The Third Annual Global Leadership Survey of the International Federation of Accountants revealed its membership as vocal advocates for the adoption of global accounting and auditing standards. It also highlighted corporate governance enhancements in jurisdictions around the world.
As world economies recover from the global financial crisis, the Third Annual Global Leadership Survey of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) revealed its membership as vocal advocates for small and mid-size businesses, as well as for the adoption of global accounting and auditing standards. It also highlighted corporate governance enhancements in jurisdictions around the world.
The survey analyses the following areas:
Public sector finance improvements. Because the financial crisis led to many governments' assuming an interventionist role in their economies through providing a range of guarantees and undertaking bailouts of major banks and other institutions, among other actions, the survey sought information on efforts to improve the transparency and accountability of governments for public sector finance. Many respondents reported their countries were in the process of adopting the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs), which can provide reliable information about government finances which, in the context of the crisis, is so important.
Corporate governance enhancements. When survey participants were asked whether there had been enhancements to corporate governance in their jurisdictions, the majority reported that there had either been improvements, that actions were in process, or that such changes were being considered. In particular, they reported the adoption of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) good governance principles, but there was an extensive range of responses, from making it mandatory for companies of a certain size to create an audit committee, to introducing codes specific to small businesses.
Demand for accountants. IFAC's survey also asked about the demand for accountants throughout the broad spectrum of sectors in which they work, and found that the profession remains attractive to students and those already in the field. According to survey responses, the demand for accountants remains high, worldwide, with growing interest in the government and academic sectors. Participants believe the demand for accountancy professionals will grow in the coming years.
Unity of the profession. Finally, in order to play a role in the changing regulation of the financial sector internationally, respondents believe in the importance of maintaining the unity of the accountancy profession, They said that they believe that IFAC should maintain its role as a voice of the global profession. This would include its memoranda to the G20 leaders on reform of the global financial system andspecial consideration for the needs of SMEs (small and medium entities). It should also maintain its role as a global standard-setter for auditing and public sector accounting, and professional ethics and education.
© IFAC - International Federation of Accountants
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