The International Federation of Accountants has released guidance to help professional accountancy organizations with their advocacy and public policy efforts, along with a proposed compliance strategy for IFAC member bodies around the world.

To help developing professional accountancy organizations around the world communicate their value and establish or advance public policy efforts, IFAC released new guidance last month for PAOs, Finding Your Voice: PAOs, Advocacy, and Public Policy.

The guidance offers practical advice to help professional organizations for accountants create an environment in which they are listened to, can speak out on topical societal issues, and are seen as an integral, respected, and contributing part of society.

“The success of any PAO relies in large part on its ability to effectively communicate and demonstrate its relevance to society,” said IFAC CEO Fayez Choudhury in a statement. “As part of IFAC’s support for developing PAOs, we want to help them find and use their voices effectively in support of the public interest and in a way that builds trust and confidence—in them and in the profession.”

The guidance outlines the essential elements of an effective approach to engaging stakeholders and includes practical tips as well as short case studies of PAOs who have experienced success.

Compliance Strategy
Separately, last week, as part of its ongoing efforts to promote the adoption and support implementation of international standards in accounting, auditing, ethics, and education, and the establishment of related quality assurance and investigation and discipline mechanisms, IFAC released its Proposed IFAC Member Body Compliance Strategy for 2016-2018.

The proposed strategy incorporates fundamental upgrades to monitoring and reporting mechanisms. It will help professional accountancy organizations meet the IFAC Statements of Membership Obligations, highlight adoption efforts in their jurisdictions, and help all global stakeholders understand adoption status, as well as improvements or setbacks, on a timely basis. IFAc member bodies include the American Institute of CPAs

“Following more than 10 successful years of the IFAC Member Body Compliance Program, the new strategy represents a turning point,” said Choudhury. “The proposed changes to the program, including the creation and publication of dashboard reports, will increase the accessibility and usability of relevant and up-to-date information, as well as leverage the program's value as a global source of knowledge on the status of adoption of international standards and best practices by jurisdictions.”

The program promotes the adoption and supporting implementation of international standards, while focusing attention and resources on the role of professional accounting organizations in improving the quality of the accountancy profession, thereby supporting the IFAC mission and strengthening public confidence in the global profession.

In developing the strategy, the IFAC Compliance Advisory Panel and IFAC staff follow an agreed-upon due process under the oversight of the Public Interest Oversight Board.

IFAC is inviting all stakeholders to comment on the proposed strategy. Respondents are asked to submit comments electronically through an online survey or the IFAC Web site, using the “Submit a Comment” link. IFAC prefers that comments are submitted via the online survey or its Web site, but responses can also be sent to IFAC staff at compliance@ifac.org. Comments and survey responses are requested by July 3, 2015.

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