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July 2013
News from Member Bodies, Affiliates and Regional Accounting Organizations
News from Government, Regulatory Bodies, and Other International Organizations
Recent Development Related to the Financial Crisis and Economy Recovery
News from Member Bodies, Affiliates and Regional Accounting Organizations
1. ICAC Hosts Caribbean Conference of Accountants

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC) hosted the 31st Caribbean Conference of Accountants in June. The conference featured an address by the Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart, in which he discussed some of the top economic concerns for Barbados. Additional speakers included a senior economist with the Caribbean division of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Wendell Samuel, and IFAC President Warren Allen. Mr. Samuel discussed the debt issues facing the region, saying people may need to become more tolerant of quick but potentially painful solutions rather than a more drawn-out process. Mr. Allen addressed the global challenges and regional solutions for the accountancy profession.
Sources: The Barbados Advocate coverage of Prime Minister Stuart and Mr. Samuel
2. ISCA and IIRC Look at the Future of Reporting
Following a roundtable in April, the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) and the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) released The Future of Corporate Reporting: ISCA-IIRC Roundtable Special Report. The report covers the major discussion areas of the roundtable, including meeting the needs of stakeholders, the future of corporate reporting, the role of the accountancy profession, and a market-driven versus regulatory-based approach to integrated reporting.
Source: International Integrated Reporting Council
3. Hire Accountants, Institute in Uganda Says

Accountants are critical in a growing economy and small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs) should be hiring them, according to Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU). Derick Nkajja, ICPAUs chief executive officer, said SMEs play a big role in the development of the Ugandan economy and need to embrace the support of small- and medium-sized accounting practices (SMPs). "Some SMEs say they cannot afford employing an accountant, but most of the time it is the mind-set of not doing things professionally that gets the better of them," he said. Mr. Nkajjas comments preceded the recent SMP Forum in Uganda, hosted by the ICPAU, IFAC, and the Pan African Federation of Accountants.
Source: AllAfrica.com
4. ICAEW: What Can the Public Sector Learn from the Private Sector?

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has released a new report that makes recommendations of private sector practice that the public sector can adopt. For example, A CFO at the Cabinet Table? Strengthening UK Government Finances for the Future recommends appointing a cabinet-level civil servant with financial skills to help improve management of public finances. This appointment would be comparable to a group chief financial officer (CFO) in the private sector.
Source: Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
5. AICPA Survey: Optimism for US Economy on the Rise

Results from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)s second quarter Economic Outlook Survey show that US business executives are more optimistic about the US economy than at any point since early 2007. Although only 49% of those surveyed are optimistic or very optimistic, this is a 17 point increase since early 2013.
Sources: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and CGMA
6. Simplification of UK SME Tax System Requested by AAT

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is urging the UK government to adjust the tax system to help address pressures on small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs). The request follows an AAT survey of 1,000 SMEs that showed more than half think the complexity of the tax system has become too onerous.
Source: Association of Accounting Technicians
7. CPA Canada Releases Key Recommendations from Enhancing Audit Quality Initiative

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) and the Canadian Public Accountability Board have issued key recommendations from the Enhancing Audit Quality initiative, established to add a Canadian perspective to the ongoing global discussion regarding audit independence and quality. Working groups addressed the auditor reporting model, auditor independence, and the role of audit committees in external auditor oversight. Enhancing Audit Quality: Canadian Perspectives, Conclusions and Recommendations is available on the CPA Canada website. CPA Canada was formed when the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and Certified Management Accountants of Canada merged earlier this year.
Sources: Herald Online and CPA Canada
8. ICAEW: Investment in Training and Skills Necessary in Bahrain

In a recent interview with Gulf Daily News, the Middle East regional director of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Peter Beynon, emphasized the importance of investment in training and skills in the Kingdom of Bahrain, particularly in the business sector, to ensure young people are prepared to help advance the economy. The interview followed the release of Economic Insight: Middle East by ICAEW and the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
Source: Gulf Daily News
9. CCPAP to Host National Congress of Accountants

The Colegio de Contadores Publicos Autorizados de Panama (CCPAP) will be hosting the XVIII Congreso Nacional de Contadores (National Congress of Accountants) August 2123, 2013, in Panama City, Panama. The congress will include sessions on International Public Sector Accounting Standards, the role of the chief financial officer, new models for success-oriented learning, and new trends in management and control. Additional information, including registration details, is available on the XVIII Congreso Nacional de Contadores website.
Source: Colegio de Contadores Publicos Autorizados de Panama
10. Praise for Approval of Tax Amendments Act from CGA-Canada

The Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) recently praised the official Royal Assent of the Technical Tax Amendments Act 2012, which turned hundreds of draft tax measures into law. CGA-Canada advocated for the swift passage of the bill, which will affect individual tax payers, businesses, and many sectors of the economy. CGA-Canada also cautioned that the Canadian government needs to avoid repetition of this problem in the future.
Source: CGA-Canada
11. Recent Member Body Appointments and Elections

  • Alhaji Sakirudeen Tunji Labode, FCNA, President, Association of National Accountants Nigeria
  • Mr. Anthony Chukwuemeka Nzom, FCNA, 1st Vice President, Association of National Accountants Nigeria
  • Lic. Gilberto Paniagua Vanegas, President, Colegio de Contadores Publicos de Nicaragua
  • Mr. Frank Myers, President, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean
  • Ms. Jasmine Davis, Vice President, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean
  • Dr. Ernest Kan Yaw Kiong, President, Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (formerly the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore)
  • Mr. Ramasamy Dhinakaran, Vice President, Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (formerly the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore)
  • Mr. Jose Guadalupe Santana Cuellar, Chief Executive Officer, Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Publicos, A.C.
12. Joint Initiatives Launched Among Professional Accountancy Organizations

  • Registration is now open for the 2014 World Congress of Accountants, to be held in Rome, Italy, November 10-13, 2014. Additionally, the organizers continue to post new information and materials regularly, including video content. Information on sponsorship, venue, and agenda is also available.
    Source: World Congress of Accountants
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India will soon sign Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with the Accounting and Auditing Standards Board of Bhutan and the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants. Both MOUs were recently approved by the Indian government.
    Source: The Times of India
  • The Malaysian Institute of Accountants and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants recently hosted the Value of Quality Audit Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Attended by investors, auditors, regulatory bodies, and professional accountants, the Forum featured an open discussion on broad issues related to audit quality.
    Source: Malaysian Institute of Accountants
News from Government, Regulatory Bodies, and Other International Organizations
1. European Parliament Loosens Accounting Rules for Small, Micro-Entities

The European Parliament has accepted a new accounting directive that allows small- and micro-sized entities to reveal less information in annual financial statements. The new Accounting Directive is an important next step in the overall simplification process, which started with the exemption of micro-entities from certain burdensome obligations regarding annual accounts. It is now up to the member states to make the best possible use of this directive, according to an executive at the European Small Business Alliance.
Source: EuroActiv.com
2. US House Passes Legislation to Block Auditor Rotation

The US House of Representatives has unanimously passed legislation that would prevent any attempt to implement mandatory audit rotation by the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). The Audit Integrity and Job Protection Act, if passed by the Senate and signed into law by the President, would amend the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 to prohibit the PCAOB from requiring public companies to use specific auditors or require the use of different auditors on a rotating basis. During legislative discussions, the bills sponsor, Representative Robert Hurt, said, Europe is considering imposing an audit firm rotation regimein part because it believes the US will move forward. He also said the debate over auditor rotation was causing uncertainty and that forcing auditors to periodically rotate could increase audit costs and hurt audit quality.
Sources: Journal of Accountancy, Wall Street Journal, CFO.com, and the House Committee on Financial Services
3. IIRC Hosts Third Integrated Reporting Pilot Programme Conference; UN Global Compact Addresses Integrated Reporting

The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) recently held the third Pilot Programme Conference to discuss the strides made in integrated reporting over the last two years, including the release of the Consultation Draft of the International Integrated Reporting Framework. The former prime minister of the Netherlands, Jan Peter Balkenende, gave the keynote to the 150 delegates representing the Pilot Programme Business and Investor Network. Mr. Balkenende discussed how companies are increasingly taking the lead in integrated reporting issues following the difficulties many governments have encountered. Mr. Balkenende also said he feels integrated reporting is necessary for business in the twenty-first century.

The United Nations Global Compact also recently addressed issues of integrated reporting, issuing Brief for Business Participants: Integrated Reporting. The briefing addresses why integrated reporting is important for organizations, what it could mean to organizations, and how it relates to organizations big pictures.
Sources: International Integrated Reporting Council and UN Global Compact
4. Soft Skills Necessary for Advance but Rarely Invested In

Chief executive officers (CEOs) rarely invest in development of interpersonal skills, in spite of the lack of these skills holding employees back, according to a survey from Accountemps that says a lack of interpersonal skills is the most common reason employees fail to advance. The survey of chief financial officers (CFOs) shows that strong soft skills are necessary for corporate promotion, even though only 5% of CFOs say their organization makes an investment in this area. Additional reasons cited for failure to thrive are poor work ethics, not developing new skills, a failure to enhance internal visibility, and a failure to proactively seek promotion.
Source: Accountemps
5. Training, Retaining Staff Top Concerns for Firms

A new survey from Sageworks, a financial information company, shows the top concerns for accounting firms are training and retaining their staff. Additionally, the survey showed that firm leaders and managers most often leave their firm due to a disconnect between career goals (both personal and those established by the firm) and the firms investment in the resources, training, coaching, etc., needed to cultivate the skill sets necessary for achieving these goals.
Source: Accounting Today
6. Turkish Capital Markets Finalizing Types of Sukuk

Turkeys Capital Markets Board is finalizing five types of sukuk, the Islamic equivalent of bonds. The move is seen in part as an effort to compete with capital markets in Malaysia, the worlds top issuer of sukuk. HSBC Holdings plc, the worlds largest underwriter of sukuk, says sales of the Islamic bonds in Turkey may double to $3 billion in 2013.
Sources: Arab News and Bloomberg
7. Public Financial Management Critical to Somalias Growth and Development

The importance of sound financial management in the public sector was repeated recently in a speech by the president of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. While citing progress in his nation, President Mohamud said there is still much to do and improving public financial management is key to Somalias future. My vision is for a federal Somalia at peace with itself and its neighbors and which poses no threat to the world, with a resurgent economy, thriving business ventures, and sustainable employment so that families are provided for.
Source: Public Finance International
8. Gambia Passes Bill Establishing Accountancy Institute

The government of Gambia recently passed a bill establishing the Gambia Institute of Chartered Accountants. The Institute will provide for the registration of Chartered Accountants and practicing and registered auditors and set accounting, auditing, and corporate governance standards, as well as establish the Financial Reporting Oversight Board. The bill, Reporting Bill 2013, aims to strengthen financial reporting and auditing practices in Gambia; it was drafted following a review of the countrys accounting and auditing framework as part of current public finance management reforms.
Source: AllAfrica.com
Recent Development Related to the Financial Crisis and Economy Recovery
1. G-8 Leaders Pledge Increased Transparency

Leaders of the Group of Eight (G-8) leading industrialized nations recently committed to publication of easy to read and re-use information on budgets and spending for their nations. The communique following the June summit in Northern Ireland said, Governments should publish information on laws, budgets, spending, national statistics, elections, and government contracts in a way that is easy to read and re-use, so that citizens can hold them to account. The communique also included an agreement to share tax information to fight tax evasion, as well as help developing nations build capacity and knowledge to collect taxes owed to them.
Source: Public Finance International
2. Global Exchange Leaders Answer Q&As on Regulators

Leaders of some international financial exchanges recently shared insights and insider information during a question-and-answer (Q&A) session on working with global regulators. The session came during the 2013 International Derivatives Expo in London in June and included executives from the CME Group, Eurex, and the Singapore Exchange.
Source: SmartBlog on Finance
3. Moodys: Local Government Debt a Threat to Chinese Banks

A recent report from Moodys Investors Services says local government debt threatens Chinese banks. According to Moodys, 14% of all Chinese loans in 2012 were extended by local government financing, many of which have weak stand-alone credit profiles. Additionally, many city construction-investment companies frequently used as proxies by local governments to raise funds have experienced significant cash flow and debt problems in recent years.
Source: Shanghai Daily
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: UnetInteractive