IFAC proposes tweaks to its membership obligations in respect of international standards

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08 Dec 2011

The Board of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has released for public comment proposed revisions to its Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs).

IFAC member bodies are required to comply with the SMOs by the IFAC Constitution, and SMOs form the basis of the IFAC Member Body Compliance Program. They serve as a framework for professional accountancy organisations focused on serving the public interest by adopting, or otherwise incorporating, and supporting implementation of international standards and maintaining adequate enforcement mechanisms to ensure the professional behavior of their individual members.

The SMOs include obligations on IFAC member bodies to identify and undertake actions to have the following adopted and implemented in their jurisdictions:

  • International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs), in respect of at least public interest entities
  • International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs).

Responsible parties are also encouraged to consider the use of the IFRS for SMEs in relation to non-public interest entities. In jurisdictions where English is not an official or widely used language, member bodies are also required to use best endeavours to establish or support processes for translations of international standards, and exposure drafts to the extent practicable.

The amendments proposed clarify these (and other) obligations by providing guidance on how member firms are required to respond in light of the type of influence the member body has in the standard setting process. The proposals would revise the terminology used from "incorporation" of international standards to "adoption and implementation".

Comments on the proposals are due by 5 March 2011. Click for IFAC press release (link to IFAC website).

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