Organizations that embrace diversity and inclusion outperform those that don’t; as Joy Thomas, President and CEO of CPA Canada and an IFAC Board Member, puts it, “Not only is [diversity and inclusion] the right thing to do but it is a business imperative.” Creating a constructive culture can help organizations facilitate diversity and inclusion. For example, organizations can move the needle by establishing multiple channels for employees to communicate their concerns to senior management.
Professional accountants must communicate the excitement, challenges, and rewards of our profession in order to attract new talent, according to Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) Chief Executive, Jeff Thomson. Accountancy is
by Hans Hoogervorst, Chairman, International Accounting Standards Board | December 13, 2016 | 1
Hans Hoogervorst, Chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), explains why the board does an agenda consultation every five years. While the IASB is currently focused on completing its work on insurance and its
by Olivia Kirtley, Past President, IFAC | November 29, 2016 |
Following the World Congress of Accountants 2014, His Holiness Pope Francis addressed the accountancy profession on being a positive force in the fight against fraud and corruption. As my IFAC presidency came to a close, I wrote to His
by Berry Wammes, Executive Director, Royal Nederlandse Beroepsorganisatie van Accountants | November 15, 2016 | 1
During a storm in the Pacific Ocean in 1992, a sea container with 28,800 rubber ducks fell overboard from ship travelling from China to the US. The toys were carried by winds and ocean currents, and eventually washed up on shores in North America and Asia. Some of the rubber ducks drifted into the Bering Sea and froze into the polar ice. Over ten years later, one of these ducks washed up on the Dutch coast. It appears the duck was able to belatedly continue its journey due to melting ice in the polar region. As a result, the toy became a plastic symbol for climate change.
by Cindy Fornelli, Executive Director, Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) | November 1, 2016 |
Citing Cathy Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte and the first woman CEO of a major accounting firm, Cindy Fornelli, Executive Director of the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ), tells women of all ages to be leaders on their own terms, in small and large
Last week, the South African Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) announced a timeline for new mandatory audit firm rotation requirements—a policy requiring companies to switch auditors periodically. In the same week, the
Why do the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) matter for the global accounting profession? Yannick Glemarec, UN Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director, UN Women, tells us we have a critical role in “counting
Last month, the Natural Capital Protocol launched to great fanfare at Chartered Accountants Hall in London. The Protocol is a standardized framework for business to identify, measure, and value their direct and indirect impacts and dependencies
Young accountants can look forward to entering a profession poised to address many of society’s challenges, says Robert Hodgkinson, Executive Director, Technical, at ICAEW. These include creating a more sustainable world, working with
The global economy does not need any more sovereign debt surprises, especially as countries need to know more about each other’s financial positions and performance than ever before. To overcome this problem, Frans van Schaik, the
by Jacob Soll, Professor, Journalist, University of Southern California | July 26, 2016 |
In the past, accountants played key leadership roles in statecraft and policymaking, accounting historian Professor Jacob Soll teaches. To get back to a similar place will require individual accountants and our profession to take on new roles, and
by Dag Detter, Managing Partner & Founder, Detter & Co. | July 12, 2016 |
Instead of focusing only on the problem of public debt, we should also pay close attention to vast amounts of “public wealth” that governments manage, according to Dag Detter, Managing Partner & Founder, Detter & Company.
by Hon. David M. Walker, Former US Comptroller General, Senior Strategic Advisor, PwC | June 28, 2016 |
It is crucial that we continue to modernize how governments report financial information, according to Hon. David M. Walker, Former US Comptroller General and Senior Strategic Advisor at PwC. We must find ways to communicate this
by Michael Izza, FCA, Chief Executive, ICAEW | June 14, 2016 |
The accountancy profession is changing as new technologies increasingly impact the business environment. Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales believes that the profession needs to be ready to adapt to these changes in
While the accountancy profession regularly calls upon governments around the world to adopt accrual accounting and stronger public financial management, we must remember that accountants are on the same page as politicians in terms of
by Lee White, Chief Executive Officer, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand | May 3, 2016 |
The most popular of the digital currencies, Bitcoin, was launched in 2008 by the mysterious “Satoshi Nakamoto” to provide an alternative payment system that was instantaneous, inexpensive, and secure. There is no doubt that Bitcoin is
This year has so far proven to be a difficult one for stock markets. Many indices are lower, some with double digit losses. The main culprit is economic uncertainty, triggered primarily by increasing concern over an economic slowdown in China, the
What forces will impact the accountancy profession in the future? Daniel Susskind, co-author of The Future of the Professions, uses groundbreaking research on technological change to consider two different paths forward
Leasing is a common form of finance for many businesses, especially in sectors like the airline industry, retail, and shipping. Currently, listed companies around the world have around US$3.3 trillion worth of leases.
The recent agreement between all 193 UN member states on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (also referred to as the “Global Goals”) demonstrates a widespread political commitment to dealing with some of the world’s most
by Anton Colella, Chief Executive, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland | January 26, 2016 |
Since the global financial crisis, the public’s trust in business institutions has been severely eroded, and it shows little sign of coming back in a hurry. I don’t believe most people going into business do so with the idea of acting unethically, but there
by Gail McEvoy, Principal Partner, McEvoy Craig Accountants & Auditors and IFAC Board Member | January 12, 2016 |
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) dominate the world business stage—they are estimated to account for almost 95% of enterprises worldwide and approximately 60% of private sector employment. They are key engines of job creation and
For the accountancy profession, 2015 was a forward-looking year. The need to attract and develop new talent, embrace rapidly changing technological trends, and demonstrate how the accountancy profession is playing a wider role in society were
by Kendall O. Bowlin, University of Mississippi; Jessen L. Hobson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and M. David Piercey University of Massachusetts – Amherst | December 15, 2015 | 3
As new auditor rotation mandates are debated and adopted or rejected worldwide, a new research study takes a different approach to assessing the effects of these mandates on audit quality.
by Brian Sommer, TechVentive Founder and Technology Industry Expert | December 1, 2015 |
Change often creeps up on us slowly, and then it’s all over us. That’s happening in accounting circles today particularly as it pertains to big data. And, the changes it’s triggering will cause fundamental reassessments of what practitioners do and
Over the past few years there’s been exponential growth in the sharing economy, characterized by collaborative consumption where we share space, cars, skills, whatever.
Some of the most fundamental indicators of the strength and resilience of banks are reported outside of their financial statements. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) believes that
Toward the end of the OECD’s original plan for tackling international taxation—contained within quite understated “background” material—is a short paragraph that culminates in foretelling “global tax chaos”
by George Serafeim, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard University School of Business | August 25, 2015 |
Why is Greece having such a hard time recovering? There are many factors that could explain this failure but I believe one major reason is the lack of high-quality government financial information, which reduces
by Dr. Dorothy Maxwell, Director, The Sustainable Business Group | July 28, 2015 |
Water is a resource under increased stress, with its management now cited as one of the greatest risks to business continuity and growth. In the big picture, water scarcity has been identified as the number one
The world of the professional accountant working in public practice or in business is typically dominated by standards, regulations, and laws governing external financial reporting intended for the investment
by Dr. James Canton, CEO and Chairman, Institute for Global Futures | May 19, 2015 |
Dr. James Canton, an expert who advises businesses and governments on future trends, discusses “predictive awareness.” Accountants, and the profession, can use predictive awareness to identify opportunities for new
by Dr. James Canton, CEO and Chairman, Institute for Global Futures | May 5, 2015 |
The IFAC Global Knowledge Gateway recently sat down with Dr. James Canton, an expert who advises businesses and governments on future trends. In Part I of this three-part series of video Viewpoints, he provides
Financial reporting fraud is relatively rare, but it remains a serious challenge. Research from the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) has indicated that the median
by Prof. Tony Allan, Professor Emeritus, King’s College London and School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Dr. Tony Colman, Honorary Visiting Research Fellow, Dept. of Environmental and Geographical Science, University of Cape Town and Dr. Martin Keulertz, Researcher, Humboldt University of Berlin and Texas A&M University | April 7, 2015 |
In the run-up to its 2015 annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum published a report on key economic risks that captured and highlighted the opinion of experts and global decision
by Robert G. Eccles, Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School | March 10, 2015 | 2
I have spoken and written extensively on the role of the modern corporation in society, reflecting on the reality that expectations from society on the role and responsibilities of corporations are rapidly
by Klaus Backhaus, University of Münster, Institute of Business-to-Business Marketing; Hans-Jürgen Kirsch, University of Münster, Institute of Accounting and Auditing; and Christina Rossinelli, University of Münster, Institute of Business-to-Business Marketing | February 24, 2015 |
Accountants are faced with many challenges that will affect the profession, such as changes in national regulatory frameworks or the influence of IT on auditing. It is crucial that accountants prepare for...
Countries across the G-20 are facing a common set of imminent challenges including rapid population growth, growing international trade, and the urgent need to replace aging infrastructure.
Recognizing the trend toward global convergence and the increasing mobility of professional accountants, the International Accounting Education Standards Board™ (IAESB™) project to revise and redraft
In a public address for 2015, IFAC CEO Fayez Choudhury answers the question: what makes the accountancy profession resilient, viable, and strong? In a world that is rapidly globalizing, he says that trust and credibility are the keys. Mr. Choudhury emphasizes that the accountancy profession provides a level of technical expertise that must continue to keep pace with the increasing complexity of the times and the evolution of knowledge. He also stresses that ethics must continue to be at the foundation of the profession as accountancy is ultimately a public interest function. This must endure with the integrity, transparency, and reliability of the information that accountants provide.
The year 2014 has seen a flurry of international activity in Islamic finance with important issuances of Islamic securities—in the form of sovereign Sukūks—by the United Kingdom and Luxembourg in Europe, as well as...
The final plenary session held at the recent World Congress of Accountants in Rome, on Integrated Thinking, The Key to Improved Performance and Value Creation, clearly demonstrated how an...
Taxation is essential to the functioning of a society—indeed, it is a strong indication that “civilization” actually exists.
International trade is the world’s growth engine, and today’s international trade agenda is an opportunity not to be missed by the accountancy profession.
by Eamonn Siggins, Chief Executive Officer, CPA Ireland | October 28, 2014 | 1
As professional accountancy organizations (PAOs), IFAC member bodies serve the public interest in a variety of ways. They contribute to standard setting, regulation, quality assurance, education, examinations, corporate social responsibility, and much more.
by Andreas Bergmann, Chair, International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board | October 21, 2014 | 2
In the public sector, the lack of transparency and accountability presents a major risk to the efficiency of capital markets, global financial stability, and long-term sustainability. We need to create greater public awareness among all levels of society.
As a result of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC)’s Framework being issued in December 2013, integrated reporting has truly begun to take off around the world.
There has been much recent debate in many sectors of the economy and among politicians about the role of taxation in society, the extent to which tax planning is appropriate, and taxpayer behavior.
by Professor Katherine Schipper, Thomas F. Keller Professor of Accounting, Duke University, and Professor Donna Street, Mahrt Chair in Accounting, University of Dayton | August 19, 2014 | 7
Scholars in emerging economies begin their careers as accounting educators and researchers with excitement and high aspirations. They eagerly accept the challenge of educating future generations of accounting professionals in developing countries.
by Russell Guthrie, Executive Director, Professional Relations, and CFO, IFAC | August 5, 2014 |
Few people would argue that a key objective of a sound and effective taxation system is to strengthen the public’s confidence that revenue authorities are collecting what is due and payable, and organizations and individuals are paying the amount that laws require and intend them to pay.
The final texts of the statutory audit reform (i.e., the Directive and the Regulation) have now been published in the official journal of the European Union, bringing to a close four years of intense discussions that may significantly change the shape of statutory audit in Europe.
The Treaty of Lisbon, which came into effect in 2009, was designed to make the European community more effective, taking into account the perceived benefits accruing from full integration of the internal market.
by Fayez Choudhury, Chief Executive Officer, IFAC | June 24, 2014 |
The last two decades have been a definitive era in the evolution of the accountancy profession. In the wake of major corporate scandals at the turn of the century, an international public debate arose on the need for more effective and well-considered regulation; this debate then reignited during the global financial and sovereign debt crises.
The accountancy profession plays an important role in promoting the growth of economies and the efficient operation of markets. In these times of rapid technological change, we should also be key players in the financial innovation taking place across society.
We are more than halfway through year seven of the financial crisis. The massive G-20 effort, along with the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and global standard setters such as the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), to reform global financial regulation and to ensure a safer and more sustainable financial system has made significant progress.
The challenge of designing an economic model capable of identifying, and then responding to, systemic and interconnected risks is something the G-20 has been grappling with since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008.
After the global financial crisis, the leaders of the G-20 countries called for global regulatory cooperation and collaboration, including the adoption of global accounting standards.
Welcome to the Global Knowledge Gateway, IFAC’s newly minted global hub for accountancy news, views, resources, and thought leadership from IFAC, our member organizations, and other notable groups and individuals.
There is an emerging consensus that poor governmental reporting represents a threat to global financial stability and economic growth that must be addressed. A recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) paper is the latest to take this view.