 29
June 2008 and 1 July 2010. Such firms are exempted from most of the
regulatory requirements the Eighth Company Law Directive imposes.
The transitional period is intended to allow for mutual recognition
agreements to be developed between the EU and third-country
regulators.

• The UK Accounting Standards
Board
has issued an amendment to FRS 26 (IAS 39) Financial
Instruments: Recognition and Measurement – Eligible Hedged Items.
The changes echo those made by the International Accounting
Standards Board in July this year. The amendment clarifies how the
existing principles underlying hedge accounting should be applied
in two particular situations: when dealing with a one-sided risk in
a hedged item; and inflation in a financial hedged item.

• The European Securities
Committee
(ESC) has voted in favour of granting
equivalence to certain third-country GAAP. The proposals will now
pass to the European Parliament and Council for formal opinions,
and then to the EC for adoption. If adopted next year, US,
Japanese, Chinese, Canadian, South Korean and Indian companies will
be able to report their financial statements in locally accepted
GAAP within the EU until they have fully converged to IFRS. The ESC
decision follows recommendations from the Committee of European
Securities Regulators (CESR) that Indian, Canadian, South Korean,
Japanese and US GAAP be granted equivalence. CESR suggested
postponing recognition of Chinese GAAP.

• The European Commission
has adopted the consolidated text of all IFRS in force in the EU.
The document combines all IFRS endorsed to date. It will enable
stakeholders to refer to one single legal document. The commission
said this is an important element of its simplification programme,
which is aimed at reducing the administrative burden on EU
businesses.

• Banking, retail, travel and leisure,
commercial property and house builders will be the priority sectors
for the UK Financial Reporting Review Panel for
2009-10. In view of the deteriorating economy, the panel will also
extend its selection to include other entities that derive
significant revenue from the provision of services such as
advertising, media, recruitment and technology.

• Accountancy trainer Richard Clarke is
opening his first UK office in Belfast, where he will train
students for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants exams.
Clarke was previously a training director for European professional
educator BPP. He already has an academy in Malta and plans to open
others across Europe in the coming months.

• Assurance consulting increases of more
than 60 percent have boosted Deloitte Germany’s
revenues by 35 percent from €579 million ($746 million) to €779
million for the year ended 30 June 2008. Despite the increase,
Deloitte Germany remains the smallest of the country’s Big Four
with its three rivals posting revenues in excess of €1 billion in
2007.

North America, Latin America
Americas
• Alan Einhorn has been appointed chair of
the American Institute of Certified Public
Acco
untants (AICPA) tax executive committee. Einhorn is
the national director of the quality assurance group for Deloitte
US’s tax services business. In his new role, he will help to
establish tax policy for the institute.

AICPA vice president of taxation Tom
Ochsenschlager said: “We’re going to see a lot of attention to tax
policy issues as a new administration and Congress take office and
they continue efforts to stabilise the economy. Einhorn’s keen
understanding of the regulatory and legislative processes, as well
as of the needs of taxpayers and tax preparers, will be
invaluable.”

• US finance and accounting staff can
expect average salary increases of 3.4 percent, according to new
research from Robert Half International. The
recruiter’s annual salary survey found companies were showing the
most interest in employing professionals who could help their firms
reduce inefficiencies and enhance profitability. Those who were
familiar with IFRS were also sought after.

Starting salaries for staff accountants at large companies (more
than $250 million in sales) who have one to three years of
experience were projected to range from $44,500 to $57,250.

Starting salaries for senior accountants
in tax services at small public accounting firms (less than $25
million in sales) were forecast to range from $54,000 to
$69,250.

• The Canadian Institute of
Chartered Accountants
has issued a special alert aimed at
providing business leaders advice on how to keep investors informed
through the financial crisis. The alert, titled Management’s
Discussion and Analysis in Volatile and Uncertain Times, will
attempt to help companies supplement financial statements with
information through management’s discussion and analysis.

• The Accounting Standards Board
of Canada
has issued an exposure draft that proposes to
amend Section 3862, Financial Instruments — Disclosures. The
amendments follow improvements recently proposed by the
International Accounting Standards Board to IFRS 7, Financial
Instruments: Disclosures. The amendment aims to enhance information
disclosed about fair value measurements of financial instruments
and liquidity risk. Comments are requested by 12 January 2009.

• The Chartered Accountants of
Canada
(CICA) has launched a basic e-learning IFRS course
to help Canada’s transition to the global accounting standard. The
course is aimed at the profession and the wider business community
as Canada works towards adopting IFRS by 2011. The free course is
available in English and French in Canada and Bermuda. It is
divided in four modules and takes about four hours to complete.

CICA education vice-president Tim
Forristal commented: “The time to learn about IFRS is now. Canada
is about to move onto the same financial reporting playing field as
more than 100 other countries. Be prepared for what lies
ahead.”