The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) announced today an agreement to strengthen their co-operation in developing private and public sector accounting standards.
The IASB is responsible for the development and promulgation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs), required or permitted for use by companies in more than 100 countries. IFAC supports the independent International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB), which is responsible for developing International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs). IPSASs are used by an increasing number of public authorities, including national and local governments, agencies and regulatory bodies from around the world, and by many international organisations.
The boards have worked together in the past: many IPSASs are primarily drawn from IFRSs, and the agreement, in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), reflects the IASB’s and IFAC’s shared conviction that the transparency provided by high-quality financial reporting standards contributes significantly to the effective functioning of capital markets and sound economic growth. The agreement represents a further commitment to strengthen the co-operation between the two boards, with a view to ensuring greater consistency in their respective standard-setting activities.
The MoU also acknowledges the ongoing working relationship between the IASB and the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), which is also supported by IFAC. As part of this relationship, the IAASB seeks to advise the IASB on issues surrounding verifiability and auditability of proposed accounting standards.
The agreement is consistent with the conclusions of the IFRS Foundation Trustees’ strategy review, which called for greater interaction between the IASB and other accounting standard-setting authorities.
Commenting on the agreement, Hans Hoogervorst, Chairman of the IASB, said:
The ongoing financial crisis has shown the importance of transparency in financial reporting by both private and public sector entities. This agreement strengthens the already close ties between the IASB and the IFAC and will serve as a platform for further co-operation.
IFAC Chief Executive Officer Ian Ball said:
The sovereign debt crisis has exposed the risk to financial stability from poor quality financial reporting by governments, and demonstrated that transparency is a prerequisite for confidence. International Public Sector Accounting Standards are the benchmark for financial reporting in the public sector and the means for governments to signal their commitment to transparency. This agreement accelerates the existing cooperation between the two boards and enhances the IPSASB’s ability to continue to develop high-quality standards.
The MoU is available to download from http://go.ifrs.org/IFACMoU
- Mark Byatt, Director of communications and external affairs, IFRS Foundation
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7246 6472
- Laura E. Wilker, Head of Communications, IFAC