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International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)

Background

Formation and membership of IFAC

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) was founded on October 7, 1977, in Munich, Germany, at the 11th World Congress of Accountants. IFAC comprises 167 member and associate member organizations in 127 countries, representing more than 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.

IFAC boards and functions

IFAC has established the following boards. We maintain separate pages for each board, with a history of developments for each board:

BodyFunction
International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) Sets International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) for use by the public sector
International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) Sets International Standards on Auditing, Assurance Engagements and Related Services
International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) Develops International Education Standards
International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) Develops the international Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB) Oversees IFAC's standard-setting activities, particularly with respect to auditing, assurance, ethics, and independence. The PIOB also oversees IFAC's compliance activities.

IFAC also supports the IASB with respect to setting accounting standards.

IFAC standard-setting reforms in 2003

In November 2003, the Council of IFAC approved a set of reforms designed to strengthen international audit standard-setting processes, achieve convergence to international standards, and ensure that the international accountancy profession is responsive to the public interest. The reforms provide for a more transparent standard-setting process with greater public input. A Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB) was established to oversee IFAC's standard-setting activities, particularly with respect to auditing, assurance, ethics, and independence. The PIOB also oversees IFAC's compliance activities. The reforms also provide a means for ongoing dialogue between regulators and IFAC through the establishment of an IFAC Leadership Group and a Monitoring Group composed of regulators.

IFAC Governance Reforms in 2006

In November 2006, IFAC adopted changes to its governance structure that were developed by a special Constitutional Working Group and then subject to public comment:

  • IFAC Constitution. The Constitution is the primary governance and foundation document of IFAC
  • IFAC Bylaws. The Bylaws incorporate existing items from within the Constitution that provide greater detail in support of items addressed and include new provisions to further support the Constitution. The IFAC Board has authority to amend the Bylaws with immediate effect until the next Council meeting, at which time the Council would need to approve the amendment for it to become permanent
  • IFAC Policies and Procedures Manual. The manual contains policies and procedures determined by the IFAC Board and management to support the Constitution and Bylaws.

Other groups

IFAC has a number of other groups, including:

  • Forum of Firms (FOF) and Transnational Auditors Committee — Launched in January 2001, the Forum of Firms (FOF) is an organization of international firms that perform audits of financial statements that are or may be used across national borders. Members of the Forum voluntarily agree to meet certain requirements, including undergoing a global independent quality review. Commitment to the obligations of membership in the Forum contributes to raising the standards of the international practice of auditing in the interest of users of the profession's services
  • IFACnet Knowledge Base for Accountants in Business — a web-based knowledge base for professional accountants in business, whose objective is "to provide one-stop access to leading-edge articles, good practice guidance, and tools and techniques for accountants employed in commerce, industry, the public sector, education, and the not-for-profit sector." Includes information on strategy, budgeting and planning, corporate governance, risk management, and professional development
  • International Forum on Accountancy Development (IFAD) — a working group between IFAC, the Basel Committee, IOSCO, the large accounting firms, OECD, UNCTAD, and the World Bank and regional development banks, which flowed from the East Asian crisis. Its mission was to improve market security and transparency, and financial stability on a global basis. It published several studies of convergence of national GAAPs and IFRSs. IFAD completed its work in 2002.

Contact information

International Federation of Accountants
14th Floor
545 Fifth Avenue
New York NY 10017

Telephone: +1 212 286-9344
Fax: +1 212 286-9570
Email: communications @ ifac.org
Web site: www.ifac.org

 

Correction list for hyphenation

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