IFAC Update - June 2009
The IFAC Update provides summaries of IFAC developments over the past month.
June 29, 2009
IOSCO RECOGNIZES VALUE OF ISAS
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has issued a statement welcoming the completion of the Clarity Project by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), as well as recognizing the important role played by International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) “in facilitating cross-border securities offerings and listings.” In the statement, IOSCO also encouraged securities regulators to accept audits performed and reported under the new clarified ISAs. The organization noted the contributions international auditing standards make to global financial reporting and supporting investor confidence and decision making. The statement can be accessed at http://www.iosco.org/library/statements/pdf/statements-7.pdf.
IFAC ORGANIZES G-20 ACCOUNTANCY SUMMIT
IFAC will continue to focus on how it can best contribute to strengthening the global financial system at a G-20 Accountancy Summit it is organizing in London on July 23 and 24. The goal of the summit is to gather input and discuss detailed positions that can form the basis of further IFAC submissions to the G-20 Working Groups, prior to their September meetings, as well as contribute to the development of the institutes’ own positions.
REVIEW OF SMP-SUPPORT PROGRESSES
The Small and Medium Practices (SMP) Review Task Force, chaired by Bernadette McGrory-Farrell, is in the process of reviewing the responses to its survey of member bodies and regional accounting organizations on how IFAC can best support SMPs and Small- and Medium-sized Entities. Approximately 100 responses from over 80 member bodies were received. The survey, conducted in April, May, and June, polled member bodies and regional organizations about the awareness and usefulness of existing IFAC SMP-related initiatives and the importance of IFAC undertaking additional activities. The survey is one part of a review process launched in February to explore the issues facing SMEs and SMPs and the strategies by which IFAC can best support them.
For more information on the work of the SMP Committee visit: http://www.ifac.org/SMP/Committee.php
IPSASB REAFFIRMS IFRS CONVERGENCE STRATEGY, EMPHASIZING FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS
During its May meeting in Washington, D.C., the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) reaffirmed its commitment to its global convergence program and the development of standards dealing with financial instruments. The IPSASB stated that it will continue its full consultation on exposure drafts (EDs): ED 37, Financial Instruments: Presentation, ED 38, Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement, and ED 39, Financial Instruments: Disclosures. Meanwhile, the IPSASB said that it recognized plans of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to modify aspects of its current standards relating to the measurement of financial instruments. The IPSASB will consider any changes ultimately adopted by the IASB in due course. Comments on EDs 37—39 are requested by July 31, 2009.
IFAC ACCEPTS ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS OF ED COMMENTS; NEW ONLINE SYSTEM LAUNCHED
IFAC has developed a new system for visitors to electronically submit comment letters for any exposure draft (ED) or consultation paper. With this new process, online users will be able to register on the IFAC website, log in to submit comment letters, and track comments they have submitted. The submission system is accessible through “My IFAC Homepage,” where registered users can also access the public areas of the IFAC website, including the Global Financial Crisis and Small and Medium Practices discussion boards, and the Professional Accountants in Business Dynamic Links page. To register, visit www.ifac.org and click on the Login/Register link located in the left-hand navigation.
EC CONSULTS ON ADOPTION OF ISAS
The European Commission (EC) has launched a public consultation to determine whether International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) should be adopted in the European Union (EU). In its consultation paper, the Commission commented on the International Auditing and Assurance Standard Board’s (IAASB) governance and due process, stating that the “the current governance of the IAASB has matured to a stage where it may be justifiable to adopt ISAs in the European Union.” A study undertaken by the University of Duisburg-Essen indicates that “an adoption of the ISAs in the EU would result in quantitative and qualitative benefits for companies, investors, and regulators, stemming from high quality and harmonized audits.” The study can be viewed at http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/auditing/isa/index_en.htm.
Interested parties are invited to respond by accessing the EC ISA Consultation Website at http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/consultations/2009/isa_en.htm. Comments are requested by September 15, 2009.
PIOB’S FOURTH REPORT FOCUSES ON CONTINUED RELEVANCE OF PUBLIC INTEREST MISSION
The Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB) has published its Fourth Public Report. The report focuses not only on the PIOB’s activities of the past year, including its oversight of the final stages of the Clarity Project and the redrafted IFAC Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, but also on the continuing relevance of its public interest mission. The report also identifies the importance of coordinated efforts to ensure the full benefits from adoption and implementation of international standards. It can be accessed at http://www.ipiob.org/downloads/INFORME_PIOB_2009.pdf.