Journal of Accountancy International News Digest

FASB and the China Accounting Standards Committee (CASC) issued a Memorandum of Understanding articulating their commitment to strengthen cooperation and communication between the standard–setting organizations.

The MOU calls for FASB and the CASC to, among other things, work to build the technical foundation for sharing views on convergence of accounting standards. The CASC will send staff to work at FASB regularly to research U.S. GAAP and FASB's convergence efforts with International Financial Reporting Standards. FASB board members and staff will visit the CASC to understand implementation of Chinese accounting standards and its international convergence efforts.

The SEC completed its 18th Annual International Institute for Securities Market Development in April. Record attendance at this year's training program totaled 192 senior securities officials from 76 foreign jurisdictions, including four jurisdictions attending the institute for the first time.

"The record attendance at this year's institute speaks volumes about the commitment of our counterparts to developing high-quality securities regulation and to forging cooperative relationships with one another and with the SEC," said Ethiopis Tafara, director of the SEC's Office of International Affairs.

For more information on the institute or on the SEC's technical assistance program, contact Robert M. Fisher or Z. Scott Birdwell in the SEC's Office of International Affairs at 202-551-6690 or

The PCAOB and the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority in Singapore have confirmed their intention to cooperate in the oversight of audit firms that fall within the jurisdiction of both bodies. The agreement is the latest in a series of cooperative arrangements the PCAOB has established with non-U.S. regulators. Twenty of the more than 850 non-U.S. firms registered with the PCAOB are in Singapore.

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA), an independent standard-setting board within the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), issued its 2008–2009 Strategic and Operational Plan. The IESBA's strategy focuses on projects and activities it will undertake after it completes current projects on independence and improving the clarity of the IFAC Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants. The scheduled projects are:

  • Developing additional guidance regarding the ethical responsibilities of professional accountants who encounter fraud and illegal acts; and
  • Expanding existing guidance for professional accountants who face conflicts of interest.

In addition, the IESBA will further its convergence initiatives through consulting with national standard setters, regulators and others to determine the basis on which the IFAC Code of Ethics can be established as a global benchmark.

The IESBA plan is available at the IFAC online bookstore.

The AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) renewed a five-year mutual recognition agreement with the Chartered Accountants of Canada and Mexico's Contadores Publicos Certificados.

"This trilateral agreement represents leadership by the accounting and auditing profession in all three countries by setting the standard for other professions to follow in meeting the goals of the North American Free Trade Agreement," said Robert Harris, CPA, vice chairman-nominee of the AICPA. "It is appropriate for the accounting profession to take the lead on international cooperation among professionals, just as it has on the convergence of the international accounting and auditing standards in an expanding global economy."

In addition to Canada and Mexico, the U.S. International Qualifications Appraisal Board has mutual recognition agreements with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA), CPA Australia (CPAA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI). These agreements facilitate cross-border mobility by streamlining the process for qualified professionals with accounting credentials to become certified and licensed in each other's country.

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