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IFAC's Bunting Calls for Global Commitment to High-Quality Financial Standards to Solve Crisis

Sep 23, 2009 | English

"The accounting profession can and should take a leadership role in helping the world steer its way out of the global financial crisis," International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) President Robert L. Bunting told the audience gathered in São Paulo, Brazil, for the third annual CReCER conference (Spanish acronym of Accounting and Accountability for Regional Economic Growth).  "At this crossroad for the world economy, this means raising our voice about what we know best-including the capital markets, government accountability, and the small and midsize businesses we call SMEs."

Mr. Bunting reminded the audience that every kind of entity needs the financial information that high-quality standards provide as we move toward recovery from the recession. Businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean often need to prove their economic viability as business partners for new opportunities in the Middle East and China, or for ongoing ones in this hemisphere. Governments need to confirm their fiscal health for the capital markets or for membership in regional economic organizations.

"Governments worldwide must follow the same high standards of financial reporting as their private sector counterparts if we are to believe the economic picture they paint-and to avoid this kind of global meltdown in the future," Mr. Bunting said. "The broad-based adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards-which IFAC has also recommended strongly to the G-20 Leaders-is critical to improving government transparency and accountability, in light of the unprecedented takeovers, lending, guarantees, and bailouts of major market institutions, banks, and companies that have taken place," Mr. Bunting added.  He also noted that IFAC is working with the World Bank to develop and strengthen the accountancy profession in developing and emerging economies as a key step in achieving financial stability.

Mr. Bunting also spoke out about the importance of supporting small and midsize businesses and the smaller accountancy firms that serve them in recovery from the recession. "The people behind Latin America's SMEs are vital to creating sustainable growth, jobs, and wealth," he said, because "they turn innovation and agility into new products and services. The OECD says they account for most businesses in all countries and are a major source of new jobs. Yet, they are often a forgotten voice in the regulatory and public policy dialogue. We cannot let this happen."

The CReCER conference, September 23-25, 2009, is designed to increase awareness of the critical importance of sound financial reporting and auditing for the development of a well-functioning market economy and of an efficient public sector-the cornerstones of equitable and sustainable economic development. Over 800 individuals attended, including representatives of the accountancy profession, governments, and the donor community. IFAC, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank organized the first CReCER event in June 2007, and are joined by IFAC member Conselho Federal de Contabilidade and the six largest accounting networks in the preparation of this year's event, along with other sponsors.
About IFAC
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 157 members and associates in 123 countries and jurisdictions, representing more than 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.