• Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has
proposed to approve a selection of IFRS and international
interpretations released between 1 July 2009 and 31 December 2009
for voluntary use by certain Japanese listed companies.
The FSA decided last year to allow the largest
Japanese companies to prepare their consolidated financial
statements using IFRS for financial years ending on or after 31
March 2010. However, only IFRS that have been approved by the
Japanese regulator can be applied.
In December, the FSA ruled that all IFRS and
International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC)
interpretations issued by the IASB on or before 30 June 2009 were
suitable for application in Japan.
The regulator is now proposing to approve
changes to IFRS and IFRIC interpretations that were published in
the past six months. This includes amendments to IFRS 1, IAS 32,
IAS 24 and IFRIC 14, as well as the new IFRS 9 and IFRIC 19.
Comments on the proposals are due by 22
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• The Institute of Certified Public
Accountants of Singapore has issued the final set of clarified
Singapore Standards on Auditing (SSAs), following approval by the
Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.
The clarified SSAs are based on their
international equivalents, the clarified International Standards on
Auditing (ISAs), which were issued by the International Auditing
and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB).
The IAASB’s clarity project aimed to advance
the process of global audit convergence and enhance the quality and
uniformity of audit practices worldwide.
The SSAs come into effect for audits of
financial statements that cover periods beginning on or after 15
• The Philippines Auditing and Assurance
Standards Council (AASC) is seeking comments on a draft Philippine
Auditing Practice Statement: Audit Evidence – Practical Problems in
Audit of Financial Statements.
The draft statement provides
Philippines-specific practical guidance to auditors on how to deal
with situations where clients are unable to prepare and submit
information the auditor needs to complete audit work. This includes
supporting schedules, reports and computations.
All AASC pronouncements are based on those
issued by the International Audit and Assurance Standards
The deadline for comments is 9 May.
• The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public
Accountants has updated its members’ handbook to include amendments
to HKFRS 1 First-time Adoption of Hong Kong Financial Reporting
The amendment is based on changes published by
the International Accounting Standards Board last month to the
corresponding IFRS 1.
It relieves first-time adopters of HKFRS from
providing additional disclosures introduced in amendments to HKFRS
7, which were based on amendments made to IFRS 7 in March 2009.
North America, Latin
• The Caribbean nations Guyana, and Trinidad
and Tobago have adopted IFRS for SMEs.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of
Trinidad and Tobago (ICATT) said the simplified accounting
standards will apply to most reporting entities in the country.
Entities that publish general purpose financial statements for
external users, but are not publicly accountable, are eligible to
implement IFRS for SMEs. ICATT president Anthony Pierrem said IFRS
for SMEs is a step in the right direction and will keep the nation
in line with international best practice.
• The American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants (AICPA) is continuing to work towards preparing the
country for IFRS despite uncertainty over a road map for adoption.
A new AICPA publication, IFRS Accounting Trends & Techniques,
has been written for management, financial statement preparers,
investors, analysts and academics. It is intended to increase their
understanding and awareness of IFRS and the accounting policies of
industries around the world that already use IFRS. The report
covers the experience of 100 companies, including BP, Nokia,
Siemens, GlaxoSmithKline, Vodafone, Royal Dutch Shell and Telecom
• Four former Ernst & Young US partners
have been handed jail terms for their roles in tax shelter
According to US media reports, Robert Coplan
was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $75,000
fine. Coplan was the leader of the firm’s individual tax shelter
group and the former national director of its wealth planning
Martin Nissenbaum was sentenced to 30 months
in prison and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine. Nissenbaum was a
member of the firm’s tax shelter group and national director of its
personal income tax and retirement planning practice.
Richard Shapiro was sentenced to 28 months in
prison ordered to pay a $100,000 fine.
Brian Vaughn was sentenced to 20 months in
• The US Public Company Accounting Oversight
Board (PCAOB) hopes to enhance its transparency through a
redesigned website. The new website aims to make registration,
inspection, standard-setting and enforcement information more
accessible and user-friendly to investors, auditors and other
There will be an improved search function and
the pages that are viewed most often will be accessible directly
from the home page.
New pages will also be added for information
about the PCAOB’s international programme, and research and
• The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF)
and Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) will assemble a
team of technical staff to maintain the US GAAP Financial Reporting
Taxonomy for public issuers registered with the US Securities and
The FAF and FASB said the team will begin to
work towards the release of a taxonomy update in early 2011.
The US GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy is a
list of computer-readable tags in eXtensible Business Reporting
Language that allows companies to label pieces of financial data
included in long-form financial statements and related footnote
• The new European Financial Reporting
Advisory Group’s Technical Experts Group (EFRAG TEG) will be
chaired by Françoise Flores, the current EFRAG vice-chair. Flores
is a partner at Mazars France. Mike Ashley from the UK will be the
new EFRAG vice-chair.
The new EFRAG TEG will take over on 1 April.
The other members will be: Gabi Ebbers, Germany; Nicklas Grip,
Sweden; Araceli Mora, Spain; Nicolas de Paillerets, France; Hans
Schoen, The Netherlands; Andy Simmonds, UK; Anna Sirocka, Poland;
Andrea Toselli, Italy; Carsten Zielke, Germany.
Outgoing EFRAG chair Stig Enevoldsen said
Flores’ strong commitment to IFRS in Europe will make EFRAG a key
• British banks believe the International
Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has gotten proposals to revamp
the impairment of financial instruments conceptually right but
disagree with the chosen model, according to the British Bankers’
Association (BBA). IASB proposals introduce an expected-loss model,
which would oblige banks to record losses if they expect a loan
default is likely. At present, impairment is not triggered until
losses are incurred.
“We think the precise model [the IASB has]
chosen happens to be about the most complex model they could have
found. We believe they can meet their underlying objectives in a
much more straight forward way,” BBA executive director Paul
• The UK Auditing Practices Board (APB) has
issued guidance for auditors on the XBRL tagging of financial
statements. XBRL tagging will be required for tax purposes in the
UK from 2011. The APB guidance provides information on this
requirement and on the application of the APB’s Ethical Standards
for Auditors to non-audit services relating to XBRL tagging.
• The European Commission (EC) has decided to
allow Canadian, Japanese and Swiss oversight authorities to
exchange audit working papers and co-operate with EU jurisdictions.
The EC said these jurisdictions fulfil the European requirements on
reciprocal access to audit working papers, including the need to
respect the confidential nature of the transferred documents. The
recommendation to approve Canada, Japan and Switzerland as
co-operative jurisdictions was first made last July.
• The Chartered Institute of Public Finance
and Accountancy (CIPFA) has appointed Jon Graham as managing
director of its financial services arm. Graham is currently the
managing director of business management trainer Kaplan Hawskmere,
and has experience in business development, account and people
• A new public pensions framework launched by
CIPFA has been endorsed by UK Local Government Minister Rosie
Winterton. Winterton described the framework as “a valuable tool
against critics who question the value for money of public service
• An Ernst & Young (E&Y) survey has
found there is little evidence to suggest IFRS is being employed by
the European investment fund industry, despite the G20’s support
for global accounting standards.
The poll of fund managers, administrators and
supervisors in 44 European countries found just one-fifth of funds
and administrators who have the option to use IFRS currently do
Twenty-two percent of managers and
administrators polled chose to combine IFRS with other standards,
such as US GAAP.
• Gritones Baldwin has been appointed as a
technical adviser to the International Public Sector Accounting
Standards Board (IPSASB). Baldwin, who is currently a partner at
KPMG France, will join the technical advisory team under
Marie-Pierre Cordier. His term began in January and will continue
for three years.
Africa, Middle East, South Asia
• The Arab Society of Chartered Accountants
(ASCA) has listed highlights from the past year that included
widespread official recognition for its qualification and a new
management accountant certificate.
The management report noted that the Arab
Certified Professional Accountant certificate, which is issued by
the ASCA, has received official recognition from a number of Arab
countries as an accredited qualification.
Countries recognising the qualification
include Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates,
Oman and Libya.
• The Institute of Cost and Management
Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP) has signed a memorandum of
understanding with online job site ROZEE.PK to develop a career
portal. The portal is intended to help ICMAP’s career development
office automate and manage interaction between students, members
Features of the portal will include online CV
submission, alerts via email and SMS for jobs that match their
individual criteria, and an alumni and members social networking
• PricewaterhouseCoopers India (PwC) has
suffered an exodus of about 200 staff in the past two months,
including 19 partners and tax leader Dinesh Kanabar, as the Satyam
Computer Services fraud inflicts further damage, Indian media
In a separate development, former PwC partner
Srinivas Talluri, who left the firm following allegations of his
involvement in the scandal that led to him being imprisoned, this
week received bail of INR2 million ($43,331) by Supreme Court judge
Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan.
• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of
India (ICAI) has recommended banning two chartered accountants
associated with Lovelock & Lewes, a firm affiliated with
The ICAI’s disciplinary committee submitted a
report in February last year that claimed P Ramakrishna and Manish
Aggarwal were guilty of professional misconduct with regard to the
collapsed Global Trust Bank.
The ICAI has recommended Ramakrishna be banned
for five years and Aggarwal for three.
Indian media reports the ICAI, which regulates
the profession, has upheld these findings. The alleged verdict is
not final and will have to go through a process of validation in
the High Court.