The National Institute of Accountants in
Australia has awarded three grants for research into issues
currently affecting the accounting profession. …

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and
Wales
(ICAEW) has launched its Certificate in Finance,
Accounting and Business (CFAB) course in the Persian Gulf….

The SEC has formalised its requirement for 500 of the largest US
companies to begin filing using eXtensible Business Reporting
Language (XBRL) as early as 13 April 2009…

Asia-Pacific

• A former president of the National Institute of
Accountants
(NIA) in Australia is at the centre of a A$5.2
million ($3.4 million) offshore tax evasion and money laundering
case.

Lynette Liles faces six counts of conspiring to defraud the
Australian Commonwealth, 23 counts of conspiring to obtain a
financial advantage by deception and five counts of conspiring to
deal in money and intending that the money would become an
instrument of crime. A total of 153 charges have been laid against
the Sydney accountant, her husband and 10 of her clients.

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By GlobalData

The Australian Federal Police alleged at Sydney’s Downing Centre
Local Court that the 62-year-old woman devised, promoted,
facilitated and implemented tax evasion schemes on behalf of
Australian-based clients.

The total amount allegedly laundered by the 12 people is
approximately A$5.2 million.

Australian media reports said that police documents showed some
of the alleged offences date to 1995, when Lynette Liles, then
known as Lynette McPhee, was president of the National Institute of
Accountants.

The NIA confirmed Liles was president from 1994 to 1996 but said
she has not been a member since 2001.

• The National Institute of Accountants in
Australia has awarded three grants for research into issues
currently affecting the accounting profession.

The major grant of A$16,000 ($10,400) went to a team at Victoria
University to identify and evaluate the benefits of SMEs reporting
directly to accountants via the internet to reduce the burden of
regulation.

A further two A$8,000 grants went to research teams from LaTrobe
University in Melbourne and Queensland University to examine the
role of the CFO on corporate sustainability performance and
identify opportunities for accountants under the Federal
Government’s climate change policies.

CPA Australia has named Margaret McKerchar as
the new president of its New South Wales division. The role will
see McKerchar lead a 33,000 strong membership across the state.

McKerchar is an associate professor of taxation and associate
head of school at the Australian School of Taxation in the faculty
of law at the University of New South Wales.

She has an international reputation as a leading researcher and
academic of taxpayer compliance.

• Deloitte Malaysia has appointed former executive director of
Malaysian Accounting Standards Board (MASB) Nordin
Zain as a partner in the firm.

Zain was a founding board member of the MASB, which was
established in 1997. In May 2000, he was appointed executive
director of the MASB.

Zain is also a founding member of the Asia-Pacific Financial
Reporting Advisory Group and sits on the board of the Accounting
and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions.

Africa, Middle East, South Asia

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and
Wales
(ICAEW) has launched its Certificate in Finance,
Accounting and Business (CFAB) course in the Persian Gulf.

The year-long course is comprised of modules in business and
finance, law, management information, accounting, assurance and
principles of tax. It was launched in the UK late last year and can
act as a stepping stone to the full ACA qualification.

The ICAEW launched the ACA qualification in the Gulf in 2007 and
the first 100 students have begun training contracts.

ICAEW president David Furst said the institute is attracting
many talented trainees with the ACA and is hoping for similar
success with CFAB. “Later this year, we plan to open an office in
the Gulf to better serve our members and students. The launch of
CFAB is another part of the strategy,” he said.

• The Securities and Exchange Commission of
Pakistan
(SECP) is allowing a relaxation in the accounting
treatment for equity securities held by companies as ‘available for
sale’ as required under IAS 39 – Financial Instrument: Recognition
and Measurement.

This relaxation is valid until the end of this year and has been
granted in the light of representations from various stakeholders
including insurance, banking and leasing associations, the Karachi
Stock Exchange and the corporate sector.

The stakeholders had requested relaxation in the accounting
treatment, citing prevalent market conditions, the closure of stock
markets for four months and very low trading volumes on the stock
markets, which had made the application of impairment tests
difficult.

The SECP said that those companies that are willing to follow
the full requirements of IAS 39 are encouraged to do so.

• The South African Institute of Chartered
Accountants
has developed a new set of accounting
standards for small entities that do not require general purpose
financial statements. These draw on work from local and
international standard setters.

• Hundreds of Palestinian accountants have registered for a
scholarship to take the Arab Certified Public Accountant (ACPA)
certificate. The Arab Society for Certified
Accountants
(ASCA) is offering accountants and accounting
graduates from the Gaza Strip the opportunity to qualify at no
cost. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, the ASCA president, is covering all
expenses including registration, exams and curricula fees.

Abu-Ghazaleh is a native of Palestine and the chairman of the
large multidisciplinary conglomerate Talal Abu-Ghazaleh
Organization.

Zuhair El Nazer, the ASCA representative and manager of the
Talal Abu-Ghazaleh International office in Gaza, commented: “The
number of registrants has reached 400 within one week and the
number is expected to increase since many institutions and
universities nominated their employees and graduates to benefit
from this scholarship.”

The 2009 ACPA scholarship is the third to be launched by
Abu-Ghazaleh. The first was in 2001 and included 1,000 Palestinian
accountants in Gaza and the West Bank. It was later renewed in
2007.

Europe

• The European Commission has proposed to
provide €36.2 million ($45.7 million) from the EU budget to the
International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation, the
European Financial Reporting Advisory Group and the Public Interest
Oversight Board. The commission is also proposing direct funding to
the three EU supervisory committees. Internal Market and Services
Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said the financial crisis had
demonstrated the need to further strengthen EU supervisory
arrangements.

• Norway plans to amend accounting laws so companies will have
to come clean on ethics. The Norwegian government recently launched
its first white paper on corporate social responsibility in a
globalised economy. The white paper clarifies the responsibility
companies have regarding public reporting on sustainability
performance, including human rights, decent working conditions, the
environment and anti-corruption.

The Norwegian government has thrown its support behind the use
of the Global Reporting Initiative’s G3 Guidelines, the most widely
used sustainability framework.

• The UK Financial Services Authority has held
meetings with auditors to discuss concerns they could render a
spate of qualified opinions for ailing financial institutions. This
could lead to further peril for the beleaguered banking sector,
especially in the current environment. Auditors are currently
assessing whether banks with December 2008 year-ends remain going
concerns as the recent volatility in the UK banking market has
raised questions about their ability to raise capital and remain
solvent.

• Sigurður Arnþórsson has been appointed as secretary general of
Félag Löggiltra Endurskoðenda (FLE), the Icelandic
member body of the Nordic Federation of Public Accountants. He
succeeds Gunnar Sigurðsson who is retiring from the full-time
position but will still continue to serve on an ad-hoc basis with
some ongoing projects. Arnþórsson is a past president of FLE and a
past partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers Iceland.

• Clive Parritt has been elected-vice president of the
Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and
Wales
(ICAEW). Parritt has previously worked at Touche
Ross, now Deloitte, and was managing partner of Baker Tilly for ten
years until 1996. He is now chairman and director of several UK
companies and investment trusts. Parritt will begin his new role on
3 June 2009.

• Dorothy Wood is the new head of education at
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants UK.
Wood is the former innovation and technical development manager at
the ICAEW.

• The Auditing Practices Board has published
guidance for the audit of credit unions in the UK. Practice Note
27: The audit of credit unions in the United Kingdom provides
advice on the application of ISAs to credit unions as well as
information on legal and regulatory requirements.

• Generation Y graduate job vacancies in the UK are expected to
drop by 5.4 percent, according to a recent survey conducted by the
Association of Graduate Recruiters. The survey also reported that
generation Y recruits who have secured a job in 2009 may also face
pay freezes or, particularly in the banking and financial services
industries, have their salaries cut by up to 8 percent.

North America, Latin America

• The US Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF)
has appointed a new chairman of its board of trustees and three new
members. New chairman John Brennan has been chairman of Vanguard
Group since 1998 and was a FAF trustee from 1998 to 2003. Jeffrey
Diermeier, Cynthia Eisenhauer and Dennis Kass have also been
appointed to the Board of Trustees. Diermeier served as president
and chief executive officer of the Chartered Financial Analyst
Institute until his retirement at the end of 2008. Eisenhauer is a
consultant supporting state and local governments in strategic
planning and budgeting and Kass is chairman and chief executive of
Jennison Associates, an investment management firm owned by
Prudential.

• The US Public Company Accounting Oversight
Board
has published guidance on auditing internal control
in smaller public companies. The guidance relates to Auditing
Standard No. 5 An Audit of Internal Control Over Financial
Reporting That Is Integrated with An Audit of Financial Statements,
which guides auditors on scaling an audit based on the company’s
size and complexity.

• The US Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) has extended by two months the comment period on its road map
for IFRS for US issuers. The SEC extended the feedback period to
improve the quality and rate of responses. The new deadline is 20
April 2009.

• The SEC has appointed Robert Malhotra as senior adviser in the
regulator’s Office of the Chief Accountant (OCA). Malhotra will
advise OCA senior officers on accounting and audit issues. Prior to
joining the commission, he was manager at KPMG’s department of
professional practice.

• The US Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) has
released a practical report for public company auditors that
highlights lessons learned from integrated audits of internal
control over financial reporting.

The report offers suggestions about performing an integrated
audit, the benefits of a top-down risk-based approach to emphasise
areas where material risks are most likely, and the advantages of
maintaining an open line of communication between the auditor,
company management and the audit committee. The report supports
compliance with the provisions of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley
Act.

• The American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants
(AICPA) has launched a free online job finder
to assist accounting employers and employees find opportunities
during the recession. AICPA president Barry Melancon said that due
to the institute’s relationship with both firms and members it was
in a prominent position to assist job fulfilments and staffing
objectives.

• The SEC has formalised its requirement for 500 of the largest
US companies to begin filing using eXtensible Business Reporting
Language (XBRL) as early as 13 April 2009.