Remarks by Robert Bunting

Robert Bunting | President, International Federation of Accountants

Apr 16, 2010 | Venice, Italy | English

Thank you, Stephan. It's a pleasure to be here this afternoon and good afternoon to you. Like you, I'm contemplating a longer stay here than I anticipated, but it's OK. In fact, it's wonderful.

As you know, [and] as I'm sure speakers have mentioned earlier in this conference, Venice is the place where accounting was invented by Luca Pachioli. And, of course, Venice is famous for a Venetian merchant who opened up the Eastern routes of the trade: Marco Polo. But I'll come back to that in a minute.

First, I'd like to congratulate our host, CNDCEC [Consiglio Nazionale dei Dottori Commercialisti e Degli Esperti Contabili]. I'm sorry, Claudio, I can't say the whole name. I'm an American and Italian just does not flow from my lips. But I would like to thank you for your interest in SMP [small and medium practice] and SME [small- and medium-sized entity] issues.

I know that Italy is a hotbed of entrepreneurialism, where small companies manufacture very high-quality consumer goods and sell them throughout the world. Most of those companies are family owned and most of those companies are served by SMPs.

Italy contributes greatly to IFAC. We have a number [of members] from the [Italian] member body on the IFAC Board and, of course, we have a very important member on the SMP Committee. Italy has also done the translation of the ISAs into Italian, which [will be] critical for adoption of the ISAs by the European Union.

I'd also like to thank FEE [Fédération des Experts Comptables Européens]. I believe that FEE defines for IFAC what a regional organization ought to be. It's certainly the largest and, I believe, the best organized of all of the IFAC-recognized regional bodies. I congratulate you on holding this conference, and I believe that you are doing something very important for one of my pet projects.

Why is it one of my pet projects? I do not pretend to be an SMP. My firm has over 1,500 professionals in it. But, we serve SMEs. We serve a lot of SMEs . We believe they are critical to the functioning of the U.S. economy and critical to the functioning of almost all economies, and I will again come back to that.

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