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New IFAC Research Report Demonstrates Positive Association Between Business Performance and Use of Accountants

Literature Review Reveals Key Findings for SMEs, Large Enterprises

Jul 21, 2016 | New York, New York | English

Assessing and understanding the relationship between accountancy expertise and business performance is complex and requires consideration of what accountancy expertise entails, as well as the wide range of performance measures. A new research report released today by the International Federation of Accountants® (IFAC®) demonstrates, through a review of existing literature, the positive association between use of professional accountants for expertise and advice, and business performance.

“It has long been assumed that taking advantage of the breadth and depth of experience and expertise of professional accountants helps organizations optimize performance, efficiencies, and more. It is heartening to see robust global evidence in support of this relationship,” said IFAC CEO Fayez Choudhury. “The report finds that organizational development and performance lead to increased use of accountancy expertise, and accountancy expertise leads to superior performance and development.”

The report summarizes the findings by entity size—small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs) and large entities—as important differences exist between studies about each group and in how business performance and accountancy expertise are operationalized and the results interpreted. The research also shows the positive impact professional accountants have on aligning organizations’ goals and actions. Professional accountants are well-suited to play various roles in organizations, including analysis and communication of information, decision making, managing risks, and creating sustainable value—roles that indirectly impact business performance.

Commissioned by IFAC, researchers at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies conducted a literature review of more than 90 academic research papers. The full report details the results while the Key Findings, also released today, summarizes notable insights. The research was facilitated by the University of Dayton in accordance with an agreement with IFAC.

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. It is comprised of more than 175 members and associates in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions, representing almost 3 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.