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December 2013
News from Member Bodies
News from Government, Regulatory, and Other International Organizations
News from Member Bodies, Affiliates and Regional Accounting Organizations
1. ICAA, NZICA Members Vote to Merge

Members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA) and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) have overwhelmingly voted in favor of the proposal to amalgamate and create one new institute. Legislative changes in Australia and New Zealand, required prior to final transition to a new institute, are expected by April 2014.
Source: New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants
2. CIPFA: Why Public Financial Management Matters

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has issued a new report in support of global public sector financial management improvements and its Fixing the Foundations initiative. Taking Responsibility describes progress made in recent years and looks at why sound public financial management matters.
Source: Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy
3. Former IFAC CEO Granted Honorary ACCA Membership

Ian Ball, IFACs former chief executive officer, has been granted honorary membership by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in recognition of his contributions to the development of the global profession and for championing the cause of improving financial management in the public sector. 
Source: Accounting Today
4. CAPA to Launch CPD Project

The Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA) is launching a new capacity-building project focused on improving continuing professional development (CPD) systems. Funded by the World Bank, the project will initially focus on three regional professional accountancy organizations but will benefit additional organizations by creating a better practice guide for the design and implementation of effective CPD systems.
Source: Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants
5. AICPA Provides Additional Details, Outline for Upcoming Revised Code of Conduct

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has released a video explaining its Ethics Codification Project that will restructure the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. This new version will create a more user-friendly version and allow users to better apply the rules to reach correct conclusions more easily and intuitively. A project web page contains materials explaining the initiative.
Source: Ethically Speaking
6. ICAG Receives Funding for Public Financial Management Initiative

The Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG) recently received funding for a public sector financial management transparency and accountability improvement project from STAR-Ghana, a funding pool organization. The grant will have ICAG working closely with multiple governmental bodies to ensure that public expenditure management in Ghana meets international standards.
Source: Business Ghana
7. CA Sri Lanka Hosts Asian-Oceanian Standard-Setters Group

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) recently hosted the fifth Annual Meeting of the Asian-Oceanian Standard-Setters Group. Prior to the meeting, CA Sri Lanka Chief Executive Officer Aruna Alwis said it is an important platform to showcase the various development initiatives undertaken in a Sri Lankan context to uplift the accounting profession.
Source: Daily News
8. Recent Member Body Appointments and Elections
  • Sujeewa Mudalige, President, Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants
  • Jackie Poirier, Deputy President, Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants
9. Joint Initiatives Launched Among Professional Accountancy Organizations
  • A new monitoring system for members in public practice has been introduced by the Swaziland Institute of Accountants (SIA) to help the organization comply with the IFAC Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs). The initiative will primarily involve a quality review of audit work to ensure compliance with the International Standards on Auditing and will be executed by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
    Source: Swazi Observer
  • The ACCA and the Institute of Management Accountants have published a new report, Digital Darwinism: Thriving in the Face of Technology Change. The report identifies the top ten technology trends for the global accountancy profession, including the demands these trends will make on the profession for specific skills and competencies.
    Source: Institute of Management Accountants
News from Government, Regulatory, and Other International Organizations
1. IIRC Releases Integrated Reporting Framework

The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) has released the Integrated Reporting Framework, designed to help organizations bring greater cohesion and efficiency to the reporting process, and adopt integrated thinking as a way of breaking down internal silos and reducing duplication. Additional information on integrated reporting is available on the IIRC website and in the November issue of In the Black, published by CPA Australia.
Source: International Integrated Reporting Council
2. UNCTAD Conference Looks at Accounting Standards Role in Corporate Reporting

In November, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) held the 30th Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) in Geneva, Switzerland. The three-day event included discussions on best practices and critical issues in developing capacity for high-quality corporate reporting and new guidance for stock exchanges and policymakers on sustainability reporting initiatives. IFAC Chief Executive Officer Fayez Choudhury addressed the conference on the financial reporting supply chain.
Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
3. EC: 2013 a Turning Point for European SME Job, Value Creation

The European Commission (EC) has released the 2012/2013 Annual Report on European Small- and Medium-Sized Entities (SMEs), which provides an overview of the size, structure, and importance of SMEs in the economy and their contribution to jobs and economic growth. The EC says, After five years of an uncertain economic environment, 2013 is expected to be the first year since 2008 with a combined increase in aggregated employment and value-added of [European Unions] SMEs.
Source: European Commission
4. African Union Adopts IPSASs

The African Union has adopted the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs), and begun training senior managers and finance officers. In a statement, the African Union says IPSAS compliance will ensure complete, transparent, and accurate accounting and reporting on an annual basis.
Source: Public Finance International
5. FRC Reports Assess Corporate and Audit Committee Reporting

In a recent report, the UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) calls for greater audit committee accountability. Reporting of Audit Committees makes recommendations on how reporting can be more effective and includes a look at ten years of the comply or explain approach.
The FRC also published the Corporate Reporting Review Annual Report for 2013, which finds that, although reporting from large companies is at a good level, some smaller listed companies suffer from a lack of sufficient or appropriate resources.
Source: Accountancy Live, Financial Reporting Council
6. Deterring and Detecting Fraud: Who Owns the Problem?

According to a new report from Anti-Fraud Collaboration, internal auditors, external auditors, board members, and financial executives all disagree on who holds the responsibility for detecting fraud, which leaves gaps in expectations and actuality. Closing the Expectation Gap in Deterring and Detecting Financial Statement Fraud: A Roundtable Summary concludes that each group is critical in the financial reporting supply chain but enhanced communication is needed to improve clarity and understanding.
Source: Accounting Today
7. EC Creates Expert Group for Taxation of Digital Economy

The Expert Group on Taxation of the Digital Economy has been created by the European Commission (EC) to investigate the best ways of taxing. The Expert Group will focus on identifying the key problems from a European perspective and presenting possible solutions, and is expected to report back in the first half of 2014.
Source: European Union
8. Islamic Scholars Launch Global Professional Association

A group of well-known Islamic scholars have combined forces to create the Association of Sharia Scholars in Islamic Finance to develop training and professional standards for the gatekeepers of Islamic finance. The group will work with already established organizations around the world to address what it sees as a lack of a clear, commonly recognized set of qualifications for scholars. According to the Islamic Finance Secretariat, a UK organization, Islamic finance is expanding at a faster rate than conventional finance.
Source: Reuters, The National
9. US PCAOB: Audits of Internal Control Lacking

The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is warning of deficiencies in the audits of internal control. Staff Audit Practice Alert No. 11, Considerations for Audit of Internal Control Over Financial Reportinghighlights aspects of audits of internal control in which significant auditing deficiencies have been cited frequently in PCAOB inspection reports.
Source: Accounting Today
10. Increased Regulation Drives Demand for Forensic Accounting Services

In a recent article, two US CPAs discuss the growth in forensic accounting services, its effect on accounting firms, and the opportunities available for small- and medium-sized practices to provide a less costly alternative. The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel also recently published an article addressing the importance of forensic accounting as part of corporate compliance and litigation support, and how both technology and human intelligence are key.
Source: The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel
11. Final Declaration from Africa Peace and Security Summit Recognizes Importance of Transparency

The 53 delegations from African countries and France in attendance at the Elysee Summit for Peace and Security in Africa in Paris, France, recognized the continuing importance of economic and financial transparency. The final declaration from the Summit includes a reiteration of support for international initiatives to improve transparency, along with declarations on peace, security, climate change, and economic imperatives. 
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: UnetInteractive