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Accountants Offer Crucial Help In Reducing Global Corruption

New Study: Professional Accountants, Strong Governance Vital to Improved Outcomes

Feb 23, 2017 | New York, New York | English

A new study, The Accountancy Profession—Playing a Positive Role in Tackling Corruption, from the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) shows professional accountants are playing a major, positive role in reducing corruption, along with other key actors in the global economy that support strong governance structures.

“Corruption is an economic cancer that disproportionately impacts those least able to absorb its malignancy,” said Fayez Choudhury, IFAC Chief Executive Officer. “This study shows that the accountancy profession—acting in the public interest—is an important part of the cure.

“The study confirms that the accountancy profession is a crucial part of strong national governance architectures that confront corruption, in partnership with good government and strong businesses. And vitally, the study shows professional ethics, education, and oversight—at the core of the global accountancy profession—are key to our positive impact in tackling corruption.

“Meaningful progress in this age-old fight will require three things: continued strong cross-sector collaboration; reinvigorated international interest in public financial management; and greater adoption of high-quality international standards on financial reporting, auditing, and ethics,” Mr. Choudhury concluded.

Among the key findings, the study reveals that a higher percentage of accountants in the workforce strongly correlates to better outcomes in Transparency International’s global Corruption Perceptions Index.

Examining the profession’s impact in nations with stronger governance structures, the correlation was significantly greater in G-20 countries and member nations of the Financial Action Task Force.

And when professional accountancy organizations are present in an economy, having adopted the global profession’s ethical, educational, and investigation and discipline requirements, the positive correlation with Transparency International’s index rises even further.

Conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, the study builds on two earlier reports: Nexus 1: The Accountancy Profession, Behind the Numbers and Nexus 2: The Accountancy Profession, A Global Value Add, which examine both the size of the global profession and its economic contribution to the global economy.


About 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 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.