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Engaging Professional Accountants in Business

How to Build a More Relevant PAO and Profession
| Guidance & Support Tools

Given the essential role of professional accountants in business in strong and sustainable organizations, financial markets, and economies, this guidance assists professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) in strengthening engagement with accountants in business, the public sector, and academia as a means to expand their reach, influence, and contribution.

Professional accountants in business perform a wide range of jobs at various levels and are spread over many organizations and locations, often in small numbers. They represent a broad spectrum of expertise, and have access to vast information sources. Consequently, there is often a disconnect between a PAO and its members in business to the detriment of the individual accountants, profession, PAO, and—ultimately—the public interest. To address this potential disconnect, this guidance provides recommendations, starting with incorporating these members into the PAO’s governance and decision-making structures and developing a formal engagement plan.

The guidance was developed as part of the PAO Capacity Building Series with the help of the IFAC Professional Accountants in Business Committee. It includes a case study from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan. We welcome additional case studies from PAOs who have successfully incorporated professional accountants in business into their organization and governance structure. If you would like to submit information for a possible case study, please email Stathis Gould, IFAC Head of Professional Accountants in Business (

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