Zoya Malik 3 June 2021

The Side Hustle Initiative by ACCA

YourGamePlan has teamed up with finnCap and ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) to bring The Side Hustle Initiative 2021.

The Initiative wants to break the rhetoric of traditional entrepreneurs. An entrepreneur can be an artist selling pieces of work; or making positive social change by raising money or awareness; or using social media to create new industries.

The Side Hustle Initiative hopes to help further the careers of future business leaders through its mentoring scheme and £10,000 funding pot. For the majority of young participants, this will be an opportunity to network and learn from an individual whose experience and journey will be inspiring and improve their chances of having a successful future.

Claire Bennison, head of ACCA UK commented: “It’s clear that the world is changing and young people need to develop the mindset and skills that will help them to embrace opportunity. Those with drive and ability should be able to aspire to entrepreneurial success whatever their background and we believe this initiative can help to inspire them.”

Zoya Malik 6 June 2021

US most interested in Ether

Cryptocurrency has become more prominent and one of the digital coins making the most noise is Ether. Unlike its closest crypto rival Bitcoin, people can build applications on top of Ethereum (the open source blockchain technology behind Ether), therefore making it a very attractive proposition for existing and potential investors.

With the digital currency hitting a record high of over $4000 per Ether in May 2021, Invezz.com utilised online analytics tool Ahrefs to establish which countries in the world are most interested in Ether.

Invezz.com found that the United States is in the number one spot with a substantial average of 1,116,000 online searches a month for Ether. That is the equivalent of 36,000 online searches per day!

Germany saw an average of 736,300 online searches every month from Germans regarding Ether. Turkey witnessed an average 408,500 online searches a month from Turks curious about Ether.

Brazil (259,600), France (247,100) and Canada (203,000) are among the other countries where there are more than 200,000 searches a month from their respective citizens monitoring Ether online, respectively ranking fourth, fifth and seventh.

In sixth place is UK averaging 230,000 online searches each month from Brits checking Ether’s latest developments.

Joe Pickard 24 June 2021

Study reveals lack of standardisation 

Global practices for sustainability reporting and assurance vary widely by jurisdiction, according to a study from IFAC and the AICPA & CIMA (representing the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants).

The report, The State of Play in Sustainability Assurance, provides a global picture of the current status of sustainability reporting and related assurance. It contextualises this analysis with data on how and where sustainability-related information is reported and how this relates to assurance practices.

As the drive toward a global system for sustainability-related reporting continues, investors, regulators and policymakers are turning their attention to the important role of assurance in promoting high-quality reporting. With the growing importance of sustainability information, low-quality assurance is an emerging investor protection and financial stability risk.

IFAC CEO Kevin Dancy said: “The global community needs to consider many complex questions—should reporting sustainability information be required? If so, should assurance be required, and by whom? With this new data in hand, IFAC is initiating evidence-based conversations with our member organisations and other global stakeholders to advance the global debate and help plot the way forward in the public interest. We will continue our commitment to this space as the reporting and assurance landscape evolves.”

The full study is available on the IFAC website.

Joe Pickard 23 June 2021

Corporate Heads: how do you see the world? 

With the global economy in flux and an uneven recovery only barely getting underway, companies face a highly uncertain operating environment for international business. How will they navigate it? What are the strategic priorities? Where do they see growth opportunities, and where are the challenges?

The Corporate Outlook Survey 2021, from Investment Monitor, a GlobalData publication, in association with the international Chamber of Commerce (ICC), will take a mood reading of corporate sentiment worldwide. This short survey seeks to understand what companies currently think about the global environment for business, and is intended for corporate executives with responsibility for and knowledge of their company's overall strategy.

Joe Pickard 22 June 2021

Accounting for SDCs in a digital age 

With the subject of intangible assets on the agenda of accountancy standard setters and regulators for some time and increasingly gaining momentum, a new report from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Glasgow University’s Adam Smith Business School examines the issue of Software Development Costs (SDCs) and how they are accounted for.

SDCs - whether outsourced or in-house - could be expected to be a material issue for most companies, especially as the digital economy has grown.

Called The Capitalisation of Intangibles Debate: Software Development Costs, the research has collected and summarised evidence on how many companies capitalise SDCs during the year and how many report Research & Development costs in the income statement, but do not capitalise SDCs during the year. These are defined in the report as capitalisers and non-capitalisers.

The analysis reveals strong variations between countries. Over 80% of companies in China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea referred to software development in their accounts, compared to less than 20% of companies in Mexico, Malaysia and Singapore.

Across the sample, software development was also more likely to be recognised as an asset by more dynamic companies – those that are more international, more acquisitive and more leveraged.

Despite talk of digitalisation, in the period to 2019 software has not grown as a proportion of total assets in these companies. The report not only gives a picture of the current position on reporting software, but also includes good practice examples of disclosure.

Joe Pickard 16 June 2021

CPA evolution curriculum launched 

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the US’ National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) have launched the CPA Evolution Model Curriculum.

This curriculum is part of AICPA and NASBA’s CPA Evolution Initiative which is transforming the CPA licensure model to recognise the changing skills and competencies the accounting profession requires.

The curriculum was developed by the CPA Evolution Model Curriculum Task Forces, a group of more than 40 volunteers from across the profession, including faculty from small colleges to large universities, CPAs in public practice as well as business and industry, and representatives from State Boards of Accountancy. The curriculum reflects the skills newly licensed CPAs need in the current practice environment and serves as a model of how an accounting programme could transition to prepare CPA candidates for the Core + Disciplines CPA Exam structure that will test those skills starting in 2024.

Zoya Malik 15 June 2021

AGN Women of Impact Award 

The AGN Women of Impact Award ceremony took place in front of a global virtual audience in May as a tribute to International Woman's Day 2021.

The award centre-staged the women that showed commitment, energy, tenacity, professionalism and courage in the face of the pandemic.

Congratulations go to:

Wendy Van Eijk - Audit Manager at Q-Concepts, USA

Yi Ping Ge - Director at Gilligan Sheppard Limited, New Zealand

Wendy Harpur - HR Director at BKL, UK

Jennifer Montoya - Manager at Lanigan, Ryan, Malcolm & Doyle, PC in USA

Myfanwy Neville - Partner at BKL in London, UK

Emily Paszkowski - Manager at Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors in USA

Malcolm Ward, Global CEO of International adds, “The award ceremony aims to inspire others and reinforces positive leadership role models in driving both the careers of our leading female professionals and members’ businesses to success.”

Joe Pickard 14 June 2021

Value Reporting Foundation launch 

The merger between the IIRC and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, which was announced in November 2020, into the Value Reporting Foundation (VRF) is now official and operating as one unified global organisation.

The merger of the two organisations came as a response to business and investor demand for more clarity and simplicity in the corporate reporting landscape. The Value Reporting Foundation offers a suite of resources designed to help businesses and investors develop a shared understanding of enterprise value—how it is created, preserved or eroded over time.

The resources—including Integrated Thinking Principles, the Integrated Reporting Framework and SASB Standards—can be used alone or in combination, depending on business needs. These tools, already adopted in over 70 countries, comprise the 21st century market infrastructure needed to develop, manage and communicate strategy that creates long-term value and drives improved performance.

Joe Pickard 6 June 2021

Paul Ash elected to AICPA & CIMA

Paul Ash, FCMA, CGMA, has been elected the 88th President of The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the world’s largest professional body of management accountants, and the 6th Chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association). Combining the strengths of AICPA & CIMA, the Association represents 696,000 members, students and engaged professionals in management and public accounting across 192 countries and territories.

During his one-year term, Paul will concentrate his efforts on a digitally focused agenda, reimagining the services that accounting professionals provide and demonstrating the value that they bring in a fast-changing business world. He will encourage members to take new opportunities to help their organisations adapt and thrive in this challenging environment. Paul will work closely with Bill Pirolli, CPA, CFF, PFS, CGMA, who will serve as AICPA Chair and Vice Chair of the Association.

On his appointment, Paul said: “AICPA & CIMA have worked tirelessly over the past five years to ensure that we train the management and public accountants the world needs. And now more than ever, we are here to support them to embrace change and innovation, evolve their skills and competencies and to create more value as strategic partners for their businesses”.

Zoya Malik 8 June 2021

The Rising Star Roundtable 

A certified CPD accredited programme, The Rising Star Roundtable is the progression from founder of USP Martin Bissett’s original ‘Passport to Partnership’ curriculum which was developed in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Institute of Public Accountants in 2013.

Taking that content and building a community structure around it, The Rising Star Roundtable is targeted towards senior managers, partner designates and first year salaried partners in the 25-40 age range and has been designed to provide a speakeasy or a confidential environment for Rising Stars to get peer and expert-level feedback.

Its mission is to combine a proven research-based curriculum with a platform for airing and sharing experiences, rather than Rising Stars keeping issues under the radar and their firms risking an unexpected resignation.

In the Passport to Partnership Programme (PICPA) , international consulting firm USP helped to create 17 partners (raising them from senior managers during the programme) out of an intake of 45 over the years. However, they were aware that the partnership model is not necessarily the future of 21st-century accountancy and therefore it is ‘leadership development’ they focussed on, which now continues across the Upward Spiral Professionals (USP) community. https://www.upwardspiralpro.online/courses/rising-star-roundtable