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Finance Leadership & Development
Advancing Accountancy Education in the Public Interest—An Update
by Alta Prinsloo, Executive Director, IFAC | May 16, 2019 |
April 23, 2019 Multi-stakeholder Webinar
IFAC staff and the International Accountancy Education Transition Advisory Group (IAETAG) recently held a second Multi-stakeholder Webinar to update the accountancy education community on the transition to a new approach to advancing accountancy education at the global level. The first Multi-stakeholder Webinar, which was held in December 2019, can be accessed here. A multi-stakeholder survey conducted after the first webinar indicated strong support for the new approach.
Participants in the webinar heard about the new comprehensive and integrated approach, which is designed to be relevant, responsive, effective, and open, and has the following main features:
- Harnesses IFAC’s comparative advantages—natural facilitator, trusted intermediary, global knowledge-sharing platform, and influential voice—to respond to challenges and opportunities in an agile, effective, and efficient manner
- Benefits from the advice, access to resources and knowledge, and advocacy provided by an International Panel on Accountancy Education (Panel)
- Draws on the output of a Multi-Stakeholder Engagement Framework
- Optimizes the use of resources and knowledge across all IFAC activities
- Very importantly, leverages the resources and knowledge of IFAC member organizations and others
Participants were assured that accountancy education remains a key component of the IFAC strategy, which in future will draw on the outputs of the Multi-Stakeholder Engagement Framework and advice from the Panel to deliver a wide range of services, including maintaining and promoting the IES and supporting their implementation through guidance and capacity building, providing thought leadership, commissioning research, advocating for quality accountancy education, and engaging with a wide range of stakeholders.
The IFAC Board-and-Council-approved strategy will be implemented by IFAC staff, overseen by the IFAC CEO, who reports to the IFAC Board, which in turn oversees the execution of this strategy and reports back to the IFAC Council. Services rendered under the strategy will be available on the IFAC website in an easy-to-access format, providing a valuable one-stop resource of knowledge for professional accountancy organizations and other stakeholders.
IFAC used the opportunity to obtain participants’ input on the proposed outputs under the approach. Participants reviewed an illustrative consultation process for future revisions to the IES, and highlighted the following advantages of the process: pragmatic, strategic, inclusive, consultative, collaborative, flexible. When asked about any concerns, they commented on whether the process might take too long, whether the reliance on key stakeholder resources and knowledge is feasible, the selection of topic experts and working groups, post-implementation reviews, and oversight.
Under adoption and implementation of IES, participants highlighted lack of awareness, diverse legal frameworks, scarce implementation guidance, and fragmentation of responsibilities as some of the root causes of low adoption. With regard to low implementation, they suggested communication with stakeholders that goes beyond professional accountancy organizations (PAOs), easy-to-access practical implementation tools, PAO-to-PAO partnerships, and regional workshops.
Participants suggested various information technology-related topics for future thought leadership, as well as soft skills-related topics and ethical decision making. They discussed the role of accountancy academics in the new approach, and identified other key stakeholders, including universities, regulators, employers, regional projects (such as the Common Core Project), and global development agencies.
Next steps include the establishment of the Panel and other actions to ensure the successful transition from the IAESB to the new approach.
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