Terms of Reference
The Small and Medium Practices (SMP) Committee is charged with identifying and representing the needs of its constituents and, where applicable, to give consideration to relevant issues pertaining to small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs). The constituents of the SMP Committee are small and medium-sized practices (SMPs) who provide accounting, assurance and business advisory services principally, but not exclusively, to clients who are SMEs.
The SMP Committee will primarily seek to support SMPs by helping IFAC Member Bodies support their SMP stakeholders.
SMP is used to refer to accounting practices that exhibit the following characteristics: its clients are mostly SMEs; it uses external sources to supplement limited in-house technical resources; and it employs a limited number of professional staff. What constitutes an SMP will vary from one jurisdiction to another.
The SMP Committee shall:
- Directly work with IFAC standard-setting boards, and other standard setting bodies to ensure that they are aware of and give due consideration to issues relevant to SMEs/SMPs.
- Monitor the work of other IFAC Groups and provide input and support where appropriate.
- Monitor the extent and support the effectiveness of SMP representation across all IFAC groups.
- Enhance the visibility and voice of SMEs and SMPs by, for example, communicating and advocating the importance of the SME sector and the role of SMPs in supporting this sector.
- Provide input to IFAC’s policy-making process and participate in its regulatory dialogue in so far as it is relevant to SMPs and SMEs.
- Develop guidance, resources and tools in collaboration and while minimizing competition with IFAC Member Bodies - that help promote and build the capacity of SMPs to deliver high-quality accounting, assurance, and business advisory services.
- Facilitate the communication and sharing of information between IFAC Member Bodies, IFAC boards and committees, and external stakeholders where necessary, for example, via an annual forum of IFAC Member Body representatives.
The SMP Committee may issue the following types of publications:
- Good Practice Guidance, which assists in the implementation of generally accepted “good practice” in areas of significance to SMPs by providing advice or guidance on how to achieve “good practice;”
- Information Papers¸ which provide a detailed investigation into a particular subject of relevance to SMP stakeholders;
- Consultation Papers, which promote discussion or debate on issues affecting SMP stakeholders and seek comments from interested parties on the issues raised in the paper; and
- Special Reports, which are reports on one off topics of interest to those parties involved with SMPs and SMEs.
The SMP Committee may also assist IFAC in the development of comment letters and policy papers directed at external stakeholders. In addition to publications, the SMP Committee develops web-based resources and tools.
The SMP Committee will consist of up to eighteen members whose appointment and terms of office shall be in accordance with the IFAC Constitution and Bylaws. The appointment of technical advisors shall also be in accordance with the IFAC Constitution and Bylaws allowing one technical advisor to accompany a member to a meeting.
Observers may from time to time attend and participate at meetings, or parts thereof, subject to the approval of the Chair. Observers may be allowed to speak, at the Chair’s discretion, but have no voting privileges.
The standard term for SMPC members is three years, with approximately one-third of the membership rotating each year. A member may serve up to two consecutive terms, for an aggregate term of six years.
The Chair ordinarily may serve three consecutive terms (as Chair or as a member for one to two terms preceding the appointment as Chair), for an aggregate of nine years.
Each committee meeting requires the presence of at least two-thirds of the appointed members of the committee in person or by simultaneous telecommunications link.
Each member of the committee will be allowed one vote. A member has the right to appoint a proxy in writing. (A proxy may be given to the Chair or another member of the committee, but not to a technical advisor.) The affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of members present at a meeting in person, or by simultaneous telecommunications link or by proxy, is required to approve all actions or submissions of the committee.
The SMPC reports annually its work program, activities and progress made in achieving its objectives during the year. This information is normally included as part of the IFAC annual report.
The IFAC Board will review the terms of reference of the Committee at least every three years.