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October 2013
News from Member Bodies
News from Government, Regulatory, and Other International Organizations
News from Member Bodies, Affiliates and Regional Accounting Organizations
1. CIMA Addresses Reputational Failure Concerns with New Ethics Scenario Tool

A new ethics scenario tool is now available from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). The tool helps users comply with ethics standards and shows professionals how to do the right thing. CIMA created the tool in part as a response to a CGMA (a joint initiative of the American Institute of CPAs and CIMA) survey that revealed that nearly 25% of global respondents work for an organization that suffered from a serious reputational failure.
Source: Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
2. MP in Ghana Reminds Accountants to Think Globally, Understand Business Context

During a recent Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana event, Hon. James Klutsey Avedzi, a Member of Parliament and chair of the Finance Committee in Ghana, urged professional accountants to think globally and to understand the context in which businesses operate in order to be well-position to support government in the formulation of financial policies and the preparation of the national budget. Mr. Avedzi also praised the Institute for its efforts to ensure quality accountancy education in Ghana and reminded accountants of their responsibilities to investors, society, and the highest standards of professional probity and competence.
Source: All Africa
3. Upgraded Website Launched by ICAC

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC) has launched an upgraded website, www.icac.org/jm. The website now features extra content within the menu structure and user-friendly online facilities for our member bodies, accounting professionals, and other users. The site includes an online resource page; updated modules for ICAC member bodies, including the e-learning program; a design that adapts for different mobile devices; and a regional map. 
Source: Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean
4. International Panel to Examine Corporate Culture

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), along with the UK Economic and Social Research Council and Paradigm Risk, recently convened an international panel of experts to examine corporate culture. The Culture in Practice review panel will conduct a review of practical steps firms can take to enhance their cultures and improve their governance, management of risk and, ultimately, their performance. The ACCA expects to publish the panels findings in early 2014.
Source: Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
5. JICPA Holds Annual Conference

The Japanese Institute of CPAs (JICPA) recently held its 34th Annual Research Conference in Kobe, Japan. The chair of the International Accounting Education Standards Board, Peter Wolnizer, gave the keynote address, Revision of International Education Standards (IES)Implications and Opportunities for the JICPA, before leading a panel discussion on the reform of CPA education in Japan based on the IESs. The conference also featured the director of RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science, which is developing the next generation of supercomputer.
Source: Japanese Institute of CPAs
6. CPA Ireland: Legal Protection for Term Accountant Needed to Protect the Public

The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA Ireland) has made public its concerns with the Companies Bill 2012, due in front of the national parliament soon, because of its lack of legal protection for the term accountant. While commending other sections of the Bill, including a simplification of company law, CPA Ireland President Joe Aherne said he was shocked and disappointed that the Bill has no provision for recognition. Its an extraordinary situation, but currently in Ireland, anyone can set themselves up as an accountant, without education, qualifications, or experience, Mr. Ahern said. In the current financial climate, many members of the public are seeking accountancy advice and expertise, often for the first time. There are individuals and firms offering services to an unsuspecting public and calling themselves accountants, even though they do not hold any accountancy qualifications and are not subject to regulation.
Source: CPA Ireland
7. Ian Ball Accepts CIPFA Chair Appointment

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) International has appointed a new chair, Ian Ball, IFACs former chief executive officer and current principle advisor. On accepting the appointment, Mr. Ball, a global leader on issues of sovereign debt and public sector financial management, said, The sovereign debt crisis has exposed both poor accounting and auditing practices and precariously fragile public finances in many countries. I relish the opportunity to be part of a team committed not only to promoting urgent action on reform, but also offering practical solutions. Securing stronger financial management is key to ensuring stability in fiscal policy and, more importantly, the delivery of public services.
Source: Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy
8. Accountancy SA Assesses Risk Management in South Africa

A new article from Accountancy SA, a publication of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, looks at risk management for companies in South Africa. The article says, The biggest risk to business is not knowing what your risks are. The article recommends assessing risk in a global context and balancing out risk aversion with being risk wise. The article also includes risks that are of specific concern for accountancy practices.
Source: Accountancy SA
9. Critical Skillsets for Future CFOs Shifting

Narrow, vertical careers through finance will become less common as strategy understanding, risk experience, and stakeholder management become more critical skillsets for future chief financial officers (CFOs), according to a new report from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Future Pathways to Finance Leadershipreports the results of 750 CFO surveyed on the topicsmany of whom had classic finance career paths but suggest new experiences will be needed by tomorrows CFO to meet the changing needs of business.
IFAC has also joined the global discussion on how to best prepare professional accountants for CFO and other finance leadership roles, releasing The Role of a CFO: A Global Debate on Preparing Accountants for Finance Leadership.
Source: Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
10. Mission Exceptional: ICAA Students Battle for Job Shadow Opportunity

Six finalist teams of students from universities in Australia are set to compete to win the chance to shadow a Chartered Accountant with American Express in New York in a contest sponsored by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA). Twenty-one universities submitted a business case on improving profit margins through creation of efficiencies at a fictional company in the contest, Mission Exceptional, which was launched in July 2013. The finalists will present their case study to a panel of judges on October 17 in a The Apprentice-style boardroom format.
Source: Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia
11. AICPA Seeks to Assist Users of Business Information Assurance with New Paper

A new white paper from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) explains the value of CPA-provided assurance services. Assurance Services: A White Paper for Providers and Users of Business Informationseeks to to help educate providers and users of business information on the value and essential qualities of independent, third-party assurance services to increase confidence in reported information and identifies factors for consideration when choosing a quality assurance provider.
Source: American Institute of CPAs
12. Should Auditors Assure All of an Annual Report?

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) is setting a potential future direction for auditors in a new report, suggesting that auditors provide assurance on additional parts of annual reports, or the entire report, if the need and interest is there from investors and the public. The Journey: Assuring All of the Annual Report?sets out four stepping-stones for assurance on narrative reporting, describing a journey from the current situation, where there is no requirement for assurance over any part of the annual report beyond the financial statements, to a possible future where a single assurance report extends the audit opinion to cover the whole of the annual report.
Source: Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
13. Recent Member Body Appointments and Elections

  • Martin Turner, President, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
  • Anthony Harbinson, Deputy President, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
  • Alexandra Chin, Vice President, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
  • Ian Ball, Chair, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy International
  • Penny Egan, President and Chair, CPA Australia
  • Naeem Akhtar Sheikh, President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan
  • Riaz A. Rehman Chamdia, Vice President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan
  • Rashid Ibrahim, Vice President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan
  • Javier Quintana, Director General, Instituto de Censores Jurados de Cuentas de Espana
14. Joint Initiatives Launched Among Professional Accountancy Organizations

  • The Integration Agreement between the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) and CPA Canada has been approved by CPA Canadas Board and the CGA-Canada Affiliation Council, which is comprised of voting delegates from all CGA provinces and territories and international affiliates. The Agreement was put to a vote by CGA-Canadas membership in early October but the results have not yet been made public.
    Source: CPA Canada
  • MOSAIC (Memorandum of Understanding to Strengthen Accountancy and Improve Collaboration published the Professional Accountancy Organizations Global Development Reportto provide an assessment of professional accountancy organizations (PAO) development at the global, regional, and national levels. The report features 10 key findings that establish the success factors and challenges associated with building a strong, sustainable accountancy profession supported by effective PAOs. The report was jointly financed by the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank and created in consultation with the MOSAIC Steering Committee, members, observers, and other interested organizations.
    Source: MOSAIC
News from Government, Regulatory, and Other International Organizations
1. New Competency Crisis Website Launched by IMA

In response to what it sees as a competency crisis, the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) has launched a new website, designed to encourage discourse focused on the issue of the talent gap in the accounting profession; spur action dedicated to finding solutions; and create a community among professionals, students, employers, and academics where they can share their views on the crisis. This new campaign includes a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn as well as the website www.CompetencyCrisis.org.
Source: Institute of Management Accountants
2. IASB Chair Address Excessive Disclosure Culture

At the recent International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Hans Hoogervorst, chair of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), set out a 10-point plan to tackle the use of boilerplate text in financial reporting disclosures. Mr. Hoogervorst discussed how understandable risk aversion in preparers, auditors, and regulators can lead to excessive disclosures and what can be done to change this culture. Mr. Hoogervorst also discussed progress made toward adoption and implementation of global accounting standards and the IASBs work program.
The IASB also recently released its Green BookA Guide through IFRS 2013, which includes all pronouncements from the IASB along with cross references and annotations.
Source: International Accounting Standards Board (video and text)
3. IFRS Foundation, IOSCO Sign Cooperation Agreement to Support Financial Reporting Quality

A new agreement on joint protocols to enhance consistency in the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) has been signed by the IFRS Foundation and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). The agreement lays the groundwork to deepen cooperation in support of their shared commitment to the highest standards of financial reporting globally.
Source: International Organization of Securities Commissions
4. PCAOB Seeks Increased Interaction with Audit Committees

During a recent address to the US National Audit Committee Forum, a member of the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Board explained the organizations efforts to form closer ties with audit committees. The PCAOB is considering many different methods to encourage more cross involvement and participation. Mr. Hanson said, We are letting audit firms know that we are interested in dialog with their clients, such as by attending firm forums for audit committee members.
Source: Compliance Week, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board speech transcript
5. SASB Releases New Conceptual Framework

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) has released a new conceptual framework. The framework is designed to explain the concepts and definitions relevant to SASB's work and [create] a solid foundation for developing sustainability accounting standards that address material issues and are auditable, decision-useful for investors, and cost-effective for companies. The SASB also released a revised public comment schedule that lengthens comment periods from 30 to 90 days. 
Source: Sustainability Accounting Standards Board
6. Internal Auditors Urged to Tackle Risk, Be an Engine for Corporate Sector

During the recent Institute of Internal Auditors Annual Conference, the head of the Institute said that he believes internal auditors need to focus on strategic risks. Richard Chambers said the current global crisis is a direct result of the failure by companies to manage risk. Up to 60% of the time, when a company goes down, it is because of strategic risk, he said. Strategic business risk presents the greatest threat to shareholder value yet internal auditors are only spending only 5% of their time looking into it.
Source: All Africa
7. Transparency Legislation Set to Take Effect in Spain

Transparency legislation in Spain, in the works since September 2012, is expected to be enacted before January 2014. The legislation seeks to increase and improve transparency, regulate and guarantee access to information, establish good governance obligations for public officials, and establish consequences of compliance failure. The legislation, which includes transparency obligations for the Spanish royal family, the Bank of Spain, the Catholic Church in Spain, the court of auditors, and the senate and congress, has a 12-month grace period that will allow affected institutions time to gather and prepare information. The Spanish government will also create a transparency portal to share information with the public.
Source: Public Finance International
8. Gambia Receives Grant to Support Public Sector Financial Management

The World Bank has approved a US $5 million grant to support public sector financial management in the Gambia, including its ability to gather statistical information and upgrade its energy policy. "We are happy to support the government as it continues to enhance its institutional capacity to manage and oversee public services, while enabling the country's economy to expand and to create new jobs, said Vera Songwe, the World Bank's country director for the Gambia. World Bank officials cited the significant strides the Gambia has made in recent years to improve public financial management and transparency, in part using financial support from a May 2010 World Bank grant.
Source: All Africa
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: UnetInteractive