• IFAC is the global organization for the accountancy profession. It works with its 163 member organizations in 120 countries to protect the public interest by encouraging high quality practices by the world's accountants. IFAC members represent 2.5 million accountants employed in public practice, industry and commerce, government and academia. The AICPA is a member of IFAC.
  • IFAC’s most significant function is the promulgation of International Standards on Auditing by its independent International Auditing & Assurance Standards Board (IAASB).  IFAC’s Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, issued by an independent standards board, serves as a world-wide model. IFAC also has independent boards that set standards for education and public sector accounting.
  • Besides its standards boards, IFAC also has the following bodies:
    • The Compliance Advisory Panel
    • The Developing Nations Committee
    • The Nominating Committee
    • The Professional Accountants in Business Committee
    • The Small and Medium Practices Committee
    • The Transnational Auditors Committee
  • Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs) are the foundation of the Member Body Compliance Program, administered by the Compliance Advisory Panel. They are designed to provide clear benchmarks to current and potential IFAC member organizations to assist them in ensuring high quality performance by accountants worldwide.  The Compliance Program promotes and monitors convergence by member bodies to IFAC and International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) standards.  Compliance with these SMOs by member bodies is determined through a questionnaire.  Results of the questionnaire, including the AICPA’s response, are available on the IFAC Web site (
  • Currently, there are seven SMOs:
    • SMO 1 — Quality Assurance
    • SMO 2 — International Education Standards for Professional Accountants and Other EDCOM Guidance
    • SMO 3 — International Standards Related Practice Statements and Other Papers issued by the International
      Auditing and Assurance Standards Board
    • SMO 4 — IFAC Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
    • SMO 5 — International Public Sector Accounting Standards and other PSC Guidance
    • SMO 6 — Investigation and Discipline
    • SMO 7 — International Financial Reporting Standards (IASB)
  • To gain support for its standards IFAC has instituted an independent oversight structure, headed by the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB). The PIOB is influencing IFAC’s activities by emphasizing more transparency, independence and diverse representation on its governing and standards-setting bodies.
  • IFAC is governed by a 22-member Board that meets four times a year and a Council consisting of representatives of member bodies that meets once per year.
  • IFAC sponsors the World Congress of Accountants that meets every four years and is hosted by a member body.

AICPA Participation in IFAC

  • The AICPA is the largest member body in IFAC, and has two representatives on the IFAC Board.
  • The United States has approximately 18 representatives serving on IFAC boards, committees and task forces.  Most of these representatives are AICPA members, along with others representing the Institute of Management Accountants and NASBA.
  • Former AICPA Chair Robert Bunting was elected in November 2006 as the IFAC Deputy President at the World Congress of Accountants in Istanbul, Turkey. His two-year term as president will begin in 2008.
  • Former AICPA Board member Marilyn Pendergast was named the recipient of the IFAC Sempier Award for exemplary IFAC service and received the award at the World Congress of Accountants in Istanbul, Turkey in November 2006.

AICPA Staff Contact

Gary Scopes, Director of International Relations,, 212/596-6048
Lisa Snyder, Director, Professional Ethics,, 212/596-6093


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