IFAC Proposes Revised Statements of Membership Obligations

Dec 06, 2011 | New York, New York | English

The Board of the International Federation of Accountants recently approved proposed revisions to the Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs) to be released for public comment. The SMOs form the basis of the IFAC Member Body Compliance Program. They serve as a framework for credible and high-quality professional accountancy organizations focused on serving the public interest by adopting, or otherwise incorporating, and supporting implementation of international standards and maintaining adequate enforcement mechanisms to ensure the professional behavior of their individual members.

The SMOs are issued under the IFAC Board’s authority, and the Compliance Advisory Panel (CAP), together with IFAC Compliance staff, is responsible for reviewing their continuing relevance and sufficiency.

“Since the SMOs were established seven years ago, the regulatory and standard-setting environments in which IFAC members and associates operate have further evolved. As a result, revisiting the SMOs was necessary to reflect those developments and their impact on the global profession,” explained Manuel Sanchez y Madrid, chairman of the CAP. “We redrafted the SMOs to clarify what is expected of IFAC members when they have varying degrees of responsibility for an SMO area. We also brought the SMOs in line with IFAC’s current strategic focus on adoption and implementation of international standards. In the revision project, we were guided by years of experience with the Compliance Program. We looked at how the SMOs have been interpreted and how the compliance assessment is performed by IFAC staff. As a result, I believe the proposed revised SMOs are easier to understand and apply.”

The SMOs and the Compliance Program are designed to assist IFAC in its mission of strengthening the global accountancy profession. The revised SMOs better articulate the obligations of IFAC membership, and the Compliance Program encourages IFAC members and associates in their ongoing efforts to achieve a higher quality of service.

How to Comment
The IFAC Board and the CAP invite all stakeholders to comment on the proposed revisions. To access the Exposure Draft and submit a comment, visit the IFAC website. Comments on the Exposure Draft are requested by March 5, 2012.

About the IFAC Member Body Compliance Program
IFAC members and associates are required to participate in the IFAC Member Body Compliance Program to demonstrate that they are maintaining their good standing and addressing the requirements of IFAC membership. The Program is the responsibility of the IFAC Compliance Staff, reporting to the Chief Executive. The program is overseen by the Compliance Advisory Panel, which—as one of IFAC's public interest activities—is overseen by the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB).

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 167 members and associates in 127 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.

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