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September 16, 2015

Accountants in business want a fairer share at IFAC

At a recent round table discussing the current status of the management accounting profession, concerns were raised about the extent the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) could be devoting more resources to this constituency of the profession.

Jeff Thomson, president and CEO of the US Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), said at the round table discussion that about 5% of IFAC’s budget is devoted to professional accountants in business.

His remarks echoed the feedback gathered by this publication from delegates at different industry events and conferences, who in some instances described IFAC as still predominantly orientated on accountants in public practice.

"IMA has been a long time IFAC member and we’re well represented on the PAIB [Professional Accountants in Business] Committee, but facts are facts. There’s still 95% of the budget focused on standard setting, auditing, tax, compliance and so on," Thomson said.

A spokesperson for IFAC told The Accountant: "While a certain percentage of the IFAC budget is exclusively focused on assisting our member organisations to support this important constituency, it’s not easy to state what percentage of our investment is directly in the PAIB area given that PAIBs are integrated into IFAC’s strategy and activities."

The IFAC spokesperson added that many of IFAC’s other activities also deploy resources on behalf of professional accountants in business

Among those activities are standard development, capacity building, enhancing organisational reporting, Integrated Reporting, global representation and advocacy.

"PAIBs are also well represented in the IFAC Board and throughout our governance and committee structure. The more important question is whether, together with our members, we are addressing the right areas and issues, and collectively supporting and engaging PAIBs," the spokesperson said.

Related storyManagement accounting round table: Life at the sharp end of business

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