• History


    The International Federation of Accountants was founded on October 7, 1977, in Munich, Germany, at the 11th World Congress of Accountants.

    IFAC was established to strengthen the worldwide accountancy profession in the public interest by:

    • Developing high-quality international standards in auditing and assurance, public sector accounting, ethics, and education for professional accountants and supporting their adoption and use;
    • Facilitating collaboration and cooperation among its member bodies;
    • Collaborating and cooperating with other international organizations; and
    • Serving as the international spokesperson for the accountancy profession.

    At the first meeting of the IFAC Assembly and Council in October 1977, a 12-point work program was developed to guide IFAC committees and staff through the first five years of activities. Many elements of this work program are still relevant today.

    Beginning with 63 founding members from 51 countries in 1977, IFAC's membership has grown to now include over 175 members and associates in 130 countries and jurisdictions worldwide.*


    Past Presidents

    IFAC is led by its President, who is nominated by a member body and appointed by the IFAC Council. The following individuals have served as President of IFAC:

    1. Reinhard Goerdeler, Germany (1977–1980)
    2. Gordon Cowperthwaite, Canada 1980–1982)
    3. Washington SyCip, Philippines (1982–1985)
    4. Robert May, United States (1985–1987)
    5. Richard Wilkes, United Kingdom (1987–1990) 
    6. Bertil Edlund, Sweden (1990–1992)
    7. Peter Agars, Australia (1992–1995)
    8. Juan Herrera, Dominican Republic (1995–1997)
    9. Frank Harding, United Kingdom (1997–2000)
    10. Tsuguoki Fujinuma, Japan (2000–2002)
    11. René Ricol, France (2002–2004)
    12. Graham Ward, United Kingdom (2004–2006)
    13. Fermín del Valle, Argentina (2006–2008)
    14. Robert Bunting, United States (2008–2010)
    15. Göran Tidström, Sweden (2010-2012)
    16. Warren Allen, New Zealand (2012-2014)

    IFAC's current President is Olivia Kirtley, who will serve as President until November 2016.


    IFAC Boards & Committees

    IFAC has established a number of boards and committees to develop international standards and guidance and to focus on specific sectors of the profession:


    Date Established

    International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (formerly the International Auditing Practices Committee)

    October 1977

    International Accounting Education Standards Board (formerly the Education Committee)

    October 1977

    International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (formerly the Ethics Committee)

    October 1977

    Professional Accountants in Business Committee (formerly the Financial and Management Accounting Committee and originally established as the Management Accounting Committee)

    October 1977

    International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (formerly the Public Sector Committee)

    May 1987

    Transnational Auditors Committee

    May 2000

    Compliance Advisory Panel

    November 2003

    Professional Accountancy Organization Development Committee (formerly Developing Nations Committee)

    November 2005

    Small and Medium Practices Committee

    November 2005

    *As of November 2013


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