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IFAC Recognizes Marilyn Pendergast for Contributions to the Worldwide Accountancy Profession
The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) awarded Marilyn A. Pendergast, CPA, the Sempier Award for outstanding contributions to the international accountancy profession. She is a senior partner with the accounting firm of UHY LLP and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Ms. Pendergast is only the fourth person to receive this award, which was presented today at the 17th World Congress of Accountants in Istanbul, Turkey. She was selected from among nominations submitted by IFAC's 160 member bodies in 120 countries worldwide.
The award is named after Robert Sempier, the first chief executive of IFAC, who was also the recipient of the first award. Ms. Pendergast has a distinguished career within the profession and is recognized both nationally and internationally for her leadership on ethical issues. She served as a member of IFAC's Ethics Committee (now the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants) for 10 years and was its Chair from 1999 to 2004. During this time, Ms. Pendergast led the committee in restructuring and updating the international IFAC Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, including the adoption of a principles-based approach to independence, to ensure the Code's relevancy in the global marketplace. The Code of Ethics applies to all the 2.5 million professional accountants worldwide who are members of IFAC member bodies.
"Ms. Pendergast demonstrated her continuing commitment to the global profession through her leadership of IFAC's Ethics Committee during a time of renewed focus on ethics and independence," states IFAC President Fermín del Valle. "By listening to the perspectives of outside stakeholders and bringing together national viewpoints, she led the development of a code of ethics that is truly global. She has made a real and lasting contribution to the international ethics standards that we have today and which are vital to the accountancy profession's efforts to protect the public interest."
In addition to her service on the IFAC Ethics Committee, Ms. Pendergast served on the Ethics Committee of the AICPA for ten years, including four years as Chair. Within the AICPA, Ms. Pendergast has been an important advocate for understanding international issues in the United States. She is a past member of the AICPA's Board of Directors and its Council. She also served as the first female president of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants in 1994. Ms. Pendergast, who has close to 40 years of public accounting experience, is a partner with UHY LLP, a CPA firm in Albany, New York. She is a national leader of the firm's government, higher education and non-profit practices.
Today, Ms. Pendergast continues to support the development of the profession both nationally and internationally. She currently represents UHY International, a global network of firms, as a member of the IFAC Transnational Auditors Committee, which plays an important role in encouraging member firms to meet high standards of international practice. She is the Chair of the AICPA's International Strategy Committee and continues to make presentations on ethics issues throughout the world.
IFAC is the worldwide 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's current membership consists of approximately 160 professional accountancy bodies in 120 countries, representing more than 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry and commerce. IFAC, through its independent standard-setting boards, sets international standards on ethics, auditing and assurance, education, and public sector accounting. It also issues guidance to encourage high-quality performance by professional accountants in business.