Joe Pickard, 29 November

The IFRS Foundation appoints Trustees

The IFRS Foundation has appointed Jorge Familiar and Keiko Tashiro as trustees and reappointed trustee chair Erkki Liikanen for a second term.

Familiar and Tashiro will succeed Guillermo Babatz and Kazuyuki Masu, who step down at the end of 2021.

Familiar is currently vice-president for finance and group controller for the World Bank and has recently been appointed Vice-President and Treasurer effective from 1 January 2022.

Tashiro is deputy president at Daiwa Securities, a position she has held since 2019. She is a chartered financial analyst and has worked at the Daiwa group of companies since 1986. She is a member of the Financial System Council at the Japanese Financial Services Agency and a Trustee at the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, among others.

The IFRS Foundation Trustees are responsible for the strategy, governance and oversight of the Foundation, as well as the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).

Joe Pickard, 22 November

UKEB and AcSB of Canada commit to further collaboration

Regulators collaborate on IASB projects
The UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) and the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) of Canada have committed to further collaboration on international accounting issues, following a virtual meeting on 17 November.

Projects discussed included Rate-regulated Activities and the IASB’s Third Agenda Consultation. The UKEB also updated the AcSB on its activities relating to its assessment of IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts for adoption for use in the UK.

UKEB chair Pauline Wallace said: “I am delighted that we have had the opportunity to exchange views with the members of the Accounting Standards Board of Canada on IASB projects, thus enhancing our understanding of the perspectives of other standard setters. The UKEB looks forward to more opportunities to discuss international accounting and reporting developments with the AcSB in future.”

Zoya Malik, 2 December

Saudi Aramco invests $5.5m in fintech startup Lamaa

Fintech startup Lamaa secures $5.5M seed round
The seed round was led by Raed Ventures and Saudi Aramco’s entrepreneurship arm Wa’ed. The investment comes in line with Saudi Arabia’s commitment to SMEs' financial inclusion part of the kingdom’s vision 2030 push.

Lamaa, a Riyadh-based fintech startup which provides invoice financing solutions for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), has announced it has secured one of the largest seed funding rounds in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The fast-growing fintech has raised $5.5 million in its seed round, which has been co-led by Raed Ventures and Saudi Aramco’s entrepreneurship arm Wa’ed.

Lamaa’s market potential in MENA is huge; the region’s GDP is $3 Trillion, 30% of which at least is attributed to SMEs. In parallel, 22% of Saudi’s current GDP ($700 billion) comes from SMEs.

Zoya Malik, 1 December

APAC CFOs to make sustainable business, business as usual

New APAC CFOs collaborate on sustainability and addressed by HRH The Prince of Wales.

The founding members of the Asia Pacific Chapter will collaborate with global peers to progress sustainability in business as part of the global A4S CFO Leadership Network.

CFOs are key to developing sustainable businesses as they control the flows of money, provide the data needed to inform decision making and support integration across the business. The network empowers CFOs to take a lead by using their unique positions to drive change internally, and influence and inspire others to act, including boards and executive management.

The founding members of the Asia Pacific Chapter represent organisations from countries spanning across Singapore, India, New Zealand, the Philippines and Australia:

  • Rishi Kalra, Executive Director and Group Chief Financial Officer, Olam Food Ingredients (OFI) (Chapter Co-chair)
  • Andrew Lim, Chief Financial Officer, CapitaLand Investment
  • Chaye Cabal-Revilla, Chief Finance, Sustainability, and Risk Officer, Metro Pacific Investments
  • Kevin Monteiro, Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director, Japfa
  • Manfred Seah, Chief Financial Officer, SATS
  • Martyn Roberts, Group Chief Financial Officer, Ramsay Healthcare
  • Marc Rivers, Chief Financial Officer, Fonterra Co-operative Group

Zoya Malik, 1 December

How you can support your employees’ wellbeing this Christmas

CABA offers tips on supporting your employees’ wellbeing
It’s vital that workplaces and managers are knowledgeable on the support services that are available to staff - encouraging people to take rest, breaks and holidays, as well as weaving a focus on wellbeing companywide are vital to ensuring your wellbeing policies are at the forefront.

Instead of a traditional top-down approach, where employers give their staff what they think they will need, it’s important to develop a culture of asking people what would be helpful for them, personally.

Ensure that there is no pressure to attend parties if any members feel uncomfortable. Making it voluntary will remove the stigma surrounding those who are unable – or unwilling – to attend.

Christmas isn’t for everybody. We live in an ethnically diverse country and for others, celebration might be far from their minds, as they could be having to deal with grief.

As with everything, there does need to be boundaries. Some people may not be comfortable with their workplaces getting involved in their Christmas plans or emotional wellbeing, so we mustn’t assume that.


Zoya Malik, 1 December

Government Actuary's Department hit by phishing

Malicious emails hit GaD
The Government Actuary's Department (GaD) has been hit by an average of 24,740 malicious emails a month. The data, obtained and analysed by a Parliament Street think tank via a Freedom of Information (FoI) act request, revealed that a total of 74,221 malicious emails, including phishing, malware and spam had been sent to the GaD over July, August and September 2021.

The Government Actuary’s Department provides actuarial solutions including risk analysis, modelling and advice to support the UK public sector. GaD has about 200 employees across two offices - London and Edinburgh - of whom around 165 are actuaries and analysts.

The majority of threats received by GaD were spam emails, with 38,653 attacks. In the three-month period, there was also 35,497 phishing attacks and 71 malware or virus emails in circulation.

Zoya Malik, 29 November

Record uptake in personal guarantee insurance by SMEs

Personal guarantee insurance saw policy numbers increase year on year by 143%

In a sign of the increasing uptake of personal guarantee backed business loans amongst small business owners, and a corresponding need to mitigate the personal financial risks of these loans, Purbeck Personal Guarantee Insurance saw policy numbers increase year on year by 143% in October 2021, making it a record month for the business.

The market sectors where business owners and directors have taken Personal Guarantee Insurance over the past month are predominantly construction, wholesale and professional services.

Joe Pickard, 1 December

Global president appointed at ACCA

Orla Collins has been appointed as the global president of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

Collins takes on the role for 2021/22, assuming the chain of office from last year’s president Mark Millar. She is the first female president from Ireland in ACCA’s 118-year history and ACCA’s fifth female president.

Joe Pickard, 18 November

Seeking Volunteer Members to Serve on the IPSASB

The Nominating Committee is seeking to fill six vacancies for volunteer members to serve on the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) for an initial term of up to three years, commencing January 1, 2023.

Candidates should have a public sector background and/or experience in standard setting to be able to contribute to the work of the Board. The IPSASB operates in English, so proficiency (both written and oral) is essential.

Nominations from a wide range of relevant backgrounds are sought, including, but not limited to:

  • Users of general-purpose financial reports, such as parliamentarians, budget offices, and credit-rating agencies;
  • Preparers of accrual-based financial statements, such those reporting directly or indirectly in accordance with IPSAS, or in the process of transitioning to IPSAS or another accrual-based accounting framework;
  • Ministries of Finance and Treasury departments; and,
  • Public sector external auditors.

Members are expected to attend four in-person meetings per year that are mainly held in Toronto, Canada. Total time commitment (excluding travel) is approximately 35–50 days per year, depending on members’ involvement with projects, outreach, and IPSASB leadership roles.

For more information, please see the Call for Nominations and apply by January 31, 2022.

Joe Pickard, 17 November

UK’s FRC sets out expectations for high quality audit

FRC sets rules for quality
The FRC’s report, What Makes a Good Audit?, highlights the six key attributes that contribute to the running of high-quality audit practices such as the culture, governance and leadership of the firms, alongside their investment in well qualified people, training and processes.

It also includes the key elements that contribute to high quality individual audits from the planning phase, through to the delivery and completion of audits.

FRC CEO Jon Thompson said: “Trust and integrity have been the cornerstones of Britain retaining its rightful place as a global centre of investment, innovation and growth where investors can hold businesses properly to account for the benefit of all stakeholders. It is clear that the unacceptable level of audit quality in recent years has contributed to undermining this trust.