• The Asian-Oceanian Standard-Setters
Group has adopted a memorandum of understanding that
formally establishes the group and sets out four key objectives.
The agreement was adopted at the group’s inaugural meeting in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia, which was attended by more than 100 participants
from 21 standard-setting bodies across Asia and Oceania.
The four goals were: promoting adoption of,
and convergence with, IFRS within the region; promoting consistent
application of IFRS within the region; co-ordinating input from the
region to the technical activities of the International Accounting
Standards Board; and co-operating with governments, regulators and
other organisations to improve the quality of financial reporting
in the region.
The second meeting will be held in Tokyo,
Japan next year.
• The National Institute of
Accountants in Australia (NIA) has appointed Christine
Leetham as president. Leetham has been deputy president of the NIA
since 2007 and a board member since 2002. She is also head teacher
of accounting and finance at the Sydney Institute, a conservative
think tank. Leetham succeeds Greg Dennis with immediate effect.
• The International Organization of
Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has appointed Stephen Po as
chairman of Standing Committee 3 (SC3) on the regulation of market
intermediaries. Po, a councillor of the CPA Australia Hong Kong
China division, will serve as chairman for four years.
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Po will be the first SC3 chairman from Asia
and believes Hong Kong has a great opportunity to participate in
the enhancement of global regulatory standards for intermediaries.
The SC3, a part of IOSCO’s standard-setting framework, is comprised
of 16 regulatory authorities in Europe, the US and Asia.
The committee is responsible for reviewing and
proposing standards on the regulation and supervising market
intermediaries in a cross-border environment.
• Australia’s Financial Reporting
Council has reappointed members to the Australian
Accounting Standards Board (AASB) and the Auditing
and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB).
The AASB has reappointed some members on a
part-time basis from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2012. These are
Queensland Treasury financial management branch director Sue
Highland, KPMG Australia partner Kris Peach and New Zealand
Financial Standards Reporting Board chair Joanna Perry.
The AUASB has reappointed part-time members
for the same period. These are Pitcher Partners partner Dianne
Aroor Hughes and Deloitte Australia partner Clive Mottershead.
• The New Zealand Institute of
Chartered Accountants has named its 28 council members for
2009-2010. This includes Dinu Harry as president, Ross Jackson as
vice-president, Graham Crombie as chair and Terry McLaughlin as
NORTH AMERICA, LATIN AMERICA
• The US National Association of State Boards of
Accountancy has elected new board members for 2009-2010.
Billy Atkinson is the new chairman, Michael Daggett is the
vice-chairman, David Duree is the Southwest regional director,
Telford Lodden is the central regional director and Daniel
Sweetwood is the executive directors’ liaison officer.
• US Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) commissioner Kathleen Casey said the US
must continue to support the development of a single set of high
quality global accounting standards or else it will fail the needs
of investors, according to media reports.
Speaking at the Financial Executives
International conference in New York, Casey said that, while the
SEC is deciding on the future of US GAAP convergence with IFRS,
investors still need a single set of rules for global
At present, the Financial Accounting Standards
Board and the International Accounting Standards Board are working
to converge about a dozen accounting rules on topics including
leasing and financial instrument accounting, which are due to be
completed by mid-2011. Casey said it was “crucial” the US continued
play a leading role in accounting standards but confirmed a review
of the proposal to move US firms to IFRS was still ongoing.
• The US Public Company Accounting
Oversight Board (PCAOB) has announced 19 new appointments
and re-appointments to its Standing Advisory Group. New
appointments include Grant Thornton national managing partner of
professional standards John Archambault, PricewaterhouseCoopers
assurance partner and US national office leader Michael Gallagher
and Ernst & Young assurance partner Kevin Reilly.
Reappointments include Ehrhardt Keefe Steiner
& Hottman audit partner and director of accounting and auditing
quality Margaret Foran, and BDO Seidman partner and national
director of assurance Wayne Kolins.
The members will serve two-year terms from
• The US Association of Latino
Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA) is to
merge with the US National Hispanic Business
Association. The new organisation, ALPFA National, will
have 14,000 members made up of 38 professional chapters and more
than 85 college chapters.
• The Caribbean branch of the
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the
Barbados Small Business Association (BBSA) have signed a
memorandum of understanding that will facilitate them working
together to support the SME sector in the region. BBSA president
Celeste Foster said the agreement would bring greater
professionalism and accounting rigour to the SME sector.
• The Financial Accounting
Foundation (FAF) has appointed Marcia Taylor to a second
five-year term as a member of the US Governmental
Accounting Standards Board (GASB).
Taylor has served as the assistant manager of
Mt Lebanon, Pennsylvania since 1990.
Previously she was the town’s director of
finance and has a background in auditing. She is a member of the
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and has a
master’s degree in public management.
Her appointment starts on 1 July 2010.
• A significant proportion of listed banks and insurers failed to
comply with mandatory financial instruments disclosure requirements
in their 2008 year end financial statements, according to analysis
by the Committee of European Securities Regulators
(CESR). CESR reviewed the 2008 financial statements of 96 listed
banks and insurers, including 22 companies from the FTSE Eurotop
100 index. The analysis was intended to discover how the detailed
requirements of IFRS 7 – Financial Instruments:
Disclosures and other guidance had been applied.
Two areas where a significant proportion of
companies failed to comply with mandatory disclosure requirements
were the use of valuation techniques on relationships with special
CESR accounting and enforcement group chair
Fernando Restoy welcomed the fact a significant number of companies
made the voluntary disclosures, but said CESR expected a higher
level of compliance with mandatory requirements.
• The UK Office of Fair
Trading (OFT) has launched a study into the corporate
insolvency market that will explore the structure of the market and
the appointment process for insolvency practitioners, focusing on
areas that could result in harm such as higher fees or lower
recovery rates for certain groups of creditors. This follows
concerns raised by the UK Government regarding the Insolvency
Service of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, and
the industry itself. The study will take data from accountancy
firms, law practices, government departments, regulators and trade
The OFT intends to complete the first phase of
the report by the end of 2010.
• The EC is seeking European stakeholder views
on IFRS for SMEs as part of its ongoing review of the Fourth and
Seventh Company Law Directives. The commission began a review of
the directives in February. The initial comment period closed at
the end of April and a legislative proposal was due for release by
the end of the year.
But following the release of the
International Accounting Standards Board’s (IASB)
IFRS for SMEs in August, the EC decided to take more time reviewing
the directives to include a consultation on the new standard. The
comment period ends on 12 March 2010.
• Few European SMEs plan to adopt IFRS for
SMEs unless it becomes mandatory, according to a survey by
Nexia International. Seventy-three percent of
Nexia members surveyed supported the adoption of a common set of
accounting standards for non-listed companies throughout Europe.
However, 38 percent said companies in their countries will not
adopt the standard until it is mandated by national standard
• The UK Accountancy and Actuarial
Discipline Board (AADB) has finalised proposed changes to
its accountancy disciplinary scheme.
This includes a change to the evidential test
to be applied before a matter proceeds to a disciplinary tribunal
and the introduction of a desirability test; new procedures to
appoint tribunal and appeal tribunal members by an independent
convener; a new power to conduct preliminary enquiries, subject to
an agreed protocol, before making a decision to investigate; a
restriction of the tribunal’s discretion to award costs against the
board to circumstances where the AADB is found to have acted
unreasonably; and changes to the tribunal’s voting
AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST, SOUTH ASIA
• The Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and
Wales (ICAEW) has set up a members advisory board
consisting of members based across the Middle East. Chaired by
Ernst & Young country partner Edward Quilan, the board will be
comprised of accountants, members in business and academics.
Its main purposes is to work with ICAEW
regional director Amanda Line to identify the key business issues
that affect accountancy and finance professions in the region, act
as a networking facility and provide strategic advice on the
institute’s Middle East activity.
• The International Organization of
Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has appointed Tajinder
Singh as deputy secretary general. Singh is the Securities and
Exchange Board of India (SEBI) head of international affairs and
human resource development. He is also an executive assistant to
the SEBI chairman.
Singh will continue his role as vice-chairman
of the implementation task force of IOSCO. He will take up his new
post in January 2010.
• Deloitte has hinted it is
in line to pick up the audits for Mahindra Satyam.
In an interview with US media, Deloitte’s
global chief executive Jim Quigley suggested Deloitte would be
appointed the new auditors of Mahindra Satyam, the successor to
troubled software company Satyam, going as far as saying it was a
In January this year Satyam’s founder and
chairman Ramalinga Raju admitted to fraud totalling more than $1.44
billion, the biggest ever corporate fraud in India’s history. At
the time, PricewaterhouseCoopers was Satyam’s statutory auditor.
Deloitte and KPMG were subsequently chosen to assist with the
restatement of the software company’s fraudulent accounts.
• The Institute of Chartered
Accountants in India (ICAI) temporarily withdrew its
disciplinary proceedings against the Delhi branch of Price
Waterhouse (PW) in relation to the Satyam fraud.
According to local media reports, the Indian
accounting regulator agreed to withdraw the proceedings after the
Delhi High Court objected to the ICAI taking action against the
Delhi firm without giving any evidence that it was related to PW
Bangalore, which was the statutory auditor of Satyam.
Although none of the recent media reports
mentioned the exact nature of the withdrawn proceedings, the ICAI’s
disciplinary committee had found Price Waterhouse Kolkata and Price
Waterhouse New Delhi prima facie guilty of professional
misconduct in September.
The overturn followed a petition, presented by
PW, claiming the proceedings against its Delhi firm were illegal as
it had no connection with the Bangalore-based firm.
The court will allow the Indian regulator to
issue a fresh notice to the Delhi firm if further evidence of its
involvement in the scam is found by the ICAI. The ICAI has
indicated it intends to do this.