Rising global support for international accounting standards

There is ‘strong and sustained’ support for adopting and implementing international standards according to the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), after research found more than 90% of the 130 jurisdictions in which its accountancy member organisations operate use IFRS

IFAC’s report on the global status of international standards includes data from more than 170 member organisations. It shows that over 90% of the jurisdictions examined have adopted or partially adopted IFRSs, as well as the international code of ethics for professional accountants.

Most adopt IFRSs by directly referring to the standard or by working to eliminate differences to better align national standards with the international ones. Only 9% do not use international standards as a reference.

Kevin Dancey, IFAC CEO, said: ‘Since there are no international laws requiring nations to adopt and implement international standards, support from IFAC’s member organisations for these dual objectives is critically important to progress.

‘This new report reinforces the impact of standards in driving transparency and creating a common language for high-quality financial information.’

 According to the new report, there is a positive trend in international standards’ usage where three quarters (76%) of IFAC member organisations have some level of authority in adopting international standards and best practices.

In addition, over 80% of jurisdictions examined have monitoring and enforcement mechanisms for quality assurance and investigation and discipline.

However, IFAC says additional multi-stakeholder support from international policymakers and regulatory organisations, as well as leaders from government, academia, and business, is required to extend the adoption success story by creating the right conditions for implementation.

The report also notes that IFAC has more than 120 member organisations operating in jurisdictions where English is not an official or a business language. In these locations, access to local language standards translations is one of the main challenges to successful adoption and implementation of international standards.

Dancey said: ‘International standards have come a long way since 2000 when there was little to no global adoption.

‘While there is always more to be done, IFAC member organisations play a vital role in ensuring the successful implementation of international accountancy standards, which ultimately help drive sustainable economic growth and financial market stability in their respective jurisdictions.’

IFAC’s International Standards: 2019 Global Status Report

By Pat Sweet

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