The Council of the International Federation of Accountants, a group that sets international standards on ethics, auditing and assurance, education, and public sector accounting, has named PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Graham Ward, CBE, MA, FCA, as its new president for a two-year term.

The IFAC represents 157 accountancy bodies and 2.5 million accountants worldwide.

A member of IFAC's board since 2000, Ward was instrumental in the creation of the Task Force on Rebuilding Public Confidence in Financial Reporting. He also contributed to the development of reform proposals to strengthen IFAC standard-setting and was a member of IFAC's Strategy Review Group, its Regulatory Liaison Group and its Quality Control Group.

A senior partner in the global energy and utilities group of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ward is a member and former deputy chairman of the Financial Reporting Council and a member of its Corporate Governance Committee, as well as a past president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Ward pledged to focus on expanding the group's support for accountants in business, to improve IFAC's transparency and accountability, and to help support developing nations in developing strong infrastructures.

"While continuing to encourage high-quality work by professional accountants in practice, we will also focus on expanding support for professional accountants in business," Ward said. "They play a pivotal role in ensuring the fiscal soundness and accountability of diverse enterprises, and we cannot underestimate their value in the international financial framework."

"IFAC will work in the public interest with our member bodies, international regulators and standard-setters to strengthen further our transparency and accountability, to ensure that sound financial structures are in place and to promote convergence to international standards," he continued. "We will also encourage strong governance and corporate codes of ethics, so that management embraces its public interest responsibilities. These priorities are key to obtaining market confidence in financial information and ensuring the efficient allocation of resources, especially capital."

Over the next two years, Ward said that the IFAC will also focus on helping developing nations by supporting them in developing strong infrastructures, and will offer support to practices that serve small- and midsized enterprises.

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