New IFAC Paper Focuses on Internal Control From a Risk-Based Perspective and the Role of Accountants in Business

Aug 20, 2007 | New York | English

One of the best defenses against business failure and an important driver of business performance is strong internal control. This is true for organizations globally. Recognizing this, the Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has released a new publication on Internal Control from a Risk-Based Perspective.

This information paper features interviews conducted by Robert Bruce, a leading financial journalist, with 10 senior-level professional accountants in business on their experiences and views on establishing effective internal control systems. The interviews help to demonstrate the importance of a risk-based approach to internal control in helping an organization manage its overall risk. They also shed light on the nature of risk in organizations, how to establish an internal control system focused on driving performance and supporting the delivery of strategic objectives, and success stories that can help organizations in considering improvements to their approach.

"The flood of rules and requirements that resulted from past corporate failures, and the often time-consuming and costly compliance efforts, make us easily forget that the right kind of internal controls - focused on the real risks of an organization - actually can save time, money and ensure creation and maintenance of value," emphasizes Edward Chow, Chair of the PAIB Committee.

"These interviews will help professional accountants in business and their organizations to benchmark their own organizations' internal control efforts and philosophy." This interview-based information paper is part of a larger PAIB Committee project on internal control. In 2006, the committee published an overview paper, Internal Controls - A Review of Current Developments, which reviewed current developments and some of the latest thinking in the area of internal control.

These two publications form the groundwork for the development of principles-based good practice guidance on internal control, which the PAIB Committee plans to issue in 2008. Internal Control from a Risk-Based Perspective can be downloaded free-of-charge from the IFAC online bookstore at A range of other publications on topics of interest to professional accountants in business is also available from the IFAC bookstore.

Founded in 1977, 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 155 members and associates in 118 countries, representing more than 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry and commerce. The organization, through its independent standard-setting boards, sets international ethics, auditing and assurance, education, and public sector accounting standards. Through its Professional Accountants in Business Committee, IFAC issues guidance to encourage high quality performance by professional accountants in business.


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