IFAC Convenes Global Accountancy Leaders to Focus on Credit Crisis, Needs of SMEs, and Improvements in Financial Reporting
Feb 24, 2009 | New York | English
Accountancy leaders from around the world discussed the global financial crisis, the needs of small- and medium-sized enterprises, and the ways in which professional accountants can contribute to rebuilding economic stability at meetings hosted by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) last week in New York.
IFAC convened 40 leaders of accountancy institutes and regional accountancy organizations at its annual Member Body Chief Executives Meeting. Participants heard presentations from Svein Andresen, Secretary General of the Financial Stability Forum, and Nicolas Veron, research fellow at Bruegel, a European economic policy research organization, on the causes of the financial crisis and some of the short- and long-term issues to be addressed. Accountancy leaders from developed and developing countries, along with representatives of the firms, discussed how they were addressing the crisis, including their roles in supporting members of the profession on issues such as ethics, fair value accounting, and going concerns, and in contributing thought leadership to the development of new regulations and policies.
“There was broad agreement that now, more than ever, our profession must be unified in our approach to addressing economic issues,” emphasizes IFAC President Robert Bunting. “IFAC is working closely with its member organizations to determine the best way forward in addressing matters related to the crisis.”
“Our independent standard-setting boards, particularly the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board, are expediting their work on standards and guidance that will help accountants employed in public practice and in government to address the issues they face in the current environment,” states IFAC Chief Executive Officer Ian Ball.
At the IFAC Board meeting on February 19th and 20th, Board members also focused on issues related to the global financial and economic crisis, resolving to identify those areas where the profession’s expertise would be most useful and to reach out to organizations addressing issues related to the crisis.
A significant part of the Board discussions concentrated on the issues facing small- and medium-sized practices and small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs). Board members approved a process for exploring how IFAC can best support this important sector of the global economy and a proposal on this topic will be presented to the Board in June. All IFAC members and associates, regional accountancy organizations, firms, and professional accountants will be invited to provide their input.
In addition, the Board approved for release a study on national initiatives related to the financial reporting supply chain. Based on a survey of its member bodies, the new publication, Developments in the Financial Reporting Supply Chain: Results from a Global Study among IFAC Member Bodies, acknowledges that progress has been made, but also reports that greater attention needs to be given to the following: corporate governance; financial reporting and, in particular, the adoption of suitable reporting standards for SMEs; financial auditing; and the usefulness of financial reports.
In other actions, the IFAC Board approved Roger Tabor, a member of the Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee since 2004, as Chair of the committee. A past president of CIPFA, Mr. Tabor brings 22 years of director-level experience in a major public service organization and a broad range of finance and planning experience to his new role as PAIB Committee Chair.
IFAC (www.ifac.org) 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 157 members and associates in 122 countries and jurisdictions, 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. IFAC also issues guidance to encourage high-quality performance by professional accountants in business.