The International Federation of Accountants has revised its report on a recently published survey, modifying some of the top priorities it heard from its membership on the work it should pursue.
The organization originally published its IFAC Global Leadership Survey on Jan. 15, polling its membership of accountancy organizations in over 100 countries (see Accountants Advocated for Reform During Crisis). However, exactly a week later, IFAC announced that it was withdrawing the report to incorporate additional responses, and would re-issue the report within a few weeks.
A month later, the revised report has been published. In it, the accountancy organization presidents and chief executives surveyed said IFAC needs to continue to encourage the convergence of standards developed by independent standard-setting boards relating to auditing and assurance, education, ethics, and public sector accounting, and to support the implementation of those standards. In particular, that includes promoting adoption of high-quality international standards published by IFAC and the International Accounting Standards Board, including the International Financial Reporting Standards for Small and Midsized Enterprises.
More than half of the respondents believe that building confidence in international standards and influencing their adoption and implementation will increase in importance over the next three years.
To move beyond the current crisis and ensure protection for all investors and taxpayers, the necessary parties around the world need to adopt and implement high-quality global standards, said IFAC CEO Ian Ball in a statement. It is crucial for governments and regulators to take decisive actions in their countries and put in place their international commitments to converged standards.
Other top priorities, according to the new report, are to adopt and implement principles of good corporate governance, especially those promulgated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The need to implement corporate governance principles is expected to increase in importance over the next three years.
Survey respondents also said that IFAC should continue to urge the G-20 to not place unreasonable burdens on small and midsized enterprises through new regulations or re-regulation. They cited this as the most important initiative to the accountancy profession that IFAC had pursued in the past year.
The survey also found that the demand for professionals in public practice, business and the public sector is expected to remain high in the next three years. Student interest in accountancy has increased dramatically over the past three years, according to survey results. The profession was rated as very attractive or attractive to university-level students, as well as experienced professionals and graduates who recently entered the field.
This version of the survey includes responses from more than 110 presidents and chief executives of accountancy organizations around the world.
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