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Since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) have demonstrated agility and creativity in moving special initiatives virtual, mitigating the impact on their business operations, and ensuring that their members and industry leaders stay connected. In this spirit, PAOs are also bringing previously live conferences and seminars to a global audience virtually.

On April 13, 2020, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), an IFAC member organization, hosted a virtual conference on the impacts of COVID-19 on the global accountancy profession. The conference featured speakers from Australia, Canada, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Spain, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, and the United States—including IFAC President Dr. In-Ki Joo, IFAC Deputy President Alan Johnson, Chair of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board Tom Seidenstein and IFAC PAO Development Committee Chair Arjuna Herath. The conference was also livestreamed on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to over 80,000 participants globally.

Conference speakers made it clear that the global accountancy profession must remain resilient in times of crisis and that the profession has an important role to play in helping economies recover. This crisis is impacting companies and governments, big and small, and the profession’s focus must be on both the private and public sector. The global accountancy profession must continue its efforts to work together to support the global recovery from this pandemic.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a significant impact on the global economies and the international financial markets,” ICAI President CA Atul Kumar Gupta said following the event. “This unique initiative of ICAI of bringing the global leaders of accountancy profession on a single platform and giving them the opportunity to share their views, ideas and suggestions for combating the COVID-19 challenge on reporting and assurance for the benefit of the accountancy profession as a whole has been very well appreciated by the viewers all around the globe.”

A video recording of the conference is available on the ICAI YouTube channel. Remarks by Dr. Joo, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Seidenstein are also available.

IFAC extends its sincere appreciation to ICAI for making this conference possible.

In response to the pandemic, ICAI has developed a number of resources for its members and students to stay engaged virtually, including COVID-19 Online Resources, ICAI Accounting & Auditing Advisory, and ICAI Digital Learning Hub.

Adrian Lim

Senior Manager, IFAC

Adrian Lim is a Senior Manager with IFAC, where he manages IFAC’s engagement with the Asia Pacific region, and the UK and Ireland. Adrian also leads IFAC’s membership activities and oversees the IFAC Network Partner Program.