Monday, June 25, 2007

The quest for a global language

KPMG UK has an extensive new report about accounting out. It is a collection of essays from accounting dignitaries across the world and across different stakeholders, covering all relevant topics in accounting now that the first IFRS reporting period has been completed in the EU.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Education & Innovation

On the occasion of the Swiss CFA Society's celebration of the CFA Institute's 60th anniversary, I've been asked to host a panel discussing Education & Innovation in Switzerland. The panel was composed of Prof. Manuel Ammann, Prof. Thorsten Hens and Patrick Odier (right to left). The debate covered topics such as Swiss pragmatism in adopting innovation invented elsewhere, the rôle of intellectual property in financial innovation as well as ways to bridge the gap between academic research and practice. Panelists would like to see increased flexibility in the educational landscape and more interaction between the two quite separate fields.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

CFA in Financial Times

While The Economist's gold standard attribution to the CFA designation is still unmatched for sheer quotabiliy, the Financial Times' latest Financial Training Report makes up for volume since it is almost dedicated to the CFA. Here's a little excerpt: The CFA qualification can give the masters of finance degree a run for its money.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Auditing fair values has a short, but great story about the challenges in auditing fair values and the US PCOAB's response to the requirements of FAS 159. Without auditors (and accountants!) getting fair values right, they will never get off the ground.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Pensions directive to be revised 2008

In its annual report, CEIOPS gives an overview (p. 47f) of its past & current activities. Its Occupational Pensions Committee (OPC) is working on putting together materials for the revision of the Pensions Directive that is scheduled by the Commission for next year. Areas of material legal uncertainty to be clarified are concepts such as fully funded, ring-fencing or the calculation of technical provisions.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

39 cross border IORPs

Already in early March, CEIOPS reported the status of cross-border IORPs that were active by the end of January 2007. For some reason, this has escaped our attention to date, which is quite unforgiveable since it is an interesting statistic.

Of the 39 institutions reported, 77% have been in operation prior to the Pensions Directive's entry into legal force. Only 9 are "new" IORPs, located in Finland (1), Germany (1), Ireland (4), Luxemburg (1) and the UK (2). Notably absent from that list are Belgium and Liechtenstein, but we would wager that the "many new cross-border IORPs" anticipated by CEIOPS should change that ranking fairly soon, especially since Belgium is a relatively late arrival in terms of directive transposition. We hope that this statistic is updated periodically, for instance quarterly.

CEIOPS also notes that the Budapest Protocol of supervisory cooperation works well, but that "some features of the IORP Directive might benefit from further clarification".