Archive for September, 2008

CIMA celebrates 75,000th member

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Michelle Forrest, management accountant for English Premier League football club Bolton Wanderers, has become CIMA’s 75,000th member, 89 years after the institute was founded.

On the CIMA website, CIMA President, Glynn Lowth, commented, ‘CIMA is extremely proud to celebrate our 75,000th member.

Chartered Management Accountants are financially qualified business leaders who have an indepth knowledge of the organisations in which they operate. Management accounting is as vital in sport today as it is in a multinational corporate organisation. Now that professional football is an industry attracting massive investment, professionalism is critical, with sound financial management a key factor in its success.’

Michelle has been working with the Lancashire-based football club for more than 18 months in the finance department. She is responsible for the production of the management accounts, covering budget preparation, asset management, year end activities and cashflow management, including involvement in the financial side of player transfers. Bolton Wanderers Football Club has an annual turnover of over £51m, and ranked 16th in the 2007/08 Barclays Premier League season.

ACCA to be Gold sponsor WCOA in 2010

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

ACCA has announced its to be a Gold sponsor of the 18th World Congress of Accountants (WCOA), which will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in November 2010.

The ACCA website article reads:

The WCOA, which will be hosted by the Malaysian Institute of Accountants and co-hosted by the International Federation of Accountants, is to be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from 8-11 November 2010, and is expected to attract 6,000 delegates.

Explaining the reasons behind ACCA’s decision to be the first sponsor to sign up, chief executive, Helen Brand, said: ‘The theme of the WCOA, Accountants: Sustaining Value Creation, is a critical issue for our profession which, more than ever, needs to demonstrate its vital role in not only creating value and upholding business integrity, but in safeguarding assets for future generations. We are excited at the prospect of engaging in a vitally important and thought-provoking congress, and we are delighted to be able to support the hosts, the Malaysian Institute of Accountants, with whom we enjoy an excellent relationship.’

The WCOA is held every four years and acts as an international forum for accountants to debate the issues affecting the profession.

AAT unveils Technician award shortlist for 2008

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

The shortlist for the Accounting Technician of the year at the Accountancy Age Awards has been announced.

Congratulations to:

Lucy Cohen, Mazuma

Elaine McCulloch, Proctor & Gamble

Khoo Peng Hong, Sony EMCS

Samantha Samuel, Forward Logistics

Paula Talbot, Neat Books

The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony held on 12 November.

Good luck, from all at accounting jobs.

CIMA seeks IFRS convergence in US companies

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Charles Tilley, chief executive at CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), will tell US business leaders that moving from US GAAP accounting standards to IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) is a crucial step forwards for global reporting.

According the CIMA website article:

Mr Tilley will be addressing the International Financial Executives Leadership Forum in Washington as part of an ongoing collaboration between the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants), CMA (Certified Management Accountants) Canada and CIMA.

As a firm advocate of the convergence work currently being undertaken by the International Accounting Standards Board, Charles will speak on the urgent requirement for the development of international accounting standards in order to address complexity issues and aid transparency. He will stress the need for one international accounting language rather than different variants being used in different regions. Mr Tilley explains:

‘In these turbulent times for the global markets, transparency in financial reporting is more vital than ever. Investors and other stakeholders need a common language that minimises confusion across borders and offers clear, meaningful information on which to base crucial decisions. Moving from US GAAP standards to IFRS will aid transparent reporting across the world and will further help to address complexity issues surrounding annual reports and the guidance behind them which can prove cumbersome. It is crucial that regional interpretations of international standards are not allowed to develop.’

Mr Tilley will talk through the research project he is leading for IFAC (International Federation of Accountants) to examine the suitability of business reporting and identify areas for future development. He will also highlight his work on the FRC’s (Financial Reporting Council) Advisory Panel looking into the increasing complexity of financial reports and the need for narrative reporting to help provide clarity.

Global markets wait for $700 billion US bailout

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Americans must support a massive bail-out of financial markets to ease a “serious financial crisis”, US President George W Bush has said.

The BBC website article goes onto report:

Our entire economy was in danger, Bush said in a live TV speech, and failure to act now would cost more later.

He has invited presidential rivals John McCain and Barack Obama to the White House on Thursday to discuss the $700bn (£378bn) rescue package.

The rivals have disagreed on delaying a TV debate over the economic turmoil.

Mr McCain says he is suspending his campaign to help with the crisis, but Mr Obama says voters now need to hear from the candidates more than ever.

The two men will attend a meeting with administration officials and congressional representatives on Thursday morning in the US capital in a bid to broker a mutually acceptable bail-out deal.

FTSE 100 falls to sub-5,000 point 3-year low

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

According to FT.com, London’s benchmark FSTE100 index fell under the 5,000-point level for the first time since June 2005.

About 35 minutes before the start of trade in the US, the FTSE 100 was down 4.1 per cent at 4,990.6, a loss of 213 points coming close to matching the 220 points lost during the previous session. The tumble took the index below its previous closing low for the year of 5,150.6 in July.

Other European markets seemed to be following the pattern. Germany’s Xetra Dax 30 was 1.6 per cent lower at 5,967.3 with the CAC 40 in Paris 0.4 per cent weaker at 4,153.7. Overall, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down by 1.9 per cent to 1,098.7.

““The FTSE 100 has fallen below 5,000, a level we haven’t seen in over three years, “ said Manoj Ladwa, senior trader at ETX Capital,. “Goldman Sachs came out with some okay numbers, given the circumstances, but the market is shrugging off even good news. There’s structured selling across the board, with financial stocks like HBOS and RBS bearing the brunt. The market is going to remain highly jittery until the full extent of Lehman’s positions are understood and unwound.”

HBOS shares tumble 40% admit Market fears

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Shares in HBOS, the UK’s biggest listed mortgage lender, plunged more than 40 per cent on Tuesday as fears about the knock-on effects of the collapse of Lehman Brothers intensified.

News of sliding profits at Goldman Sachs, one of the US’s two remaining investment banks, added to the sense of crisis in the global financial system.  The fact that Goldman’s results exceeded expectations did little to bolster faltering confidence.

HBOS was London’s biggest faller in FSTE trading, down 93.7p at 138.8p, as worries about its capital position and its exposure to the UK housing market mounted.

Crisis looms for insurance giant AIG

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Credit ratings agencies, which assess the riskiness of debt, have downgraded AIG - making it more difficult for the firm to borrow money.

Talks between financial firms and officials aimed at helping the struggling firm will take place later.

AIG shares fell 70% in early trade, having fallen 61% on Monday.

On Monday, the insurer was thrown a $20bn (£11.2bn) lifeline from New York state authorities.

But analysts said it may need further capital for its business to survive:

AIG is much more than an insurance company. It also has a financial products division that is at the heart of many of the firm’s current problems.   AIG is now under pressure to raise money after posting three quarterly losses in a row totalling $18.5bn (£10.3bn).

Dragon’s support for Entrepreneur’s Degree

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

According to accountingweb.co.uk, the serial entrepreneur and self-made retail millionaire ‘Dragon’ - Theo Paphitis - will launch the BA Honours course in Enterprise Development at Huddersfield University shortly.

Due to begin next September, the degree, which has been dubbed ‘pracademic’, has been designed to help young entrepreneurs start and run their own business whilst studying.

Paphitis, who is dyslexic and left school aged 16 with one GCSE but is now worth an estimated £125m, will lead a series of masterclasses. World-renowned business expert Michael Gerber will also contribute.

“We need to re-invent the way we start a business,” Gerber said. “The current thinking isn’t working and hasn’t worked properly for over 30 years. Too many small businesses still fail in the first five years of their existence. This must stop.”

Professor John Thompson, the academic behind the degree, added: “Most people who start a business are good at the technical aspects of what they are doing. What they are typically less good at is running a business and this affects the growth potential.

“In large part this is because they never trained to run a business; they trained to be a technician and they became expert at that. This degree will change the way a would-be entrepreneur starts and runs the business from the outset.”

Lehman Brothers failure triggers share turmoil

Monday, September 15th, 2008

According to the BBC, Wall Street shares fell 2.72% when trading opened in New York in the midst of the financial turmoil caused by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.

The benchmark Dow Jones index dropped almost 267.8 points at 11,154.2, while the broader S&P and technology-heavy Nasdaq indices sank too.

At close, the UK’s FTSE 100 index had lost 3.92%, France’s Cac 40 index shed 3.78% and Germany’s Dax lost 2.74%.

Earlier, Asian markets were hit by the news with Australian shares down 1.8%.

In Singapore, the STI dropped 3.3% to hit a two-year low.

And in Taiwan, the benchmark share index closed down 4%, and in India share prices fell by more than 3.35%.

In markets that were trading, banking, insurance and financial sectors suffered most after Lehman Brothers, the fourth-largest investment bank in the US, said it would file for bankruptcy protection.

Leheman employs around 5,000 people in the UK, raising fears of mass redundancies.