INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF ACCOUNTANTS

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In this Issue:
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1) IFAC Proposes to Strengthen Member Obligations
2) Report on Rebuilding Public Confidence in Financial Reporting Now Available
3) IAASB Invites Comments on EDs on Fraud and Planning the Audit
4) IFAC Seeks to Expand Guidance and Authority of Its Ethics Code
5) Public Sector Committee Invites Comments on ED on Impairment of Assets
6) IFAC Releases Award-Winning Articles for Professional Accountants in Business
7) First Set of International Education Standards Approved for Release
8) IFAC to Introduce New Strategy and Reform Proposals at November Council Meeting


1) IFAC Proposes to Strengthen Member Obligations
 
Seeking to clarify and strengthen its membership obligations and enhance the performance of accountants worldwide, IFAC has released exposure
drafts of seven Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs) (go to http://www.ifac.org/EDs). These SMOs will help IFAC to assess three critical areas: the extent to which its 155 member organizations are implementing standards published by IFAC and the International Accounting Standards Board; whether member bodies have the structures in place to ensure that its members are complying with these standards; and whether member bodies have appropriate investigative and disciplinary processes for their members.
The deadline for receipt of comments on the draft SMOs is November 30, 2003.


2) Report on Rebuilding Public Confidence in Financial Reporting Now Available
 
An independent task force, chaired by John Crow, former Governor of the Bank of Canada, has issued its final report entitled "Rebuilding Public Confidence in Financial Reporting: An International Perspective." (Go to http://www.ifac.org/Credibility/.) The report includes recommendations for strengthening corporate governance, improving audit effectiveness, and
raising the standard of regulation of issuers. It suggests actions that should be taken not only by the accountancy profession, but also by all those involved in the financial reporting process, including management, audit committees, boards of directors, analysts, and regulators.


3) IAASB Invites Comments on EDs on Fraud and Planning the Audit
 
The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) is seeking comments on the following exposure drafts:
 - Proposed Revised International Standard of Auditing (ISA) 240, The Auditor's Responsibility to Consider Fraud in an Audit of Financial Statements (Comments due by November 15, 2003).
 - Proposed Revised International Standard on Auditing 300, Planning the
Audit (Comments due by November 15, 2003)
 These documents may be downloaded from the IFAC web site. Go to  http://www.ifac.org/iaasb/ for links to all of them.


4) IFAC Seeks To Expand Guidance and Authority of its Ethics Code

IFAC is recommending revisions to its Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants and is suggesting that the Code be elevated from a "model code" on which to base national requirements to a "standard," requiring IFAC member body compliance. This change is part of IFAC's overall efforts to work with its member bodies to raise the quality of practice by
accountants worldwide.
The proposed revisions do not extend to Section 8, which was issued in November 2001 and is first applicable to assurance engagements when the assurance report is dated on or after December 31, 2004. In light of the success of the revised Section 8, in mid 2002 the IFAC Ethics Committee embarked upon a project to extend the principles-based approach to the
entire Code, addressing accountants both in public practice and in business.
The proposed revised Code specifically expands guidance for all individual accountants addressing integrity, objectivity, professional competence, confidentiality, and professional behavior. Clearer identification of threats and safeguards are set out for professional accountants in public practice in the areas of second opinions, fees and remuneration, and
custody of client assets. It also provides new and in-depth guidance for professional accountants in business.
Comments are due by November 30, 2003. To view the outstanding Ethics ED, go to http://www.ifac.org/EDs/.


5) Public Sector Committee Invites Comments on ED on Impairment of Assets

ED 23, Impairment of Assets deals with the impairment of public sector assets, including assets that are not held for cash-generating purposes.
It complements IPSAS 17, Property, Plant and Equipment, and strengthens and enhances the guidance on financial reporting of these assets.  This ED was developed in conjunction with the U.S. Governmental Accounting Standards Board. Comments on the ED are due by January 31, 2004.
For more information on the activities of IFAC's Public Sector Committee (PSC), view the latest PSC Update on the IFAC web site by going to http://www.ifac.org/PublicSector/.

6) IFAC Releases Award-Winning Articles for Professional Accountants in Business

Articles of Merit 2003 features articles on a wide range of financial and management accounting topics, including contract management, implementing e-business strategies, corporate governance and management accountants,cost management and creating value, accounting treatment of business combinations, and environmental management accounting.
 The articles were selected by IFAC's Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee (formerly the Financial and Management Accounting Committee) as part of its annual Articles of Merit Award Program for Distinguished Contribution to Management Accounting. "Putting Strategy into the Balanced Scorecard" by Peter Brewer of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) was the winning article.
To download a free copy go to http://www.ifac.org/Store/.


7) First Set of International Education Standards Approved for Release

To ensure quality and consistency in accounting education around the globe, IFAC's Education Committee has developed International Education Standards (IESs) prescribing the education and training requirements for all professional accountants. Titles of the six new standards to be released in mid-October are:
- IES 1, Entry Requirements to a Program of Professional Accounting Education
- IES 2, Content of Professional Accounting Education Programs
- IES 3, Professional Skills
- IES 4, Professional Values, Ethics and Attitudes
- IES 5, Professional Experience Requirements
- IES 6, Assessment of Professional Capabilities and Competence

In addition to the standards, a framework document and introduction have been developed to provide further explanation on how the standards can be used. Designed to be of assistance primarily to IFAC member organizations, which are responsible for either establishing or implementing education standards and requirements at the national level, the standards provide an important framework for all those interested in ensuring the high quality performance of professional accountants.


8) IFAC to Introduce New Strategy and Reform Proposals at November Council Meeting

IFAC's Board will be proposing a new strategy and significant reform initiatives at the November Council meeting in Singapore. The strategy and proposed reforms are driven by IFAC's desire to strengthen its role in protecting the public interest and to enhance its standard-setting processes. A key component of the reforms is the establishment of a public
interest oversight board to oversee IFAC's public interest activities.
These proposals were developed after extensive dialogue with international regulators and various internal constituencies, including IFAC member bodies, regional organizations and firms.  Look for more information on the IFAC web site in November.
 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.

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