Asia Pacific

Australia is to enforce a revised set of auditing standards in
clarity format from 1 January 2010. The Auditing and
Assurance Standards Board
(AUASB) will redraft and issue
its Australian Standards on Auditing (ASA), which conform to
International Standards on Auditing in clarity format. The ASAs
will be redrafted progressively in groups and released for
exposure. The final ASAs will not be issued until all the redrafted
standards have been approved, which is expected to occur in October
2009. The AUASB has already released four redrafted ASAs in line
with the clarity project for comment.

• The Australian Accounting
Standards Board
(AASB) has released an amendment to AASB
2008-7 Cost of an Investment in a Subsidiary, Jointly Controlled
Entity or Associate.

The amendment responds to concerns
regarding the initial measurement of cost, in accordance with AASB
127 Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements, in the separate
financial statements of a new parent formed as a result of a
specific type of reorganisation. It also responds to the
retrospective determination of cost and applying the cost method in
accordance with AASB 127 on first-time adoption of the Australian
equivalents to IFRS. Use of AASB 2008-7 is mandatory from 1 January
2009. Early adoption is permitted.

• The Australian Securities &
Investments Commission
(ASIC) has outlined five key market
issues it will be focusing on over the coming months, which
specifically respond to concerns emerging from the current market
conditions. Audit and accounting issues surrounding present
valuation methodologies and disclosure for complicated financial
assets were highlighted as areas of importance. ASIC commissioner
Belinda Gibson said that with financial results for the year to 30
June due out, ASIC’s accounting team would also be focusing on
valuation accounting, the correct treatment of off-balance sheet
entities and correct classification of debt as current or

• The Japanese Institute of
Certified Public Accountants
has completed an English
translation of Auditing and Assurance Committee Statement No. 82
Practical Guidance for Audits of Internal Control over Financial
Reporting. The translation is to be used solely as reference
material to aid in the understanding the original statement. For
all application purposes, users are instructed to consult the
original Japanese texts.

• The National Institute of
(NIA) in Australia has helped launch a
textbook comparing IFRS with Chinese Accounting Standards (CAS).
The publication, entitled Brief on the IFRS and Comparison with
the CAS
, will be used as the core training material for the
joint accountancy education programmes between the NIA and the
China Enterprise Confederation/China Enterprise Directors
Association. The author is Jianxin Wang, an accounting expert in
the Institute of Finance within the China’s Ministry of

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• The Japanese Institute of
Certified Public Accountants
has issued a report on ethics
and a report on eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). The
XBRL report sets out recommendations on changes to the process of
preparing financial statements arising from the introduction of
XBRL to the Electronic Disclosure for Investors Network (EDINET).
Japanese companies are required to submit financial statements in
XBRL to the EDINET for financial years beginning on 1 April 2008
onwards. The ethics report is aimed at helping improve the
practical judgment of auditor independence.

Africa, Middle East, South Asia

Africa, Middle East, South East Asia

• South Africa’s accounting and legal
professions have agreed on interim measures to satisfy the
compliance requirements of the Independent Regulatory Board
for Auditors
(IRBA) and the provincial law societies. The
agreement involves standardising the format of the assurance report
required for attorneys’ trust accounts.

Joint Attorneys’ and Accountants’
Committee chair Vincent Faris said the need to review and update
the guidelines and audit procedures was identified because of the
changing technological environment as well as the changes to
international reporting standards and procedures. The IRBA is
currently drafting a new set of guidelines, procedures and an audit
report, which it anticipates will be effective from the end of
February 2009.

• The Accounting Practices
at the South African Institute of
Chartered Accountants
has proposed changes to the standard
AC 503 – Accounting for Black Economic Empowerment (BEE)
Transactions, which brings the local standard in line with recent
revisions to IFRS 2 – Share-based Payment. The changes are
primarily expected to affect companies that have entered into BEE
transactions with non-market performance targets, which are targets
that are not linked to the company’s share price. The amendments
are due to take effect for annual periods beginning on or after 1
January 2009.

• The Institute of Cost and
Management Accountants of Bangladesh
(ICMAB) recently held
a discussion session on the economic impact of Cyclone SIDR, which
devastated Bangladesh in November last year. The impact was
outlined in a survey report titled Devastations Caused to the
Bangladesh Economy by Cyclone SIDR-2007
, presented by ICMAB
past-president Nurul Hassan. The survey report estimated the total
economic damage sustained by the Bangladeshi economy from the
cyclone stood at BDT307.9 billion ($4.4 billion). Cyclone Sidr was
estimated to have killed more than 3,000 people.

• UHY International has admitted a member
firm in Israel. Shtainmetz-Aminoach & Co CPA
has five partners, 65 staff and is based in Tel Aviv. It reported
fee income of $4 million in its most recent financial year. Founded
in 1987, the firm provides services in accounting and auditing,
valuations, arbitrations, option loyalties and bonds, and
management consultancy. It also specialises in international tax,
complex Israeli tax planning, and taxation of pension and provident

Shtainmetz-Aminoach & Co managing
partner Amir Cahana commented: “We hope our membership of UHY will
allow us to deliver premium client service, on a global scale, for
the benefit of our international clients. Our clients currently
span the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Northern
African regions. Joining UHY seems a natural step to take in order
to achieve our business and client service



• The UK Chartered Institute of
(CIOT) has appointed its first chief executive.
Peter Fanning will begin his new role in September. The new
position is part of a restructuring within CIOT, which is aimed at
developing opportunities and meeting the challenges faced by
professional organisations and charities. These include the
constraints on the time available from volunteers, increased
competition and the retirement of senior professional staff.
Fanning joins CIOT from the Office of Government Commerce, a
subsidiary of HM Treasury, where he was acting chief executive. He
has held a range of senior management roles across various sectors
during the past 20 years.

• The UK Financial Reporting
Review Panel
has published revised operating procedures to
improve the transparency of its enquiries. The changes follow
public consultation and include setting out the way in which the
panel manages conflicts of interests when appointing panel groups.
The panel will now also take legal advice and discuss matters with
the chairman of the Financial Reporting Council before writing a
final letter to the chairman of a company indicating the panel’s
intention to apply to court. The revised operating procedures apply
to all cases where the panel’s initial letter is sent to the
company on or after 1 September 2008.

• Wim Van der Stede is the new
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
(CIMA) professor of accounting and financial management, replacing
Michael Bromwich, who held the chair since 1985. In his new role,
Van der Stede will be charged with contributing to the UK-based
institute’s strategy by raising the profile of the profession and
bridging theory and practice. Van der Stede is also a professor of
management accounting at the London School of Economics and
Political Science.

• The European Financial Reporting
Advisory Group
has expressed a number of concerns about
the International Accounting Standards Board and US Financial
Accounting Standards Board’s joint exposure draft covering chapters
one and two of the boards’ proposed conceptual framework. In a
draft comment letter to the standard setters, the group said the
first two chapters should not be finalised until the whole
framework is ready to be finalised. EFRAG suggested information
that was relevant to the capital providers should usually be
relevant to those managing that capital, and the framework could be
improved by acknowledging that link.

• A discussion paper on the financial
reporting of pensions has instigated more than 90 responses. The
paper was issued in January this year under the Pro-active
Accounting Activities in Europe initiative by the European
Financial Reporting Advisory Group
and a number of
European standard-setters. It was intended to stimulate debate and
influence international opinion on the reporting of pensions.

The UK Accounting Standards Board will now
consider the responses and release a revised discussion paper next
month. A report setting out final recommendations for consideration
by the international and US accounting standards boards is
anticipated in the second half of 2009.

North America, Latin America


• The US CPA profession has launched a $15
million programme to help rectify a shortage of accounting
professors. More than 70 of the largest US firms, along with
several state CPA societies, have committed money to the programme,
which will be administered by the American Institute of
Certified Public Accountants
(AICPA) Foundation.

Accounting Doctoral Scholars executive
director Doyle Williams commented: “The average age of current
accounting professors is around 55, which indicates that a real
crisis is coming in the next decade.”

• Walter Smith has been elected national
president and chief executive of the National Association
of Black Accountants
(NABA) for a two-year term. Smith,
who is vice-president of financial reporting at Prudential
Financial in Newark, New Jersey, said the board’s energy and drive
over the next two years would be centred on galvanising the NABA
and its stakeholders. Smith has been a NABA member for more than 20

• The US Public Company Accounting
Oversight Board
(PCAOB) has adopted rules that will govern
when a firm is allowed to succeed to the registration status of a
predecessor firm following a merger or other change in the
registered firm’s legal form. Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a
public accounting firm must be registered with the PCAOB in order
to prepare, issue, or play a substantial role in the preparation or
furnishing of audit reports. The rules are subject to US Securities
and Exchange Commission approval.

• The American Institute of
Certified Public Accountants
(AICPA) and the US-based
Texas Tech University’s division of personal financial planning
have announced plans for a joint agreement to develop a new
educational programme that will lead to the AICPA’s Personal
Financial Specialist (PFS) qualification. The new programme, called
PFS Pathway, will officially start in June 2009.

• The US Financial Accounting
Standards Board
(FASB) has published a new guide intended
to improve the quality and consistency of the financial reporting
of endowments held by not-for-profit organisations.

FASB project manager Jeffrey Mechanick
said: “The [guide] addresses issues that are very important to the
not-for-profit sector, especially organisations with sizeable
endowments and the users of their financial statements, such as
donors, credit rating agencies and regulators. Organisations across
the country now find themselves subject to increased public
scrutiny on how they manage and use their endowments, which in many
instances have seen tremendous growth over the past decade.”

• Company leaders must understand the
impact of IFRS across their business and develop a plan for the
accounting switch, according to a paper released by
Deloitte US. International Financial Reporting
Standards for US Companies: Planning for IFRS Adoption

provides analysis of the planning process. The paper suggests
taking a proactive approach to IFRS implementation, with particular
emphasis on understanding the wider issues that go beyond
accounting and financial reporting.