Understanding the role of professional accountants in business

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03 Sep, 2010

The Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has released for comment a Consultation Paper that highlights how employer expectations of professional accountants in business are expected to change in light of global trends and evolving organisational needs.

The paper analyses these expectations in relation to eight drivers of sustainable organisational success, providing the framework for key activities that professional accountants will be expected to perform. The drivers were defined based on an analysis of three long-term trends influencing organisations: globalisation, complexity, and technology.

The Consultation Paper asks whether IFAC member bodies and associates would find it useful for an international competency framework to be developed, covering the roles and domain of professional accountants in business.

Extracts from the paper:


Two significant global issues will impact organizations and markets and hence the role of professional accountants in business. The first is the diffusion of economic power in the global economy across a wider range of regions and countries, underpinned by the deployment of information technology, greater economic openness, and the growing size and reach of multinational companies. The second issue is sustainable development, and in particular climate change, which has now become a defining issue of our era. With this increased attention has come an increased demand for reliable decision-making information.


... Regulators and standard setters will also have to accept their responsibility for tackling complexity. Shifting from more to better and evidence-based regulation and oversight would enable organizations to more effectively and efficiently create stakeholder value and to properly account for how they are doing so. In addition, global convergence of standards and regulation, as well as global coordination of oversight could also help reduce complexity and the cost of business.

Comments on the Consultation Paper are requested by 30 November 2010. Click for IFAC press release (link to IFAC website).

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