CPA Australia, the
Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia
and the National Institute of Accountants have
written to the Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship,
Chris Evans, calling for accountancy to remain on the skilled
occupation list (SOL). A new SOL is due to be published by 30 April
and come into effect in the middle of the year.

The institutes said members are concerned about
public perceptions regarding the occupations accountants may be
grouped with.

“Specifically, we believe that it is not
accurate to group accounting with hairdressing and cooking,” the
institutes wrote.

The institutes said it is critical accounting
remains part of the SOL to meet the growing demand for the


The South Korean
Small and Medium Business Administration
will provide up
to KRW50m ($44,000) to SMEs to help them adopt IFRS for SMEs under
the 2010 SME consulting assistance project. SMEs who get
professional services from accounting firms to adopt IFRS are
eligible for the financial assistance for consulting costs of up to
KRW50m, or 60% of a total project cost.

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The Australian Treasury has
released a consultation paper, Audit Quality in Australia: A
Strategic Review,
which identifies the key drivers of audit
quality in Australia and assesses whether any measures should be
taken to address threats to audit quality.

The overall conclusion of the strategic review
was positive, with the Treasury reporting that Australia’s audit
regulation framework is ‘robust and stable’ and is in line with
international best practice.

The paper concluded that no fundamental changes
were required. However, it did raise a range of policy issues that
will require further consideration.

FRC chairman Jeffrey Lucy said the paper has
been designed to facilitate debate among stakeholders with a view
to achieving appropriate policy responses.


The ratio of female to male
accountants is on the up in Australia, according to new statistics
released by CPA Australia. CPA Australia found
that 57% of new entrants into the CPA programme in 2010 were women
and women now account for 43% of the institute’s 129,000-strong


Japan’s Financial
Services Agency
(FSA) has approved the IFRS and
international interpretations released between 1 July 2009 and 31
December 2009 for voluntary use by certain Japanese listed
companies. The approved standards include IFRS 9, which is still
not approved for use in Europe.


Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards
(APESB) is seeking comments on proposed changes to
the standard that governs quality control practices in Australian
accounting firms. APES 320 Quality Control for Firms would bring
Australia in line with changes made to the International Standard
on Quality Control 1, which is issued by the International Ethics
Standards Board for Accountants.


A council has been formed to
consider accounting standards for unlisted companies in Japan. The
Council on Accounting of Unlisted Companies was
established following recommendations from Japan’s IFRS Council. It
will consider issues such as the increasing globalisation of
Japanese accounting standards and the impacts of globalisation on
unlisted companies.