International

Technology

U.S. Poised to Lose Internet Dominance

Europe and the Asia Pacific are poised to overtake North America in the Internet access league, researchers have revealed. The US, where almost half the households have Internet connections, and Canada together account for 41 percent of the world's 429 million surfers. In Asia, one third of homes are connected, and just over one quarter of European households boast Internet access.

Volcker, Elliott Appeal to House Panel

The House Financial Services Committee conducted a hearing last Thursday at which the issue of globalization of accounting standards was discussed.Testifying at the hearing, Robert Elliott, KPMG partner and past chair of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, said, "Globally compatible financial presentations will make it easier for investors to compare companies and for companies to file in different markets."Investors around the world need information that allows them to make good decisions," Mr. Elliott continued.

Software Piracy on the Rise

The sixth annual Business Software Alliance study of worldwide software piracy has found that software piracy grew in 2000 for the first time in more than six years. Thirty-seven percent of software programs used by businesses are illegal, pirated copies.It is estimated that software makers lost $11.75 billion in 2000 due to piracy practices.

Macola Software Acquired by Netherlands Exact Software

Netherlands-based Exact Software Company has signed an agreement to acquire the US-based company Macola Technologies Inc.Macola has a prominent market position in the middle market of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, based on and around manufacturing organizations in the United States. With some 250 employees and an annual revenue of approximately $28 million, Macola sets the foundations for the Exact group to increase its global presence in to the United States. "This acquisition is of strategic importance to the Exact Group.
Tax

New Tax Resource for Mexican Business

If you have clients or subsidiaries who do business in Mexico, a new resource is now available to help navigate the waters of corporate tax planning. WorldTrade Executive, Inc., a leader in publications covering international finance, law, tax and cross-border trade, announced today the launch of its newest publication, "Practical Mexican Tax Strategies".
Technology

Password-Stealing 'Trojan' Virus Plagues AOL Users

Anti-virus company McAfee.com Corp. is warning AOL users to be on the lookout for a number of password-swiping programs that are making the rounds attached to e-mail messages. McAfee said it has logged an increasing number of such "Trojan" programs among AOL users over the last 30 days. The worst of the bunch has been labeled "APStrojan.qa" and attempts to steal account names and passwords from users of versions 4 and 5 of AOL's software. It then attempts to forward that information to a destination outside the AOL network, the company said.

Internet Users Span Global Boundaries with Aid to India

On January 26, the people of Gujarat, India, along the Pakistani border at Rann of Kutch, were struck by a devastating magnitude 7.9 earthquake. Death toll reports vary widely, with some ranging from more 20,000 to as many as 100,000. Bhuj, the town closest to the quake's epicenter, was the hardest hit. Field reports indicate that water, communications, power, fuel and medical infrastructure have all been destroyed or very badly damaged. The Red Cross is on the scene providing relief.

Worldwide Accounting Standards Gaining Momentum

A new International Accounting Standards Board was appointed today and charged with the task of tackling the tangled mess of different country-by-country accounting standards to devise a single set of accounting rules by which all of the world's nations and businesses can function.The group was named by the International Accounting Standards Committee, a group comprised of financial professionals from 14 countries and chaired by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.

New Designation Recognized for Information System Audit Specialty

The 75,000-member Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) has announced that it has brokered an exclusive arrangement with the 21,000-member Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) to offer Chartered Accountants an accredited specialist designation as Certified Information Systems Auditors.The new designation, CA·CISA, will allow CA's who have registered with their provincial institutes to be recognized as specialists in this very specialized field.

CPAs Chosen by Seoul Government for Service

Demonstrating that business is done differently overseas, the Seoul government has announced that it will increase the number of CPAs by 35.1 percent in 2001. The increase is designed to enhance the corporate marketplace and the quality of accounting services.The government will select 750 public accountants, or 295 more than it selected in 2000. In fact, over the last five years, the number chosen has steadily increased, with the total as of of late September at 5,108. To continue to meet the demand, the governmnet plans a 20 percent increase each year.
Community News

PwC says Mergers & Acquisitions Outlook Strong for 2001

As the US economy enters year five of the mega-merger era, the outlook for global merger activity remains strong. Yet concerns about the impact of high interest rates, problems with financing, and the Three Es (equity markets, the Euro and energy costs) are mounting, according to the year-end M&A forecast by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Transaction Services group.

IASC Requests Response on Fair Value Principle

The International Accounting Standards Committee, together with other members of the Financial Instruments Joint Working Group of Standard Setters (JWG), today published for public comment the JWG’s "Draft Standard and Basis for Conclusions – Accounting for Financial Instruments and Similar Items" (the "Draft Standard"). The document represents the views of JWG members, who are representatives or members of accounting standard setters or professional organizations in ten jurisdictions.

Canada Works Toward Global Standard

Canada's Accounting Standards Board today released a draft proposal on accounting for financial instruments. The proposal is based on valuing financial instruments, including derivatives and debt, at current market value as opposed to historical cost.The fair value proposal is in compliance with a recognition of a need for an international standard of valuation. Such need for a comprehensive standard on accounting for financial instruments is being addressed by the U.S.
Tax

PwC's VAT Online Helpful to Tax Professionals

A new service from PricewaterhouseCoopers offers detailed information on the VAT, or Value Added Tax, along with news feeds on the latest developments in the VAT arena.This site is helpful to finance directors and tax preparers/professionals who are seeking more information on how the VAT is affected on a day-to-day basis across the world. Known as GlobalVatOnline has information on VAT rules and rates in more than 70 countries."GlobalVatOnLine is an on-line repository of information and news about VAT and how to manage it.

International E-Commerce can be Difficult

Although the Internet has spawned tens of thousands of stories praising how it helps increase B2B (Business to Business) commerce, having a Web site to conduct e-commerce initiatives may not be enough to truly compete on an international level.While a Web site can serve as an online brochure, setting up systems to work in foreign countries may be more difficult than it seems. As a result, U.S.-based sites are finding themselves setting up additional sites just to handle business in various countries.

Banana Bust-Up Beckons for Deloitte & Touche

Deloitte & Touche has stepped into the transatlantic dispute raging between the U.S. and Europe over banana trading.The Big Five firm has agreed to help a packaging company as it tries to fight a 100% increase in import tariffs on goods it exports to the U.S.
Community News

Andersen & CollegeNet Expand to UK

Arthur Andersen, LLP and Atlanta-based CollegeNet are crossing the Atlantic to deliver online learning throughout the United Kingdom.The courses are targeted at the U.K.'s small business community, with a philosophy that this size business wants to take parts of courses in shorter segments rather than spend the time and money on an entire course.
Community News

KPMG-UK Graduate Recruitment goes 100% Online

Big Five firm KPMG has moved its U.K. graduate recruitment process completely online.The website, kpmgcareers.co.uk, is expected to cut administration in half and quadruple the speed of the recruitment process.KPMG-UK receives 8,000 applications a year for the 650 places on its graduate program. Now, users in Great Britain can complete a screen-based application within an hour, and expect feedback on the progress of the application within 24 hours.

Senate Fails to Deliver on FSC Issue

The current FSC regime is set to be repealed, but Senate leaders are hopeful the World Trade Organization will agree to an extended deadline of November 1.Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott yesterday attempted to secure a unanimous consent agreement to bring the issue of the Foreign Sales Corporation bill to the floor for consideration, but was met with unexplained democratic opposition.Off the Senate floor, a number of democrats voiced their desire to add amendments to the FSC bill, including such issues as campaign finance reform and the denial of FSC benefits to certain industries.L

'Cognitor' Designation Moves Forward, Despite Defections

Following last week's defections by the Scots and Irish institutes, Bob Elliott, Chairman of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants confirmed that the remaining partners are pressing ahead with plans for the new global credential, currently referred to as "Cognitor.""The leadership in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have expressed strong support for continuing the work," said AICPA Chairman Bob Elliott.

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