Region round-up


Asia Pacific• The Australian Auditing
and Assurance Standards Board
(AUASB) is seeking comments
on a draft standard covering the review of financial reports and
other historical information. The proposed standard modernises the
existing standard to align it with other related assurance
standards and clarifies the assurance practitioner’s obligations
when conducting reviews. The exposure draft is available on the
AUASB website. Comments are required by 31 October 2007.

• The Malaysian Institute of Accountants has
held its 2007 regional conference with the objective of developing
the understanding of business, accounting and finance professionals
on key developments in the Iskandar Development Region, which is
the new main southern development corridor in Johor.

• The Australian government has proposed changes to the thin
capitalisation rules in income tax legislation in an attempt to
address what it called the “adverse impacts” of the adoption of the
Australian equivalents to IFRS (AIFRS). Differences between AIFRS
and the former Australian GAAP resulted in the thin capitalisation
positions of some entities being substantially affected. A
transitional period during which entities could elect to use either
AIFRS or Australian GAAP to make thin capitalisation calculations
will begin to expire from 31 December 2008.

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• The New Zealand Institute of Chartered
has developed a new web-based guide to help
not-for-profit groups find appropriate business tools and
information. The institute’s not-for-profit committee chair,
Carolyn Cordery, said: “We need not-for-profit organisations so
that society runs smoothly, particularly since the government is
contracting more and more with such organisations to deliver
services in the community.”

Deloitte China has become a sponsor of
China’s first global business journalism programme, which launches
at Tsinghua University this month. Deloitte said the goal of the
initiative is to create a new generation of business journalists
able to produce insightful, balanced coverage of China’s markets
and the global economy.

• Filipino firm Diaz Murillo Dalupan (DMD) has
promoted four senior personnel to full partnership. Arnulfo Romero
and Bethuel Tanupan have been named partners in the tax and
corporate services division. Jozel Francisco Santos and Rowie
Evacitas have been made partners in the audit and business
assurance division; both are products of the firm’s professional
career development programme. DMD has more than 100 staff members.
The firm joined the Leading Edge Alliance in March this year.

Deloitte Australia is launching a production
pilot of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) for the
preparation of financial reports for a selection of middle market
clients. Deloitte Digital chief executive Peter Williams said he
expects the XBRL-based solutions currently being developed will
“deliver huge cost savings” for business, regulators and

Africa, Middle East, South Asia

Africa, Middle East, South East Asia• The Institute
of Chartered Accountants in India
(ICAI) has unveiled the
makeup of its disciplinary committee and disciplinary board. ICAI
president Sunil Talati is the presiding officer of both bodies.
Joining him on the disciplinary board are ICAI council member
Rajkumar Adukia and Indian Government nominee Suman Kumar Nayak.
Other members of the committee include council members S
Santhanakrishnan and Abhijit Bandyopadhyay as well as government
choices RK Handoo and MP Lohia.

• Several South African companies have criticised the
application of IFRS, saying it does not represent a realistic and
true reflection of a company’s financial performance, the
South African Institute of Chartered Accountants
has said. The institute’s executive president Ignatius Sehoole said
the companies’ criticism comes annually. “Not only is it a way of
explaining why their results have not met expectations, but it is
also a fine decoy for focusing attention away from more sensitive
corporate issues,” he commented.

Deloitte South Africa has backed the South
Africa Institute of Chartered Accountants qualification. The Big
Four firm said the qualification is internationally accepted,
respected and highly paid. “It opens up opportunities to specialise
in disciplines as interesting and diverse as auditing, corporate
finance, information technology, marketing, fraud investigation and
investment advice,” Deloitte stated.

• The council of the Institute of Cost and Works
Accountants of India
recently elected Chandra Wadhwa as
president and Kunal Banerjee as vice-president for the years 2007
and 2008.

KPMG East Africa has admitted four new
partners. Philip Muema has been admitted as a tax partner and will
assist clients to set up operations in Kenya. Benson Ndung’u has
been admitted as an audit partner responsible for the KPMG Uganda
practice. David Leahy has been appointed as a partner in the
advisory services with particular responsibility for internal audit
services. Jacob Gathecha has been admitted as an audit partner at
KPMG Kenya.

• The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)
has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Hellenic
Capital Market Commission of Greece. DFSA chief executive David
Knott said: “The Hellenic Capital Market Commission has been a
valued member of the International Organisation of Securities
Commissions and an active participant in the work of the Committee
of European Securities Regulators, adopting and harmonising
international standards in Europe and continuing to establish world
class standards in the regulation of capital markets.”

• The South African Institute of Chartered
(SAICA) has revealed that 171 new cases of
alleged improper conduct from chartered accountants (CAs) in South
Africa were opened during 2006. SAICA project director for ethics
and discipline Jan Dijkman said the number is marginally higher
than in 2005, although the improprieties are “minuscule” when
compared to the more than 26,000 registered CAs in South Africa.
Dijkman said many of the cases related to minor complaints.


Europe• The UK Financial Reporting Review Panel
has published its activity report for the year to 31 March 2007.
The panel reviewed 311 sets of accounts of which 227 were prepared
under IFRS and 84 under UK GAAP. The report completes the panel’s
findings from its review of first-time implementation of IFRS. The
panel found a “good level” of compliance with international
accounting requirements but identified areas for improvement,
including accounting policies, disclosure of judgements and
estimates, new standards and interpretations, intangible assets,
impairment testing and related party disclosures.

• The Russian Institute of Internal Auditors
has teamed up with KPMG Russia for a research project on the state
and development of internal auditing in Russia. Chairs of audit
committees, chief executives and directors of divisions performing
internal audit functions are being asked to take part.

• About 50 chartered accountants (CAs) in Ireland are planning
to walk across fire in the hope of raising more than €30,000
($42,250) for two Irish charities. Institute of Chartered
in Ireland young professionals committee chair
Shauna Greely said: “In addition to satisfying some people’s desire
for a modern day accountants’ inquisition, we are also raising
money for two great causes.” The institute has also launched a new
€200,000 advertising campaign to raise the profile of CAs.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Switzerland has
sponsored the creation of a new professor specialising in financial
accounting at the University of Bâle, Zurich. The five-year
position is the first partnership in a series of engagements
between the Big Four firm and educational institutions.

• The UK Financial Reporting Council has
announced the appointment of Ian Wright as its new director of
corporate reporting. Wright has also been appointed deputy chair of
the Financial Reporting Review Panel and will be responsible for
the strategic outcome on corporate reporting and the needs of
investors for high-quality information.

• Flexible working hours are more important to female
accountants in business than their male counterparts, according to
a survey from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in
England and Wales
(ICAEW) and recruiter Robert Half. ICAEW
chief executive Michael Izza said: “It is a subject that will
continue to dominate UK business for some time and it will be
interesting to see if flexible working will become a bigger issue
to men.”

• First-time IFRS implementation by Alternative Investment
Market (AIM) listed companies this year has resulted in delays to
interim announcements, KPMG UK research has found.
This has left a glut of announcements expected before the 30
September deadline for companies with December year-ends. Only
around 40 percent of AIM companies with December year ends and a
market capitalisation of £10 million ($20.2 million) or more have
released their interims this month, compared to 50 percent at the
same time in 2006.

Alvarez & Marsal has named Michael Keppel
as Geschäftsführer (managing partner) and co-head of the firm’s
turnaround and performance improvement practice in Germany.

North America, Latin America

The Certified General Accountants Association of
(CGA-Canada) has launched an interactive web-based
tool designed to assist auditors of federal political campaigns.
The Elections E-Guide includes new changes to Canada’s Elections
Act that came into effect in January 2007. President and chief
executive of CGA-Canada Anthony Ariganello said: “Although a
general federal election is not on the immediate horizon, the guide
will help in educating and informing campaign workers while
assisting with compliance.”

• The Accounting Standards Executive Committee of the
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
has issued an exposure draft of a proposed audit and accounting
guide on airlines that addresses many new accounting issues
relevant to the airline industry. It includes chapters dedicated to
air cargo and regional carriers.

• The International Accounting Standards Board
(IASB) is seeking comments on a proposal to improve the accounting
for joint arrangements. Exposure Draft 9 Joint Arrangements
proposes a replacement to the existing standard IAS 31 Interests in
Joint Ventures, and represents the first major revision to the
standard since it was issued in 1990. The review forms part of the
IASB’s project with the US Financial Accounting Standards Board to
reduce differences between IFRS and US GAAP. The main focus of the
proposal includes shifting the focus from legal form to contractual
rights and obligations.

• The Bahamas Institute of Chartered
has elected Daniel Ferguson as its president
for the next two years. Council members elected to serve for the
2007-2008 administrative year include: Lawrence Lewis
(vice-president), Roslyn Minnis (secretary) and Kendrick Christie

• Mat Young has become the inaugural director of congressional
and political affairs at the American Institute of
Certified Public Accountants
(AICPA). The 32-year-old is
returning to public policy advocacy after 1.5 years in Canada as an
independent political consultant. He will be charged with covering
several issues for the institute, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
and tax policy. AICPA has also appointed William Roberts, a former
White House reporter for Bloomberg News, as director of media
relations in its Washington, DC office.

• The US Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) has charged 69 auditors with issuing audit reports on public
companies despite not being registered with the Public Company
Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). The SEC administrative orders
have named 37 unregistered audit firms and 32 audit partners whom
it claims participated in the preparation and issuance of their
unregistered firms’ audit reports. According to the regulator,
these firms and partners did not comply with a fundamental
requirement of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act – that accounting firms that
prepare and issue audit reports of public companies must be
registered with the PCAOB.