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IFIAR adopt revised leadership model and set future objectives

Members of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) have reached agreements in principle on a series of initiatives, including the exchange of information and a new leadership model.

Participants at yesterday's annual meeting in Taipei, hosted by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), discussed and agreed in principle on the wording of a multilateral memorandum of understanding (MMOU).

The MMOU will provide a framework for exchanging information among those members who decide to sign, marking a step forward for the project, launched in 2013.

Another agreement in principle reached at the meeting covered the replacement of the IFIAR's current governing structure with a governing board, as well as the proposed establishment of a permanent secretariat.

As of yesterday's meeting, IFIAR will be jointly headed by chair Janine van Diggelen of the Netherlands Authority for Financial Markets, who replaces outgoing chair Lewis Ferguson, alongside vice-chair Brian Hunt, currently chief executive officer of the Canadian Public Accountability Board.

Accompanying the change in leadership, the meeting saw IFIAR members from Germany, Japan and the US elected to its advisory council, where they will serve alongside representatives from Australia, France, Singapore and the UK.

The meeting also featured discussions on the impact of economic changes on the audit industry and the quality of audits themselves.

During the course of a panel discussion with International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) chairman Arnold Schilder, in attendance as an investor representative, IFIAR members shared their experience of extended reporting and insight into developments in auditor's report and audit committee reporting.

IFIAR members also approved the publication of a report summarising the findings of an Enforcement Working Group survey on the mandates, objectives and legal authority of members' enforcement regimes.

Designed to share information and provoke discussion around enforcement issues, methods and techniques, among the key findings of the survey was the increasing need to share confidential information with other regulators, often across borders.

According to the work plan approved by members during the meeting, key plans for IFIAR will include stepping up the conversation on audit quality with international audit firm networks.

Other initiatives include increasing dialogue with stakeholders around audit standard setting and governance, as well as increasing effectiveness within IFIAR itself.

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