Region round-up


Asia Pacific• Australia’s Financial Reporting
Council is seeking expressions of interest from people wishing to
fill part-time vacancies on the Auditing and Assurance
Standards Board
(AUASB) during 2007-2008. The AUASB is an
independent Commonwealth statutory body established under the
Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001. Its role
includes making auditing standards for the purposes of the
corporation’s legislation, and the formulation of auditing and
assurance standards for other purposes.

• The Malaysian Securities Commission has
revised the country’s corporate governance code in a bid to
strengthen its framework and ensure it is aligned to other globally
accepted best practices. The newly revised code supersedes the
previous code issued in March 2000. It contains crucial amendments
aimed at strengthening the roles and responsibilities of boards of
directors and audit committees to ensure they discharge their
duties effectively.

• The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB)
has issued exposure drafts on proposed amendments to Financial
Instruments: Recognition and Measurement, and Joint Arrangements.
Both drafts are in line with the International Accounting Standards
Board’s proposed amendments. The financial instruments draft aims
to clarify what can be designated as a hedged item in a hedge
accounting relationship, while the joint arrangement proposal
allows parties to a jointly controlled entity to recognise their
interest in that entity using either the proportionate
consolidation or equity method of accounting.

• Nanjing University has won first place in the Deloitte
tax championship 2007. Participants came from 47
universities in the greater China region. The championship aims to
nurture the interests of students studying tax and help improve the
knowledge of the next generation of tax professionals. Alan Tsoi,
chairman of the championship organising committee, said: “Through
the championship, students achieved a deeper understanding of the
tax regime and greater awareness of the latest tax issues.”

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• The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public
(HKICPA) has thrown its support behind a
government proposal to lower taxes. The institute’s chief
executive, Winnie Cheung, said that lower tax rates were vital to
Hong Kong’s competitive position as a financial centre. “The chief
executive [of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region] is in
line with the viewpoint of the accounting profession in this
regard,” Cheung said. The institute advised cuts in corporate and
personal taxes to bring them close to 2002-2003 levels.

• An Institute of Chartered Accountants in
survey has found 43 percent of young Australian
accountants intend to travel overseas in the next two years. The
survey polled 680 accountants aged between 21 to 30 years old.
Two-thirds of respondents named the UK as the most popular
destination. Sheena Frenkel, general manager of the institute’s
chartered accountants programme, said the lure of the China Olympic
Games has helped Asia dislodge the US as the second most popular
destination, compared with last year’s results.

• Ethical conduct, continued professional education and issues to
be taken into account when reporting on financial statements were
among the topics discussed at a recent Mongolian Institute
of Certified Public Accountants
(MonICPA) seminar.

Africa, Middle East, South Asia

Africa, Middle East, South East Asia• The Institute
of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda
has elected
Joseph Baliddawa as its new president. Narendra Thakkar has been
named vice-president of the professional body. The
Ethiopian Professional Association of Accountants and
has elected Awoke Gebresilassie as its new
chairman and Kokeb Moges as vice chairman.

• Mussa Asaad has been elected as the chairman of the
Tanzanian National Board of Accountants and
. Asaad, who is a senior lecturer at the
University of Dar es Salaam, will serve in the post for three

• The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of
council has developed stronger working relationships
with the Kenyan government and parliament. The professional body
has met key government and parliamentary representatives in recent
months, including Speaker of the Kenya National Assembly Ole Kaparo
and Minister for Finance Amos Kimunya. Issues covered at the
meetings include how the institute can work with various ministries
in promoting accountability and good governance; the safeguarding
of the accountancy profession by ensuring high quality
professionals; and appointing qualified accountants as heads of
accounting units.

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of
(ICAN) has made technology competence a
prerequisite for new members. From 2008, every ICAN graduate is
expected to acquire IT skills under the institute’s technology
competence initiative (TCI) or show proof of such competence before
he or she can be inducted.

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of
has elected Tawanda Gumbo as president and Nyasha
Zhou as senior vice-president. The Swaziland Institute of
has appointed Barnabas Mhlongo as its chief

Deloitte Global has appointed two of its global
partners to the Middle East in response to a rise in demand caused
by the region’s oil and gas industry. Deloitte US partner and
global national oil company leader David Traylor, and Paul
Navratil, who has relocated form Deloitte Europe, are the latest
additions to the firm’s leadership team.

• A keynote address from a Harvard Business School professor will
be one of the draw cards at a global management accounting summit
in New Delhi, India next January. Robert Kaplan, who is Baker
Foundation professor at Harvard Business School, will speak at the
event along with other management accounting experts such as the
Institute of Management Accountants’ president and chief executive,
Paul Sharman. The summit is being organised by the
Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India
to discuss the repositioning of management accounting.


Europe• Accounting
bodies in Europe are demonstrating strong commitment to quality and
expertise through continuous education, according to research from
the Fédération des Experts Comptables Européens.
The survey, which includes feedback from 39 European accountancy
bodies, concluded that 37 professional bodies maintained a system
of continuing professional education, while the remaining two are
in the process of developing one with a view to making it

• The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and
(CIPFA) has appointed a new resources
director. Chris Harris will join CIPFA in January, after already
serving as a council member at the organisation.

• The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory
has published a guide to the financial reporting
requirements of the EU Transparency Directive. The report follows
the commencement of regulations giving effect to the directive in

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants in
(ICAI) is hosting a conference to spark
discussions between statutory regulators and chartered accountants
working in business and in practice. The conference will be held in
Newtownmountkennedy, County Wicklow, from 23 to 24 November. It
will conclude with an address by John McGuinness, Ireland’s new
Minister for Trade and Commerce with responsibility for accounting
and company law issues.

• Alex McDermott, an audit trainee from Grant Thornton
, has achieved the highest mark worldwide in the
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
exam. McDermott, who joined the firm’s audit team three years ago,
scored 89 percent in advanced corporate reporting.

• Medical technology company Medtronic Cardiovascular is the latest
organisation to join the Institute of Chartered Accountants
in Ireland
’s employer partnership scheme. Caroline Healy,
learning and development manager at Medtronic Cardiovascular, said:
“We are delighted to become members of this scheme as we continue
to provide focused learning and development opportunities for our

• The future of public audit in the EU was the topic of discussion
at a seminar to mark the 30th anniversary of the European
Court of Auditors
, held in Luxembourg recently. Finnish
Auditor General Tuomas Pöysti was one of the speakers at the
seminar and told participants that the future of public audit lies
in the role of audit and accountability in the conception of
democracy and good governance. Pöysti said: “The challenges for
accountability in the context of social and economic change call
for a better connection between audit and the exercise of
legislative and budgetary power.”

• A new advertising campaign has been launched by the
Institute of Chartered Accountants in England &
which includes a series of cinema adverts promoting
the Associate Chartered Accountant qualification. The campaign,
called ‘Blah won’t get you far’, will be shown in student cinemas
across England and Wales during the next six weeks and will also
appear in the national press and business press and on postcards
and student websites.

North America, Latin America

The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants
has launched a new website that focuses on the country’s upcoming
transition to IFRS. The website is designed to help members prepare
for a smooth and effective transition from Canadian GAAP to
International Standards on Auditing for periods after 15 December
2009. The website will also assist members’ transition from
Canadian GAAP to IFRS for publicly accountable enterprises for
periods beginning on or after 1 January 2011.

• The American Institute of Certified Public
(AICPA) has awarded former chairman Kathy Eddy
and former governing council member Gary John Previts the 2007 Gold
Medal for Distinguished Service. AICPA’s highest award recognises
people whose influence on accounting is notable in comparison to
other leaders in the profession.

• The majority of chief financial officers in the US want more
accounting firm choices, according to a survey by Grant
Thornton US
. The survey found that 56 percent of
respondents thought there are too few accounting firms to ensure
competition and 69 percent thought more competition in the US
accounting profession would increase quality of service and
decrease price. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they
considered only four auditing firms to be global organisations, 20
percent said five were global organisations, 28 percent said six
and 12 percent said eight.

PricewaterhouseCoopers US has teamed up with the
Professional Development Institute of the University of North Texas
to publish the sixth edition of Petroleum Accounting:
Principles, Procedures, & Issues
. The publication presents
an overview of the oil and gas industry’s operations in context
with the financial reporting and accounting principles and
practices, aimed at US companies and international companies filing
financial statements under US GAAP.

• The US Securities and Exchange Commission has
named Paul Beswick as a senior adviser to the commission’s chief
accountant. In this role, Beswick is to advise chief accountant
Conrad Hewitt on complex accounting and auditing matters, and will
assist in the development of strategic objectives as part of Office
of Chief Accountant’s agenda. Hewitt commented: “[Beswick’s] background in standard setting at the [Financial Accounting
Standards Board], and his role at Ernst & Young where he
participated in the audit of several large multinational
corporations and in a consultative role on complex technical
matters, will be invaluable in serving the interest of

• The US Center for Audit Quality has released
three white papers discussing accounting issues relating to the
liquidity crisis of the recent markets. The crisis had a pervasive
impact on public companies, specifically in investments held. The
white papers will articulate accounting practices requirements of
GAAP literature relating to the specific issues addressed, with the
aim of helping auditors understand the application of GAAP in the
context of illiquid market conditions.