Blog Article

IFAC group to campaign for improved public sector financial reporting

Tuesday 14 July 2015

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), the global organization for the accountancy profession, has established the 'Accountability. Now.' group to encourage higher levels of transparency and accountability from all governments.

This Accountability Now programme has brought together the global accounting profession, civil society organisations and international bodies in an effort to improve public sector financial reporting around the world.

During the first meeting of the group in New York, IFAC chief executive Fayez Choudhury stated that poor public sector financial management could lead to economic stagnation, increasetheseverity of social problems and widen the gap between a government and its citizens. He said; "IFACinitiated Accountability Nowto help drive awareness of the critical need for high-quality, transparent, comparable public sector financial reporting, and the importance of engaging citizens in the process of holding governments to account."

Choudhury added; "Some of the world's poorest countries have the most to gain from having high-quality government reporting to better manage scarce public sector resources, attract investment, and promote accountability. IFAC will be focusing much of its efforts on helping these countries implement strategies to embrace high-quality reporting, based on International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), and encourage citizens to be part of the fiscal process."

Choudhury also noted that using IPSAS to understand the true costs of government services (including all assets and liabilities) was central to good government and global growth, saying; "This is an issue that should be of concern to everyone, not just accountants and that's the exciting part of Accountability Now," and; "The coalition represents a range of different organisations with the skills and experience to help push for a better social contract between governments and their citizens, at a time when there is enormous pressure on governments to work with tighter budgets and deliver better social outcomes."

The Accountability Now group combines the accountancy profession (represented by both IFAC and the Big 6 accountancy firms), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (which has the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group among its members).

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