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15 October 2009

IFAC President Robert Bunting says “same high-quality standards are a must.”

At the CReCER Conference in Brazil the IFAC President highlighted the need to focus on supporting SMEs requiring extra care with accounting standards and sharing tasks with international bodies when collaboration is appropriate.

Robert Bunting remarked that IFAC and its member bodies take pride in helping to improve financial infrastructure worldwide both for the developed world and emerging and developing nations, as well as in the public interest. The way IFAC achieves this is through standard-setting and auditing. IFAC continues to work on getting a single set of high-quality auditing standards accepted and implemented around the world. A recent example of the IFAC’s work in this area is the Clarity Project, which has just been completed by the IAASB.  This consisted of rewriting all its auditing standards (ISAs) in clear simple English to enable them to be more effectively translated into other languages.

With regard to SMEs, the IFAC tries to provide some of that extra care in the form of tools. IFAC’s Small and Medium Practices Committee offers guidance on using international auditing standards supports IFRS for SMES and makes suggestions country stakeholders can use to determine how they will proceed toward global standards for SMEs. When IFAC made its recommendations to the G20 prior to the Summit in Pittsburgh, IFAC included a caution that the G20, in seeking to reform the financial markets, considers the needs of SMEs to ensure they are not harmed.

The IFAC President stated that the types of changes that are being considered are ‘pretty vast’. IFAC can’t do it alone. To deliver the right assistance, being a leader sometimes means finding appropriate partners.  One of those like-minded institutions is the World Bank, of which IFAC has a successful long-term relationship. The World Bank has shown support for IFAC’s initiatives which has proved invaluable. Among the fruits of this collaboration have been reforms of public financial management systems and increased government accountability; adoption of accrual accounting where resources permit; establishment of appropriate professional infrastructures in developing other countries; encouraging the development of the right legal and regulatory mechanisms  as a prerequisite for the implementation of standards.

Press release



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