The seven Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs) are the foundation of the IFAC Member Body Compliance Program and serve as a framework for credible and high-quality professional accountancy organizations focused on serving the public interest. They were ratified by the IFAC Council in 2004 as part of the 2003 IFAC Reforms. Adherence is mandatory for all the IFAC members and associates.
Five of the SMOs relate to the international standards established by the four independent standard-setting boards whose structures and processes are facilitated by IFAC and the International Accounting Standards Board. The remaining two establish best practices for Quality Assurance Reviews and Investigation and Disciplinary Processes.
In essence, the SMOs serve as a framework for credible and high-quality professional accountancy organizations focused on serving the public interest by a) supporting adoption and implementation of international standards; and b) maintaining adequate enforcement mechanisms to ensure professional behavior of their individual members.
The SMOs are recognized as the international benchmarks for professional accountancy organizations; in particular, the World Bank Reports on Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC)–Accounting & Auditing refer to the SMOs as part of their policy recommendations to governments and professional accountancy organizations.
Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs) 1-7 (Revised)
IFAC revised the Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs)—a comprehensive exercise over two years that gave all stakeholders a voice and followed strict due process.The result is a clarified set of SMOs—seven benchmarks that are globally recognized as a framework for strong, credible, and high-quality professional accountancy organizations (PAOs). The revised SMOs, which are the basis of the IFAC Member Body Compliance Program, are designed to assist PAOs in leading the way to serve the public interest by supporting adoption and implementation of international standards.
To explain all the revisions to the SMOs, IFAC Member Body Development staff has also published a guidance document, A Comparison Guide to the 2012 SMO Revisions, to explain the revisions and assist member organizations and their technical staff to identify changes and understand and address them.