Website of the Month: International Federation of Accountants

By Anders, Susan B. | The CPA Journal, July 2011 | Go to article overview

Website of the Month: International Federation of Accountants


Anders, Susan B., The CPA Journal


The International Federation of Accountants (TFAC) is a membership organization of national accountancy bodies in 125 countries, representing accountants in pubhc practice, industry, government and education. IFAC develops international standards on audit and assurance, quality control, ethics, education, and pubhc sector accounting.

The IFAC website, wwwifac.org, provides free access to IFAC standards, professional guidance, position papers, and member organization information. The site is organized around major resource areas, which are summarized in the navigation indexes on the home and main page. These include "about IFAC," "media center," "global financial crisis," "exposure drafts and consultation papers," "compliance program," "standard-setting boards," "committees," "financial reporting supply chain," "forum of firms," "publications and resources," "translations and permissions," and "jobs at IFAC." The homepage promotes general information about the organization, recent publications, and links to a practitioner poll and the "IFACnef ' search tool.

Readers may enjoy exploring background information in the "about IFAC" section of the website. IFAC provides a two-page PDF fact sheet describing its mission, its areas of focus, and examples of free resources. A complete listing of member bodies, associates, and affiliates includes links to the organizations' websites. For example, representing the United States as a member organization is the AICPA, as well as affiliates such as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), the Institute of Internal Auditors (DA), and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). A one-page PDF briefly summarizes IFACs strategic themes and objectives.

BFAC pubhshes guidance and technical standards on auditing, education, ethics, small and medium-sized businesses, government entities, and other areas related to international accounting. IFAC also conducts studies on corporate governance, financial management, and other issues. The website provides handy fact sheets as short PDF documents on its four standards-setting boards, its various committees, its international centers, the importance of audit quality, and the value of international standards.

IFAC Standards

IFACs standards-setting boards include the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB), the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (TESBA), and the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB). Each board has its own main page that presents news releases, pronouncements, exposure drafts, projects, meeting schedules, key contacts for that area, and other resources. The pronouncements of each board are collected in a handbook that can be downloaded for free.

The IAESB develops guidelines for improving accounting education around the world, including both foundational and continuing education, as well as accreditation requirements such as practical experience and professional testing. The IAESB's pronouncements cover three areas: international education standards (TES), international education practice statements (IEPS), and information papers. Publications include Development and Management of Written Examinations, Framework for International Education Standards for Professional Accountants, and Approaches to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Measurement.

The IAASB has independently set 36 international standards on auditing (TS A) and one international standard on quality control (ISQC), which are used by 67 countries, including the United States (for private companies), Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom The standards can be downloaded as individual PDF files or in a combined handbook A really nice feature is the availability of 12 ISA video presentations lasting from three to 21 minutes. The tories covered include written representations, materiality, auditing accounting estimates, and related parties. …

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