Archive for February, 2009

ACCA is still fastest growing accountancy body.

Friday, February 27th, 2009

ACCA now has a total of 131,500 members, which represents a 7.3% increase on the 2007 figures. ACCA also has 362,000 students, 12.1% more than in 2007. Helen Brand, ACCA chief executive, said: ‘While 2008 was a good year in terms of growth for ACCA, we were focused on the global economic conditions and worked to ensure members, students and the public were well informed about the issues. As well as producing reports and discussion documents on the causes of the economic situation, we also launched a new microsite called The Global Economy. This provides access to a range of relevant resources, including ACCA’s technical thought leadership on the global economic conditions, and a range of useful support services.

‘ACCA remains committed to the many countries in which it has an active presence, with a view to the long term. We believe that the skills of accountants are vital to restoring confidence in the global economy, helping business to identify and manage drivers of cost and sustainable growth. Many of the countries we have been present in are on course to become significant players in the global economy in future years. We were especially proud in 2008 to be able to celebrate 20 years in China, as a partner to the accountancy profession as it has transformed itself to be an international force.

IPP payroll and pensions excellence awards 2009.

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

The IPP Payroll and Pensions Excellence Awards Ceremony is to take pplace Wednesday 16 September 2009 at the Alton Towers Conference Centre, Staffordshire.

Recognising the hard work and achievements of individuals, teams and organisations is important within any industry, especially payroll and pensions which are usually ignored.

Show your support and raise the profile of the profession by nominating yourself, your colleagues, team, clients, suppliers and organisations.  And come along in September to celebrate the industries BIGGEST achievers.

If you don’t SHOUT about your success, how can you expect anyone else to?

The categories available for nomination are:

  • The IPP Practitioner of the Year
  • The IPP Manager of the Year
  • The IPP Innovation Award
  • The IPP Employer of the Year
  • The IPP Team of the Year
  • The IPP Payroll Service Provider of the Year - less than 300 clients
  • The IPP Payroll Service Provider of the Year - 301 clients or more

CIPFA invites members to AAT council roles

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

CIPFA is inviting institute members to express an interest in various AAT posts:

Since the AAT was formed in 1980, each of its sponsoring bodies has been entitled to nominate three of its own Members to serve on the Council of the AAT. In addition to the substantial contribution our nominees make to the governance of the AAT, CIPFA is proud that five Presidents of the AAT have been Institute members, the most recent being Trevor Salmon. This year’s representatives, who have all now served  three annual terms, are Sarah Wood, Anne Britton and Mike Evans, and the Institute Council pays tribute to the highly-valued contribution they have made to the AAT on our behalf in that time.

CIPFA has an established protocol for the annual selection of its three nominees, and the process is the responsibility of the Institute’s Nominations Committee. It is now inviting Institute members to express interest in the posts; so that the highest level of communication can be maintained with the AAT, one of the three nominees must also be a current member of the Institute Council.

CIMA wins Accountacy Body of the Year award

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) has won the prestigious Accountancy Body of the Year award at the annual PQ Magazine awards, held last night at Quaglino’s in London.

According to PQ Magazine, CIMA students applauded the recent move to more exam sittings, and reduced waiting times for exam results.  The institute was also praised by students for promoting the CIMA brand and furthering their future.

PQ magazine editor Graham Hambly said: ‘CIMA has become the listening body. The 2010 syllabus is a breath of fresh air. Melding the case study and practical experience requirements shows the institute’s commitment to producing competent accountants for the future.’

Robert Jelly, Director of Education at CIMA, commented: ‘It is an honour to accept this award on behalf of CIMA and we are pleased to see our hard work in reducing exam result waiting times recognised.  Today’s CIMA students will go on to become the leading members of the Institute and we are proud to be training the business leaders of tomorrow.’

Business confidence ‘falls again’ says ICAEW

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

According to the latest Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) from the ICAEW, businesses across the country are continuing to reduce their costs and cut back their plans for the future as confidence falls to its lowest level.

Eight out of fourteen key financial performance indicators tracked in the survey are forecast to decline – the first time we have seen contraction predicted since the survey began.  The latest findings from the quarterly BCM show another drop in the Confidence Index at the beginning of the year, falling a further nine points to -45.3 from -36.3.

Michael Izza, Chief Executive of the ICAEW, commented:

“As our confidence monitor shows, businesses don’t believe that this will be a short recession and expect it will take some time to rebuild confidence. Experience suggests that those companies which act decisively and are quick to respond to changing circumstances will emerge stronger and fitter at the end of the recession. Although it is all too easy to focus on quick remedies, businesses should think carefully about any major decisions they make to save costs.

The ICAEW has outlined eight strategies to help businesses survive in the coming months. These include managing risk and uncertainty, recognising the value of employees and reviewing structure and cost base. Companies should talk to their advisors before any major decisions are made as they may be able to offer alternatives.”

Financial performance indicators in the survey reveal that more than a third (35%) of companies report access to capital as a greater challenge to their business performance than a year ago. With credit remaining problematic, late payment is becoming more commonplace with 37% stating that this is a greater challenge now than a year ago – an increase of 19 percentage points from Q1 2008.

AIA offers range of updated text books.

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

AIA has updated its range of text books.

A range of AIA study texts is now available to support students’ study for the AIA Professional Level exams. Studying with official texts will give you the edge to help you pass the exams on your first attempt, and if you are studying by distance learning, the flexibility to fit your study around your home and work commitments.

Each text features:

  • A user-friendly format for easy navigation
  • Exam-centred topic coverage, directly linked to our syllabus and study guide
  • Exam focus points showing you what the examiner will want you to do
  • Regular fast forward summaries emphasising the key points in each chapter
  • Questions and quick quizzes to test your understanding
  • End of chapter exam standard questions with answers
  • Exam question bank containing further exam standard questions with answers

ACCA and IAAER sign global research deal

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

ACCA and the International Association for Accounting Education and Research (IAAER) have signed a collaborative agreement to work together over the next three years to promote detailed research that will help to inform and influence the development of accounting and auditing standards.

The two leading global bodies will work together on high-level research initiatives that will contribute towards the debate on developing world-class standards of accounting practice - with a focus on encouraging research in the emerging economies.

ACCA and IAAER, which have previously collaborated on a number of successful projects, will be calling for research studies relating to standard-setters and organising research roundtable meetings.

ACCA claim growth in student exam numbers

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

A record number of trainees took ACCA exams in December 2008 with 182,449 students taking 365,528 papers. This growth compares favourably with 164,646 candidates taking a total of 335,566 papers in June 2008.

The exam results, issued on 16 February 2009, revealed that 6,447 students successfully completed their final examinations to become ACCA affiliates. There was also an improvement in pass rates at the Professional level, which led to an overall increase in affiliates of 4.4% compared to June 2008.

Clare Minchington, ACCA’s executive director - learning and customer service, said: ‘This is the third sitting of the current syllabus, which was first examined in December 2007. The exams were well received by candidates, employers, and tuition providers.

‘By working closely with our partners and tuition providers, we strive to ensure that students have a 360 degree, global education to enable them to be tomorrow’s business leaders in a challenging global environment. Our “Train the Trainer” initiative, where we share best practice with those who teach accounting to ACCA students around the world, has helped students to reach for success.’

CIMA states strategic planning ‘critical’ for SMEs

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

CIMA has warned the small to medium business market that rooting decisions in long-term strategy is critical to their survival in the current recession. This is being done through the launch of ‘Strategy Under Stress’ – see

CIMA’s report focuses on how organisations that abandon strategic thinking not only run the risk of undermining their chances of advancing their business when the economy improves – they also endanger their ability to weather the storm.

This is particularly true of organisations that look to short-term business practices, such as invasive cost-cutting, which can ultimately harm their long-term competitiveness.

Gillian Lees, Innovation & Development Specialist at CIMA, comments:

“The current recession is due, in part, to organisations failing to make long-term, strategic decisions. Although it is appropriate for companies to deal with a demanding business environment in the shortterm, the focus should also be on implementing strategies that will help to ensure sustainable success when the immediate crisis has passed. This is particularly crucial for small to medium businesses across the world as one hasty decision can ultimately wipe them out.’

CIMA: economic downturn increases fraud risk.

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Businesses across the world must step up vigilance on fraud risk in times of economic stress, according to CIMA’s ‘Fraud Risk Management: a guide to good practice’ information released today (16 February).

This is particularly important for small businesses. As recent high profile cases have centred on multinationals, SMEs may not realise that they are often more susceptible to fraudulent practices, and that they can be hit by proportionately higher losses which could prove crippling in the current economic climate.

Surveys are regularly carried out to try to estimate the true scale and cost of fraud to business and society. These surveys all indicate that fraud is prevalent within organisations and remains a serious and costly problem. Indeed, when CIMA surveyed 200 of its member FDs in the UK earlier on this year, it found that 55% felt that employee fraud posed a significant risk to their organisation.

‘Fraud Risk Management : a guide to good practice’ – see - will arm management accountants with guidance and case studies on how to prevent, detect and combat internal fraud.

Helenne Doody, innovation and development sSpecialist at CIMA, comments:

“Despite the serious risk that fraud presents to business, many organisations still do not have formal systems and procedures in place to prevent, detect and respond to fraud. While no system is completely foolproof, there are steps that can be taken to deter fraud. It is in assisting organisations in taking such steps that CIMA’s guide should prove valuable.”

CIMA’s approach is being endorsed by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) following the publication of data which reveals low levels of trust within UK organisations coupled with fears over financial management capabilities.