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Oct 27, 2006
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World Federation of Exchanges Endorses the IAASB's International Standard-Setting Process
The World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) formally endorsed the processes for establishing International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) at its General Assembly meeting in Sao Paolo, Brazil last week, viewing ISAs as key to the development of a globally uniform financial reporting system. ISAs are developed by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), an independent standard-setting board of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).
"WFE's endorsement of IFAC's structure of public oversight and the processes its public bodies have established for creating high quality global standards for audit work and assurance reviews is a critical advance for establishing the world's capital markets with constantly improving financial information," emphasizes WFE Secretary General Thomas Krantz. The WFE represents 57 securities and derivative markets that account for more than 97 percent of world stock market capitalization. Its endorsement provides important impetus for convergence to international standards, which is among IFAC's and the IAASB's most critical goals.
"We welcome this important endorsement of the ISA standard-setting process by the World Federation of Exchanges. It is a significant recognition of the quality of the ISAs and the important role they play in ensuring greater comparability of financial information for investors and facilitating cross border trade - both of which are critical to generating economic growth," states IFAC President Graham Ward.
The ISAs represent an integrated body of standards that provide direction on the actions and procedures the auditors need to perform and the judgments that need to be made to achieve the objective of an audit. ISAs are intended for use in all audits - publicly traded companies, private business of all sizes and government entities at all levels. They are increasingly being adopted worldwide; over 100 countries have adopted or incorporated ISAs into their national auditing standards or are using ISAs as a basis for preparing national auditing standards.
The IAASB, which meets in public, develops its standards following a rigorous and transparent due process. All proposed ISAs are exposed for public comment, and detailed project information is posted on its website (http://www.iaasb.org). The IAASB receives public interest input through public members that serve on the IAASB and from its Consultative Advisory Group* which is comprised of organizations, including the WFE, with an interest in the development of high quality international auditing standards. In addition, the Public Interest Oversight Board,** whose members are nominated by international regulators and organizations, provides public interest oversight of IAASB activities. All IAASB standards and guidance can be downloaded free-of-charge from the IFAC online bookstore: //www.ifac.org/store.
About the IAASB and IFAC
The objective of the IAASB is to serve the public interest by setting high quality auditing and assurance standards and by facilitating the convergence of international and national standards, thereby enhancing the quality and uniformity of practice throughout the world and strengthening public confidence in the global auditing and assurance profession. The Public Interest Oversight Board** oversees the activities of the IAASB and, as one element of that oversight, establishes the criteria for its due process and working procedures. IFAC is the worldwide organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. Its current membership consists of approximately 160 professional accountancy bodies in 120 countries, representing more than 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry and commerce. In addition to setting international auditing and assurance standards through the IAASB, IFAC, through its independent standard-setting boards, sets international ethics, education, and public sector accounting standards. It also issues guidance to encourage high quality performance by professional accountants in business.