February 1999 Issue


At a recent meeting in Tokyo, the council of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) approved the allocation of significant extra funding to accelerate its work on International Standards on Auditing (ISA). The additional resources will be used to increase the output of IFAC's International Auditing Practices Committee (IAPC) by some 60% over the next five years. Priority projects will include the following:

* Revision of the core ISAs;

* Development of standards for assurance type engagements (e.g., reporting on internal control), reflecting the move from an attest focus to a broader assurance framework;

* Revision of guidance on audits of commercial banks, as a response to problems exposed by the current debt crisis in Asia; and

* The issue of an ISA on derivatives.

"Investors and regulators are demanding tougher auditing rules that attest to the reliability of financial statements and guarantee consistency of approach across national borders," said IFAC President Frank Harding. "The work of IAPC will further improve the approach to and quality of audits; it will help auditors across the world to carry out their independent reporting responsibilities and serve the public interest."

IFAC is confident that this boost to ISAs will strengthen its bid to achieve endorsement of a core set of auditing standards by the International Organization for Securities Commissions (IOSCO). Such an endorsement will add credibility to the audit of financial statements, particularly those prepared in accordance with international accounting standards.

IFAC is the worldwide organization for the accountancy profession. Its mission is to develop and enhance the profession's ability to provide consistently high-quality services in the public interest. Its current membership consists of 143 professional accountancy bodies in 103 countries, representing more than two million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce. *

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