IFAC (International Federation of Accountants) and the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) announce a new path forward for global accountancy education and professional development.
To remain relevant in an environment of rapid change, professional accountants increasingly must demonstrate skills beyond today’s typically-recognized accountancy competencies. The IAESB and IFAC recognize that today’s macro-trends have direct implications for the accountancy profession’s approach to professional development.
To ensure that the accountancy profession can address the challenges posed by a rapidly changing environment, a different model is being advanced based on the benefits that will be realized from a comprehensive and integrated approach to international accountancy education. The model will continue to progress international accountancy education in the public interest and with the legitimacy necessary for stakeholders around the world to continue to participate and accept its outputs as credible. The model will be overseen by the IFAC Board instead of the Public Interest Oversight Board.
A multi-stakeholder advisory group is being established to consult with key stakeholders, inform the development of the future model, and facilitate a smooth transition from the IAESB. The advisory group will include IAESB and IAESB Consultative Advisory Group representation, which will be instrumental in developing and implementing the model.
“Global business, technology, and education imperatives are placing new demands on the global profession, and we must anticipate and prepare for the future,” says Anne-Marie Vitale, chair of the new advisory group and IAESB Deputy Chair. “We will work with key stakeholders to develop a model that considers, addresses, and advances the needs of current and future accountants and acts in the public interest to progress a robust and relevant accountancy profession.”
The IAESB has contributed significantly to international accountancy education and the global accountancy profession by developing high-quality, relevant International Education Standards (IES) and by harnessing stakeholder relations to better understand future needs. The model will continue to advance IES implementation and build the capacity of professional accountancy organizations.
In advance of the transition, the IAESB will focus on accelerating the completion of its top priority projects, including revision to standards on Continuing Professional Development and finalizing new related guidance, and on its pivotal work on Information and Communications Technology and Professional Skepticism. It will also progress key work streams to best position the model to take maximum advantage of the IAESB’s important body of work.
“The need for real-time advice and action on accountancy education is increasingly pressing,” said IAESB Chair Chris Austin. “Whilst the IAESB has made good progress in improving the quality and relevance of the IES and support material, a different model that combines standards development, capacity support, better leveraging the work of professional accountancy organizations, and monitoring compliance will have a bigger impact on the quality of accountancy education and hence on the profession. That will be in everyone’s best interest.”
The future model will begin operations by July 1, 2019.