Skip to main content

International Accountancy and Law Professions Further Anti-Corruption Mandate Ahead of Global Economic Leaders’ Meeting

Jul 18, 2018 | English

IFAC (International Federation of Accountants) and the International Bar Association (IBA) today announce their shared commitment to continue their work combating corruption in all its forms. Published ahead of the gathering of global economic leaders (G20), taking place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the signed IBA and IFAC Anti-Corruption Mandate highlights the role of business and government in safeguarding a fair and transparent future for all.

“Grounded in a strong ethical code, professional accountants across the globe play a critical role in the fight against corruption, bringing essential transparency, relevance and integrity to the systems that underpin vibrant economies,” says IFAC CEO Fayezul Choudhury. “We are proud to partner with the IBA to highlight and advance the role of our global professions in serving the public interest now and in the future.”

According to the International Monetary Fund, bribery, which is just one aspect of corruption, costs the global economy nearly $2tn – approximately two per cent of global GDP – each year. However, where governance architecture is strong, the role played by professional accountants in tackling corruption is amplified, such as in G20 countries and in countries that have adopted anti-money laundering laws in line with international recommendations.

The presence of professional accountancy organizations is another important factor, as they advance the adoption of ethical, educational, investigation and discipline requirements that are central to the profession. According to research from IFAC, there is a strong link between the percentage of professional accountants in the workforce and more favorable scores on the main global measure of corruption.

Mark Ellis, IBA Executive Director, commented: “Corruption is a significant impediment to economic stability and development, tarnishing public trust in institutions and inhibiting citizens’ access to opportunities and prosperity. With empirical research that demonstrates the world’s poor pays the highest percentage of their income in bribes, the imminent meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors presents an important opportunity to remind leaders that every stolen dollar, euro, lira, peso, pound, rand, real, rouble, rupee, yen or yuan robs someone of an equal opportunity in life, and that everyone has a responsibility to combat corruption. The IBA-IFAC cross-sector collaboration aims to reinforce the role and responsibility of international professions to tackle corruption, and we are delighted to be partnering with IFAC.”

In all its variations, corruption has far reaching negative consequences, including when money is misappropriated through illicit financial flows that can lead to the funding of organized high level crimes such as drug trafficking, human trafficking and terrorism.

The international accountancy and legal professions continue to promote core ethical values, facilitate national and international cooperation in the fight against corruption, and advance monitoring and enforcement systems in the public interest. With the IBA and IFAC global membership spanning more than 170 countries, they play a vital role in training, educating and supporting professionals to uphold the highest levels of integrity and ethics in business.

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 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.

About the International Bar Association
The International Bar Association (IBA), established in 1947, is the world’s leading organisation of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies, spanning more than 170 countries. It is comprised of specialist committees relating to practice areas of law, including the Anti-Corruption Committee and the Anti-Money Laundering Committee. Through its global membership of individual lawyers, law firms, bar associations and law societies, the IBA influences the development of international law reform and shapes the future of the legal profession throughout the world.