• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of
has appointed Yasser El-Ansary as tax counsel
starting in January 2009.

• The Japanese Financial Services Agency has
translated the Certified Public Accountants Act into English.

• The Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors
(IRBA) of South Africa has appointed Bernard Agulhas as its new
chief executive.

Deloitte Sweden chair Svante Forsberg has
become the new chairman of Swedish professional body FAR SRS.

Asia Pacific
• The Institute of Chartered Accountants of
has appointed Yasser El-Ansary as tax counsel
starting in January 2009.

El-Ansary will take the lead role in
furthering the institute's long-term relationships across
all levels of government and the tax profession. El-Ansary has 14
years of experience in business and taxation advisory roles.

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He is currently group tax manager for
Australand Holdings and previously worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers
and Rio Tinto.

• Forensic accountants giving or preparing
evidence in legal proceedings in Australia will be subject to
updated provisions under a revised professional standard issued by
the country’s Accounting Professional & Ethical
Standards Board

Requirements for the role of expert witness
will be mandatory and, for the first time, the standard will apply
to accountants working in the corporate sector and in government,
as well as those in accountancy firms.

The standard, APES 215 Forensic Accounting
Services, will replace APS 11 Statement of Forensic Accounting
Standards and GN 2 Forensic Accounting. APES 215 is effective from
1 July 2009, with early adoption permitted. It will be enforced by
the three Australian professional accounting bodies.

• The Japanese Financial Services
has translated the Certified Public Accountants Act
into English. The translations are unofficial and are to be used
solely as reference material to aid in the understanding of
Japanese laws and regulations. Only the original Japanese text of
laws and regulations have legal effect.

• The Australia securities regulator has
issued guidance on going concern, determining fair value,
impairment of assets, off balance sheet arrangements and new
financial instrument disclosures.

The guidance incorporates specific issues
identified through the Australian Securities and Investment
review of 30 June 2008 financial reports.
Entities are expected to use the guidance when preparing their
year-end reports.

• A need for changes to the accounting rules
for hedging and impairment were among the issues raised in a report
the Australian Financial Reporting Council presented at an
International Accounting Standards Board
(IASB) and
US Financial Accounting Standards Board roundtable
in Tokyo this month.

The roundtable was the third and final held by
the two standard setters to determine what issues are emerging from
the global financial crisis and what actions are needed in

The key findings of the Australian regulator’s
report include that the most pressing need for change relates to
the difference between the prudential and accounting models for
provisioning of loans held at amortised cost.

Change was also deemed to be needed in terms
of the accounting rules for hedging and the measurement and
reversal of impairment of available for sale securities.

 Africa, Middle East, South Asia

Africa, Middle East, South East Asia• The Independent
Regulatory Board of Auditors
(IRBA) of South Africa has
appointed Bernard Agulhas as its new chief executive.

Agulhas has been involved in the auditing
profession for 23 years, which includes 12 years at an audit firm,
two years at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants
and five years at the IRBA itself. He has been acting chief
executive of the regulator since June this year.

Agulhas has a vast amount of expertise in
auditing, standard-setting, the regulatory environment,
communications and international projects in both the private and
public sectors.

The appointment will be effective from 1
December 2008.

• The accounting team from Transnet
Freight Rail, South Africa
, featured among the award
winners at the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
2008 financial management awards.

Transnet won CIMA’s ‘Innovation in Management
Accounting Award’ for devising a practical and imaginative
activity-based costing model applicable to a complex industry.

The modelling tool provided flexibility so
that reports could be generated from any perspective at the click
of a button, CIMA said.

The Accounting and Auditing
Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions
is seeking
comment on the revision of Financial Accounting Standard (FAS) No.
23: Consolidation.

The standard currently states the power to
control rests with the voting rights over the entity, and a parent
should consolidate entities in which it, directly or indirectly
through other entities, owns more than 50 percent of the voting

The revision proposes that the standard should
not strictly follow the legal form of control but stipulate a
comprehensive criterion for identification of control over

An exposure draft of the revised standard will
be circulated to the international Islamic finance industry for
comments and submitted to a public hearing scheduled for January

• Accounting skills shortages in South Africa
could become astronomical within the next 10 years if high levels
of economic growth are maintained without a drastic improvement in
the supply side of the market, according to research commissioned
by the South African Institute of Chartered

SAICA said the report, The Financial
Management, Accounting and Auditing Skills Shortage in South
, presents the first definitive research providing a
credible measure of the current shortage of accountants and other
financial staff, and helps
predict what the future shortages are likely to be.

The study said a conservative estimate of the
current skills shortage indicates a need for more than 22,000
additional people to fill financial positions in South Africa. It
predicted the total number of finance positions is expected to rise
from 305,000 in 2007 to between 349,000 and 460,000 in 2018.



• The UK Financial Reporting
has released three documents aimed at helping
audit committees and directors assess and plan their 2008 year-end
going concern assumptions and disclosures.

The auditing regulator said the global
liquidity squeeze and its impact on the wider economy increases the
challenges for directors preparing corporate reports this year.

The documents do not impose any new
requirements on companies or their auditors.

The FRC has also announced new arrangements
for funding its activities relating to accounting, auditing and
corporate governance. The council will phase in the new
arrangements. For 2009-10, it will apply the preparers'
levy to large private companies with a turnover of £1 billion ($1.5
billion) or more. Thereafter, it will apply the levy to large
private companies with a turnover of £500 million or more.

Deloitte Sweden chair
Svante Forsberg has become the new chairman of Swedish professional
body FAR SRS.

The new leadership team also features
vice-chairmen Anders Bäckström of KPMG and Christina Westerberg of
accounting firm Gävle Dala Revision.

• The UK government’s treasury
is seeking submissions on the role of auditors
in the recent banking crisis and whether any reform to that role is
required. The request is part of a wider inquiry to identify
lessons that can be learned from the banking crisis. The deadline
for submissions is 6 January 2009.

• The EC has released a
series of recommendations and good practice guidelines on
accounting systems for small enterprises. The guidance follows a
project where experts from EU member states analysed accounting
systems applied by sole proprietorships/traders and partnerships
with unlimited liability to identify how these systems meet the
needs of these small enterprises.

• Reporting on sustainability in annual
reports needs improvement according to a new survey from the
Federation of European Accountants (Fédération des
Experts comptables Européens – FEE).

The survey studied the implementation of the
amendments to EU Article 46 under the 2003 Modernisation Directive
into national legislation and guidance.

The accounting body said the spirit of the
Directive meant that transparency on sustainability was no longer
just related to voluntary reporting and it should be included, when
relevant and necessary for the understanding of the business, in
the annual report.

• The European Financial Reporting
Advisory Group
(EFRAG) has created a new committee to
increase its influence on the early stages of the international
standard-setting process.

The nine-person planning and resource
committee (PRC) was formed as part of a review on how to enhance
EFRAG’s governance, organisation structure and operating

North America, Latin America


• One of the principal architects of the
recently released US IFRS roadmap is to step down from the US
Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). As the SEC’s chief
accountant, Conrad Hewitt has been responsible for
overseeing accounting interpretations, international accounting
matters and professional practice issues. He steps down in January

• The Canadian Accounting Standards
Oversight Council
has reappointed Doug Hyndman as chair
for a two-year term ending on 31 March 2011.

It has also appointed new members to its two
subsidiary boards. Jocelyn Patenaude will join the Accounting
Standards Board for a three-year term ending March 2012. Nigel
Bellchamber will join the Public Sector Accounting Board for a
two-year term ending March 2011.

• The US Public Company Accounting
Oversight Board
(PCAOB) has increased its 2009 budget to
$157.6 million, up 9 percent from 2008. The board said the majority
of its expenses are associated with hiring and retaining the
experienced accountants needed to conduct inspections of registered
public accounting firms.

The PCAOB said it expects to employ 531 staff
by the end of 2009. Firm registration and inspection personnel
currently account for roughly 50 percent of the total.

The budget is subject to approval by the US
Securities and Exchange Commission.

• The Canadian Institute of Chartered
is advising companies how to provide better
disclosure on the business impacts of climate change to

Building a Better Management Discussion
and Analysis (MD&A) Climate Change Disclosures
input from institutional investors along with MD&A

• The US Public Company Accounting
Oversight Board
(PCAOB) has issued an alert highlighting
challenges auditors may face as a result of the current financial
crisis when completing their year-end auditing for 2008. The alert
addresses overall audit considerations including auditing of fair
value measurements, accounting estimates and the adequacy of
disclosures. It also includes auditors’ consideration of a
company’s ability to continue.

• The US Financial Accounting
Standards Board
is expected to launch a revised single
source of authoritative non-governmental GAAP on 1 July 2009,
representing the completion of its codification project. The
codification is intended to make US GAAP easier to use. The
revision reorganised thousands of GAAP pronouncements into 90

• Robert Attmore has been appointed chairman
of the US Governmental Accounting Standards Board
for a second five-year term, starting July 2009.

• The US-based Institute of Management
has refreshed its definition of management
accounting following an extensive consultation with accounting
associations around the world. The definition states: “Management
accounting is a profession that involves partnering in management
decision making, devising planning and performance management
systems, and providing expertise in financial reporting and control
to assist management in the formulation and implementation of an
organisation’s strategy.”