IFAC's structure and governance are designed to promote transparency, to facilitate collaboration with members and consultation with stakeholders, and to ensure the effective operations of the organization. Founded in 1977, IFAC is a Swiss-registered association whose members are professional accountancy organizations.
IFAC’s Constitution, approved in February 2014, and Bylaws, amended in November 2017, detail the responsibilities and authority of IFAC’s Council and Board. They also address IFAC’s mission, membership requirements, and the election/appointment of IFAC officers (President, Deputy President, CEO, and Swiss liaison).
Role of the Council
Ultimate governance of IFAC rests with the IFAC Council, which comprises one representative from each member. The Council usually meets once a year and is responsible for deciding constitutional and strategic matters and electing the Board.
Role of the Board
The Board is entrusted to take all practicable steps to achieve IFAC’s mission by governing and overseeing the operations of IFAC. The Board works with management to recommend to the Council IFAC’s strategic course with respect to policy-making, major initiatives, and fostering relations with IFAC’s key stakeholders.
The Board consists of the President and not more than 22 members, including the Deputy President. Membership on the Board reflects the level of IFAC members’ financial contributions. The Nominating Committee aims to achieve a diverse composition of the Board in terms of gender balance, regional representation, and professional backgrounds. The Board is assisted by the work of its subcommittees.
- Audit Committee
The Audit Committee recommends the appointment of the external auditor to the Council, and provides an avenue of communication between the external auditor, management, and the Board. It also monitors IFAC’s risk management.
- Governance Committee
The Governance Committee oversees the effectiveness of IFAC’s governance and the development and implementation of sound governance policies and procedures, including making recommendations to the Board and management on various governance related matters.
Planning and Finance Committee
The Planning and Finance Committee oversees management’s development, implementation, and monitoring of IFAC’s strategies and the financial activities required to implement those strategies.
Public Policy & Regulation Advisory Group
The Public Policy & Regulation Advisory Group provides guidance, input, and expertise to the IFAC Public Policy & Regulation Department for its development of policy positions, research projects, interactions with external organizations, and other initiatives.
Overall direction and administration is provided by the IFAC Secretariat headquartered in New York. IFAC is staffed by accounting professionals from around the world. For an update on IFAC's operations and activities, view the 2016 IFAC Annual Review.
Role of Management
The Chief Executive Officer leads management in the development of strategic directions for IFAC, in close consultation with, and for eventual approval by, the IFAC Board and Council. The CEO and management develop and execute detailed operating plans to achieve IFAC’s strategic goals; they are responsible for IFAC’s day-to-day operations and promotion of good governance throughout the organization and provide detailed reports at every Board meeting, and otherwise as required, to report progress and discuss key issues. The President, Deputy President, and Audit Committee Chair, in consultation with the Past President where appropriate, are responsible for setting the Chief Executive Officer’s performance objectives and reviewing performance and remuneration. The President reports to the Board in this regard.
The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for setting Executive Directors’ performance objectives, and reviewing their performance and remuneration. Senior management is responsible for setting performance objectives for employees and reviewing performance. The Chief Executive Officer, supported by senior management, is responsible for reviewing employee remuneration. The Chief Executive Officer reports to the President with regard to succession planning within the senior management team. The Deputy President and Audit Committee Chair are included in these discussions.