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October 2, 2014

IFAC gathers momentum for PAO capacity building

By Vincent Huck

IFAC has issued a call for stakeholders to issue expressions of interest to become a partner in delivering the federation’s professional accountancy organisation (PAO) capacity building program.

The call follows an agreement between the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and IFAC signed earlier this year within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding to Strengthen Accountancy and Improve Collaboration (MOSAIC).

Both organisations sit on the MOSAIC steering committee and DFID has agreed to provide £4.935m ($7.989m) to IFAC over seven years to strengthen PAOs in at least 10 DFID partner countries.

In November IFAC will announce the first three selected countries where the program will start in the second quarter of 2015.

IFAC chief operating officer Alta Prinsloo said: "DFID chose to partner with us because we share the common objective to support the development of strong and sustainable organisations, financial markets and economies."

PAO are instrumental in contributing to good financial reporting which leads to economic development and the strengthening of national institutions, she continued. "PAOs also support the move away from dependency to build self-reliant economies."

IFAC has "rejuvenated" its strategy over the past two years, according to Prinsloo, and has made the development of the global accountancy profession through PAO capacity building one of its priorities.

To that effect IFAC has been instrumental in the MOSAIC initiative. MOSAIC was designed to allow the development community and the accountancy profession to cooperate better and achieve their goals with greater efficiency. Signed in November 2011, MOSAIC brings together the profession represented by IFAC and 13 donor agencies.

Prinsloo told The Accountant that all the organisations answering the call for expression of interest will be integrated in a database of potential partner organisations. In the first quarter of 2015, IFAC will then issue a request for proposal; at this stage MOSAIC will work as a matching platform where PAOs looking to enhance their capacity building can match their needs with the partner organisations.

Steering committee meetingMOSAIC steering committee met on 18 September to look at the initiative’s achievement so far and the journey ahead.

"We had some very productive discussions," Prinsloo said. "Going forward, we will focus on maintaining and further improving connectivity between signatories and enhancing access to information and resources via the MOSAIC website."

The website will be launched in two stages. The first stage will take place in November at the World Congress of Accountants in Rome. There the website will be launched as a platform for knowledge sharing.

"There you will find information about MOSAIC, IFAC, PAO to PAO partnering, the donor community, the development community, an interactive map with information on PAOs and the accountancy profession in particular countries as well as the development project currently underway," Prinsloo said.

The second stage will take place in 2015, when the website will be updated and PAOs in need of funding will be able to submit a concept note directly on the website. From there the donors and the development community will be able to assess where they want to provide funding and assistance.

Prinsloo described the MOSAIC website as a powerful tool where all the actors will be interconnected.

"The MOSAIC website will facilitate information sharing, showcasing best practice examples, promoting peer to peer learning, and facilitating coordination amongst donors and PAOs around the world," MOSAIC steering committee co-chair Jennifer Thompson, from the World Bank, added.

Thomson said the main decision taken at the latest steering committee meeting was the confirmation of the terms of reference for a study in the Middle East and North Africa region on the status for accountancy development.

This study will complement the Global Development Report (GDR) published in October 2013. The GDR aimed to look at the status of PAOs development worldwide but lacked an assessment of the Middle East and North Africa region.

While a work program was drafted at the meeting, it is not publicly available but Prinsloo says that "in time as the MOSAIC becomes functional we would like to publish the work program".

Related stories

Mozambique: With a little help from my friends

IFAC tackles PAOs development

Related link:

IFAC call for expressions of interest

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