CMAs to join national CA merger

Clay accounting tokens, Susa, Uruk period.

While CMA organizations in most provinces have indicated willingness to work toward a merger with CAs, CMA Ontario has previously been a holdout, leaving a potentially major gap in the combination of the two accounting bodies.

The two organizations have proposed creating a new Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation, streamlining a complex array of professional designations.

The national bodies for CMAs and CAs have already reached an agreement to create a new organization as of Jan. 1 to oversee the CPA Canada designation. Because accounting is provincially regulated, however, accounting bodies in each province must also agree to merge before the CPA designation can be adopted in each jurisdiction.

Canada’s third main accounting body – Certified General Accountants – is not participating in the merger in most provinces, but CGAs in Quebec have already merged with CAs and CMAs in that province.

The four accounting designations – CA, CMA, CGA and now CPA – will all be in existence for some time as the mergers unfold, and as long as any provinces do not join.

via Ontario CMAs to join national merger talks – The Globe and Mail.

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PwC sloppiness 55 billion euros error

Eurozone

(Reuters) – The German government tried to deflect responsibility on Monday for a 55-billion euro accounting blunder that has exposed it to charges of ridicule for being inept and hypocritical after its steady criticism of Greek bookkeeping practices.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has summoned executives from the nationalized mortgage bank Hypo Real Estate (HRE) to explain how they made a simple accounting error that ended up raising Germany‘s total debt load by 55 billion euros.

Schaeuble, in the awkward situation of being humiliated by the windfall that will cut Germany’s debt levels, will also demand answers at a Wednesday meeting from the PwC accountancy firm that signed off on the report.

Schaeuble’s spokesman Martin Kotthaus tried to deflect any blame, saying the ministry received a certified statement from auditors that the balance sheets had been checked and approved. He said it was too early to tell exactly who messed up.

“It’s annoying, to put it diplomatically, when corrections of this dimension are necessary,” said Kotthaus, who was grilled at a news conference. “We had a certified audit of the annual accounts for 2010 and it said everything was in order.”

Kotthaus said the bank itself was responsible for its annual report.

The German media nevertheless mocked Schaeuble, saying the 55-billion euro accounting error put Berlin in the same category as the Greek government for failing to report accurate figures. Inaccurate reporting of Greek deficits contributed to the euro zone sovereign debt crisis that has hit Europe hard.

“Incredible but true,” wrote the Rheinische Post newspaper. “The nationalized bank HRE made a staggering 55-billion euro miscalculation. It’s scandalous that bank managers, certified public accountants and government supervisors made an error of this dimension. This kind of sloppiness reminds us of Greece.

via Germany mocked for 55-billion euro bank accounts error | Reuters

55.5 billion euro accounting error

Log-lin graph showing an exponential pattern i...

The discovery and deletion of a 55.5 billion euro ($A74 billion) accounting error at a troubled bank under government protection should ease Germany‘s debt levels, the Finance Ministry reports.

German media were agog at the discovery, caused by a double booking of debt held by FMS Wertmanagement, the so-called “bad bank” created from the insolvent parts of HRE bank, which was nationalised in 2009.

Freeing up the cash means that German debt, as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), should slide from 83.7 per cent to 81.1 per cent, said the ministry on Saturday.

The ministry said the problem was caused, essentially, when staff subtracted funds when they should have added them.

via 55.5 billion euro accounting error

Accounting firms can help Singapore stay competitive

Teo Chee Hean

Accounting firms can play an important role in helping Singapore stay competitive in the financial services industry while also devising innovative business models, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Monday.

Mr Teo pointed out that the accountancy sector, with its adherence to international standards and regulation, will play a crucial role in helping other businesses grow while also thriving as an industry in its own right.

‘We want Singapore to be a global accountancy hub that offers high-value-added professional accountancy services, that is a home for global accountancy organisations and serves as a thought and practice leader in the design and implementation of global accounting practices and standards,’ he said.

Singapore aims to raise the accounting sector’s contribution to the economy from 0.4 per cent now, to 1 per cent over the next 10 years.

via Accounting firms can help S’pore stay competitive: DPM Teo.

Accounting can be door to professional class

Ernst and Young HQ in Munich, Germany

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WASHINGTON, Oct 16 (Reuters) – When Gemma Urquiza interviewed for her job at True Partners, a Chicago tax and consulting firm, she remembers talking about her university honors, her ambitions and her dad’s restaurant.

Urquiza, 25, is the eldest of four children of Mexican immigrants and, like many first-generation Americans, she’s found accounting to be a perfect fit.

Her employer likes her work ethic and multicultural upbringing, as well as her technical mastery and spreadsheet savvy. She likes the variety of the job and its stability.

Accounting has long provided a path for first-generation Americans into the professional classes. Good pay and a focus on numbers makes it an attractive career choice.

Still, recruiting the children of immigrants is complex, say some Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). Parents’ opinions are influential and they often don’t know the field, a problem that alternatives like medicine or the law don’t face.

Once on the job, first-generation CPAs can face new challenges like decoding the relationship-driven, sometimes self-promotional American business culture.

As accounting firms rev up recruiting efforts on college campuses this fall, there is rising demand for multicultural candidates like Urquiza to match an increasingly global focus.

“It’s important to have talented accountants that reflect the demographic of a global economy.” Ken Bouyer, Ernst & Young Americas director of inclusiveness recruiting, told Reuters.

Specific figures on first-generation CPAs are hard to come by, but the biggest firms are spending millions of dollars on a diversification push that’s trying to reach minorities in college, high school and even as early as grammar school.

At a time when it is tough for many new graduates to find work, the Big Four accounting firms — PwC, Deloitte, Ernst & YoungKPMG– report they expect to hire more than 30,000 graduates this year.

via Accounting can be door to U.S. professional class | Reuters

Business welcomes audit exemption plan

Annual balance sheet of a State-owned farm, dr...

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Ministers will on Thursday unveil plans to save more than 100,000 businesses at least £600m a year in accountancy and administration costs by relaxing the requirement to conduct a financial audit.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will launch a consultation on proposals to allow more small companies and subsidiaries to decide for themselves whether or not to have an audit.

Business groups welcomed the move, but warned ministers needed to deliver such steps regularly for companies to gain confidence in the government’s deregulation drive.

At present, European Union rules mean that to classify as “small” for accounting purposes, a company must comply with two out of three criteria: having no more than 50 employees, a balance sheet of no more than £3.26m and turnover of no more than £6.5m.

However, to obtain an audit exemption in the UK, small companies must fulfil both the balance sheet and turnover criteria. Under the new proposals, UK SMEs would be eligible for audit exemption by meeting any two of the three criteria, saving an estimated £206m a year. An average audit for a small company costs £9,500.

via Business welcomes audit exemption plan

Good accounting improves business competitiveness

Salford Business School

Image by University of Salford via Flickr

BY PHILLIP CHICHONI

The managing director of Swiss bank, UBS,  is in trouble. The board wants to fire him for allowing over US$2 billion to be lost through the hands of  rogue trader Kweku Abodoli. One of the largest financial institutions in the world, UBS’s financial control systems failed to detect fraudulent activities and suffered a huge loss as a result.

I asked a number of small business owners if they knew how much money they were making each year. Frighteningly, the majority did not know exactly. As long as there was cash in the bank, they did not bother themselves with much else as regards the financials of the company. So if an employee finds a way of defrauding them, they would have no way of detecting it.

Lack of accounting and financial control systems is a big problem among SMEs. They cannot measure their success, growth and efficiency. With no budgets and cash flow management systems, business decisions are made in the dark and on an ad-hoc basis. An accounting system helps in managing finances, maximising returns on investments while improving the competitiveness of businesses.

Your accounting system should provide an accurate picture of your business and how it is performing. Setting up a good accounting system and understanding the numbers produced can make a major difference in how your business fares in the long run. The financial statements produced from your accounting system will help you in several ways.

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE REALLY MAKING MONEY

A good accounting system should tell you how much money you are making in terms of total sales, the cost of the goods sold, expenses and net profit. Success in business is measured in financial terms. The financial results at the end of a period will reflect how successful the business was in the given period. Comparing the financial results over time will show if the company is growing and improving in efficiency.

via SME Chat:Good accounting improves business competitiveness.