Developing the Accountancy Profession
Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs) 1-7 (Revised)
IFAC recently completed its revision of the Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs)—a comprehensive exercise over the last two years that gave all stakeholders a voice and followed strict due process.The result is a clarified set of SMOs—seven benchmarks that are globally recognized as a framework for strong, credible, and high-quality professional accountancy organizations (PAOs). The revised SMOs, which are the basis of the IFAC Member Body Compliance Program, are designed to assist PAOs in leading the way to serve the public interest by supporting adoption and implementation of international standards and maintaining quality assurance review systems and investigation and discipline mechanisms.
The revised SMOs include an applicability framework that provides specific guidance on how to address obligations where organizations have varying degrees of responsibility for an SMO area. For example, when a PAO has direct responsibility for setting auditing standards, it should comply with the SMO 3 by adopting and implementing International Standards on Auditing. If there are extenuating circumstances, the PAO is required to provide a satisfactory explanation of the situation.
With the exception of SMO 1, the effective date for the revised SMOs is January 1, 2013. SMO 1 has an extended effective date, January 1, 2014, to provide member bodies or responsible authorities sufficient time to implement the revised requirements.
As the revised SMOs become effective, members and associates should consider any actions that will need to be taken to address revised SMO requirements. Those considerations and actions should be reflected through the next update of their SMO Action Plan.
To explain all the revisions to the SMOs, IFAC Member Body Development staff has also published a guidance document, A Comparison Guide to the 2012 SMO Revisions, to explain the revisions and assist member organizations and their technical staff to identify changes and understand and address them.
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