The Realizing the Power of PAOs seminar in Hanoi, Vietnam, on August 17, 2012, brought together more than 50 individuals representing IFAC, the World Bank, and regional organizations and professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) from across the East Asia Pacific region and beyond. The event was hosted by the Vietnam Association of Certified Public Accountants (VACPA) and supported by the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA).
The event included presentations from World Bank and IFAC experts who set both the global and regional scenes, recognizing the importance of the accountancy profession and, specifically, the role of PAOs. Presentations also examined the development successes and challenges of PAOs in the context of East Asia Pacific.
Szymon Radziszewicz, IFAC senior technical manager, provided an overview of IFAC’s framework for successful PAOs, including IFAC’s position on global regulatory convergence, balancing shared regulation, and the IFAC Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs).
A panel session showcased the available tools and diagnostics that support strengthening and development of PAOs, including the World Bank Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) program, the IFAC Compliance Program and membership requirements, the PAO Development Committee strategy implementation, and an overview of efforts being made by the Recognized Regional Organization CAPA.
The second part of the day was an interactive workshop during which PAOs representing the East Asia Pacific region and beyond had an opportunity to discuss their recent achievements, current challenges, and lessons learned. This session sought to contextualize the range of guidance and information provided earlier in the day, and, most importantly, allowed national PAOs to exchange experiences, receive input from others, and share ideas.
While in Vietnam, Mr. Radziszewicz and Marta Russell, IFAC technical manager, held outreach meetings with key representatives of the profession, including the Ministry of Finance, IFAC member body the Vietnam Association of Accountants and Auditors, and the World Bank. Discussions focused on providing stakeholders with an overview of IFAC’s structure and priorities and enhancing IFAC’s understanding of the nature of the profession and current priorities and challenges for these organizations. Mr. Radziszewicz and Ms. Russell also participated in The Vital Role of PAOs, a conference held by VACPA and CAPA.
A high-level summary of the workshop discussions will be made available soon.