IFAC SMP Poll Reflects Improving Economic Conditions

Feb 06, 2014 | New York, New York | English

The most recent IFAC SMP Quick Poll of small- and medium-sized accounting practices (SMPs) indicated that fewer of their small business clients are burdened by economic uncertainty, perhaps suggesting a more favorable economic climate and signaling future growth in this sector.

“Over the last few years, economic uncertainty has cast a shadow over SMPs and their clients,” commented SMP Committee Chair Giancarlo Attolini. “Improving conditions in the small business sector, a barometer for economic growth, are a terrific sign for SMP professionals and for the economy at large. As their clients prepare for growth, SMPs will, in turn, also help propel the local economies in which they operate.”

When asked for input regarding the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board’s 2013 Auditor Reporting Exposure Draft, which proposed significant changes to auditor reporting, respondents were generally supportive. While only a small minority thought unlisted entities would voluntarily opt to disclose key audit matters, most agreed with the proposal to require a statement on going concern in all audit reports.

The poll also shed light on the value of various services and projections for their relative growth. Accounting compilation and other non-assurance/related services proved to be the fastest growing sources of revenue for SMPs, by a significant margin, over audit and assurance. Roughly half of the respondents acknowledged the value of integrated reporting to small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs), and about half predict that within five years, SME clients will ask for assistance with integrated reporting.

For additional findings and a complete summary of results, see the IFAC SMP Quick Poll, 2013 Year-End Round-Up in the SMP Committee area of the IFAC site: www.ifac.org/SMP. Due to unbalanced response rates by region, results may not be statistically representative of global or regional populations of SMPs.

The year-end 2013 poll received 3,709 responses and was conducted in 17 languages from November 15 to December 31. The poll is intended to take a snapshot of key challenges and trends influencing SMPs globally. IFAC wishes to thank the many member and regional organizations that helped with translation and distribution of the poll.

About the SMP Committee
The SMP Committee of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) represents the interests of professional accountants operating in small- and medium-sized practices (SMPs). The committee develops guidance and tools and works to ensure the needs of the SMPs are considered by standard setters, regulators, and policy makers. The committee also speaks out on behalf of SMPs to raise awareness of their role and value, especially in supporting SMEs, and the importance of the small business sector overall.

About IFAC
IFAC 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 179 members and associates in 130 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.


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