Speeches & Presentations
by Fermin del Valle, IFAC President
May 29, 2006
Global Convergence and Suitability for SMEs: Current Challenges in Promoting High-Quality Professional Standards
Convergence or equivalence and mutual recognition...? A single set of standards or differential standards for the SMEs...? Although there may be other relevant technical debates, such as the scope and applicability of the use of current market values, these two questions pose possibly the greatest challenges in issuing high-quality international professional standards. These two questions are also interrelated.
The position adopted with respect to SMEs affects the overall process of convergence. Here, I would like to emphasize what I consider a key point: convergence gives standards an authority and credibility that cannot be equaled by any other set of standards, be the issuer a national or regional organization. Even if a globally accepted set of standards does not include the "best possible" standards, assuming it is possible to define and identify the "best possible" standards, if the standards included are high-quality and accepted globally, they will have a force and an authority that would more than compensate for the cost of not adopting "the best". And, most importantly, they would still contribute substantially to enhancing the performance of accountants worldwide.