Global accountancy leaders support the International Federation of Accountants' (IFAC) recommendations to intensify its efforts to strengthen small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and accounting practices (SMPs), IFAC announced Tuesday.
IFAC recently convened the chief executives of more than 40 accountancy organizations to discuss how to further alleviate the challenges arising from the recent global financial crisis--also identified in IFAC's 2009 Global Leadership Survey.
"Small- and medium-sized businesses around the world, and the accounting practices that serve them, are struggling to recover from the global financial crisis," says IFAC President Robert Bunting. "IFAC and its member organizations must continue to take the lead in addressing the challenges facing SMEs and SMPs, including the need to avoid over-regulation."
The following areas were at the top of the list for the chief executives who attended IFAC's annual meeting:
- Expand monitoring of global regulatory reform to ensure its suitability for SMEs and SMPs
- Increase the visibility and voice of SMEs and SMPs
- Collaborate with IFAC members to develop guides and resources to provide practical assistance to SMPs.
The chief executives also agreed that IFAC should consider how to increase the participation of SMEs and SMPs in its standard-setting activities.
The chief executives backed IFAC's proposal to increase emphasis on sustainability reporting and corporate governance-related matters in its priorities for future action.
IFAC says it will take a stronger role in urging businesses to integrate sustainability throughout the whole of an organization's decision-making processes. The chief executives supported IFAC's co-operative work with the Prince of Wales' Accounting for Sustainability Project and its development of an international connected reporting committee to advance decision making and reporting on sustainability.
The chief executives agreed corporate governance was essential to effective financial reform and that IFAC should press for the implementation of good corporate governance principles, both in the private and public sectors. The accountancy profession's support for national financial frameworks that embrace corporate governance will be discussed at a joint conference hosted by IFAC and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in April in Geneva.
Other topics discussed in the chief executives' meeting included the issues facing the profession in developing and emerging economies and actions to reinforce the invaluable role of professional accountants in business.
The input received from the chief executives will be considered by the IFAC Board as it develops its strategic plan for 2011-2014.