Press Releases/News Alerts
Apr 17, 2009
IFAC President Robert Bunting Says Time Is Now to Implement Global Standards at World Bank Meeting
Speaking yesterday to staff at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., Robert L. Bunting, President of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), said that the global accounting profession, with the support of the World Bank, must move ahead decisively with implementing a single set of high-quality international financial reporting and auditing standards. "Implementation is vital to strengthening global financial systems, especially during this time of economic crisis," stated Mr. Bunting.
He said that IFAC is committed to working closely with the World Bank and other institutions to deliver assistance efficiently where it can have the greatest impact. He cited two critical areas where the two organizations must build on current synergy:
- To establish the appropriate professional accounting infrastructures and legal and regulatory mechanisms in developing and other countries; these are necessary pre-requisites for the effective implementation of standards; and
- To urge reforms of public sector financial management systems, encouraging increased government accountability and the adoption of accrual accounting where resources permit.
Mr. Bunting emphasized IFAC support for the extension of work in these areas by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
He also noted that IFAC has called on the G20 to support the World Bank's Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) initiative as a tool to assess a country's financial reporting architecture and measure the future effectiveness of economic reforms resulting from the economic crisis.
In his remarks, Mr. Bunting also pointed out that small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs) and micro-entities require special attention. Some of these entities will be the next Microsofts, Googles, and IKEAs, contributing new jobs, innovation, and wealth to national and international economies if they are allowed to innovate and grow. "SMEs face challenges that are exacerbated in times of economic crisis-the ability to obtain capital and the rising costs of fuel, supplies, and other factors of production," Mr. Bunting explained. "We must take care not to further exacerbate these challenges through unnecessary and inappropriate re-regulation of the private sector and we must consider the cost-burden of their meeting regulatory and compliance requirements."
While IFAC-with 158 members in 123 countries and jurisdictions-is known for its work in establishing international standards for auditing, education, ethics, and public sector accounting, Mr. Bunting pointed out that one of its less-recognized roles will increase in importance in the coming years: as a facilitator and driver of the adoption and implementation of high-quality international standards.
"IFAC is committed to providing leadership on implementation issues by encouraging and facilitating collaboration among firms, practitioners, member bodies, regulators, and other stakeholders," stated Bunting, adding, "To do so effectively, the world must agree on a single set of standards."
To view Mr. Bunting's full speech, go to the IFAC Media Center at http://www.ifac.org/MediaCenter/?q=node/view/638.
IFAC (www.ifac.org) is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is comprised of 158 members and associates in 123 countries and jurisdictions, representing more than 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce. Through its independent standard-setting boards, IFAC sets international ethics, auditing and assurance, education, and public sector accounting standards. It also issues guidance to encourage high-quality performance by professional accountants in business.