|1) IFAC Board
Focuses on Compliance and Quality Control
At the March IFAC Board meeting, Board members stated their commitment
todeveloping an effective compliance program for IFAC member bodies.
A Working Group will present a report outlining the scope of the program
to IFAC's Board in July. As part of that effort, IFAC will be
developing new Statements of Membership Obligations, which cover areas
such as audit,
ethics, education, and quality assurance programs. IFAC's International
Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) is also developing new
quality control standards to be applied at the firm and engagement
2) IFAC Reaches Out to Members, Media and
In January, IFAC hosted a meeting in New York with chief executives of Some
of its member bodies, the heads of regional accountancy organizations,
and representatives of the Forum of Firms to identify priorities the
organization should pursue as part of its medium-term strategy. Two
international journalists were invited to the meeting to present theirperspectives
on the profession. This meeting was followed by meetings in Paris with
worldwide regulators. Here is what IFAC learned from these
* IFAC's most critical roles were perceived as being standard
setting, coordination with and facilitation of programs with member
spokesmanship on behalf of the worldwide profession.
* Participants also agreed that oversight of standard-setting
activities would strengthen the credibility of the process.
* Transparency at all levels (member body compliance, IFAC
standard setting, and firm quality control initiatives) was also
perceived as being critical to building confidence in the profession.
IFAC will address this input as it develops its Medium-Term
Strategy and Action Plan and refines a member body compliance process.
An additional meeting is planned with regulators in the next few months.
In the meantime, an IFAC Regulatory Monitoring Group is tracking
developments around the world.
3) Updated Handbooks of Auditing, Ethics and
Public Sector Standards Now Available
Two new IFAC handbooks featuring the latest international standards and
practice statements are now available: the 2003 Handbook of
International Auditing, Assurance, and Ethics Pronouncements and the
2003 Handbook of International Public Sector Accounting Standards.
The Handbook of International Auditing, Assurance and Ethics
Pronouncements contains all standards and practice statements issued by
the IAASB (and its predecessor, the International Auditing Practices
Committee) and the IFAC Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
issued by IFAC's Ethics Committee as of December 31, 2002.
The 2003 Handbook of International Public Sector Accounting Standards
(IPSASs) features IPSASs1-20, along with a glossary of terms, summary of
occasional papers and studies, and a selected bibliography. It also
contains IFAC's Code of Ethics.
The handbooks are available in both print and electronic versions.
The electronic versions are free of charge and may be accessed by going
Print versions, which include a CD-Rom, may also be ordered through the
online bookstore. The printed public sector handbook is free. The
printed auditing handbook is US$100 plus shipping.
4) IAASB Releases New Guidance and Exposure
At its March meeting, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards
Board (IAASB) approved the following documents for release:
* International Auditing Practice Statement (IAPS) 1014,
on Compliance with International Financial Reporting Standards."
* An Exposure Draft (ED) containing a proposed International
Framework for Assurance Engagements and a proposed International
Standard on Assurance Engagements entitled "Assurance Engagements
on Subject Matters Other Than Historical Financial Information."
* An ED entitled "The Special Considerations in the Audit of
Small Entities, Proposed Amendment to International Auditing Practice
These documents will be posted on the IFAC website within the next two
Go to http://www.ifac.org/iaasb/
for links to all of them.
5) View New IFAC Database on Corporate
IFAC has introduced a new Internet resource center for the public
entitled: Viewpoints: Governance, Accountability and the Public Trust.
Individuals may access it directly by going to http://www.ifac.org/credibility/viewpoints.php.
Information is posted in six categories: Global Perspectives; Public
Policy and Regulation; The
Governance Process: Roles and Responsibilities; Financial Reporting;
Auditing Issues; and Ethics.
6) New Quality of Earnings Case Study
IFAC's Financial and Management Accounting Committee (FMAC) has
published Quality of Earnings Case Study Collection containing more than
a dozen articles addressing a wide range of issues such as capital
market expectations and valuations, estimates/methods, revenue
recognition, business combinations, and working capital. First published
by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the
book is designed to educate management, accountants and other business
decision makers about a wide range of issues that impact the quality of
earnings. It may be downloaded free of charge by going to http://www.ifac.org/store.
7) 2002 Study on GAAP Convergence Released
The GAAP Convergence 2002 Survey was conducted by several international
accounting firms to determine the extent to which countries planned to
promote and achieve convergence with International Financial Reporting
Standards (IFRSs). Some 90 percent of 59 countries surveyed said they
intend to converge with IFRSs. For complete results and analysis, go to http://www.ifad.net.
IFAC is the worldwide organization for the accountancy profession.
Its mission is to develop and enhance the profession to enable it to
provide services of consistently high quality in the public interest.
Its current membership consists of 155 professional accountancy bodies
in 113 countries,
representing more than two million accountants in public practice,
education, government service, industry and commerce.