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International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)

International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)

The Malta Institute of Accountants is a member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC),
the global organisation for the accountancy profession.

Access global accountancy knowledge, resources and tools at IFAC’s Knowledge Gateway.             

IFAC provides the structures and processes that support the operations of four independent standard-setting boards:

Links to Updates and More:

Sustainability Assurance: The IAASB is currently working on a project to develop an overarching standard for assurance on sustainability reporting. A Proposed International Standard on Sustainability Assurance 5000 was issued on 2nd August 2023 for public consultation until 1st December 2023. IAASB has a dedicated Focus Area Page for Sustainability Assurance, bringing together all existing IAASB content for assurance on sustainability reporting and other forms of extended external reporting. The target date for final approval is September 2024.

Audit Evidence: IAASB released an exposure draft on Proposed International Standard on Auditing 500 (Revised), Audit Evidence, and Proposed Conforming and Consequential Amendments to Other ISAs in October 2022. The comment period is now closed. Respondents feedback will start be considered in September 2023, with the target date for final approval being June 2024.

Going Concern: In April 2023, the IAASB released an exposure draft on Proposed International Standard on Auditing 570 (Revised 202X) Going Concern and Proposed Conforming and Consequential Amendments To Other ISAs for public comment until 24th August 2023. The target date for final approval is December 2024.

Audits of Financial Statements of Less Complex Entities : Further to the publication of the International Standard on Auditing for Audits of Financial Statements of Less Complex Entities, known as ISA for LCEs, a standalone standard designed to the specific needs of an audit of less complex entities, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) issued a Fact Sheet, Frequently Asked Questions and a presentation to support users. Available resources can be accessed through this link.

Fraud: The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has proposed a significant strengthening of its standard on auditors’ responsibilities relating to fraud. The IAASB is inviting all stakeholders to submit their comments using the Response Template by June 5, 2024.

Listed Entities and PIEs: The IAASB is making narrow-scope revisions to the ISAs and ISQMs to respond to recent revisions to the IESBA Code (including International Independence Standards) regarding listed and public interest entities (PIEs). Read more on this project at Track 1 (completed in June 2023 to align with the effective date of the revisions to the IESBA Code in relation to listed entity and PIE, i.e. audits and reviews of financial statements for periods beginning on or after December 15, 2024) and Track 2. In this regard, IAASB launched a consultation process on proposed narrow scope amendments to achieve greater convergence with the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants’ (IESBA) International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (Including Independence Standards).

A Framework for Audit Quality: Key Elements that Create an Environment for Audit Quality and International Framework for Assurance Engagements.

Technology – Disruptive Technologies

The IAASB is taking a dual approach in this area through:

  • exploring how the Board can respond to technology via new or revised International Standards or non-authoritative guidance; and
  • activities around Disruptive Technologies to explore technology’s effect on audit and assurance in order to be prepared for technology disruption and be able to respond appropriately to support audit and assurance quality.

The IAASB has released a number of resources available here

Quality Management

IAASB issued three new and revised quality management standards. Access the standards, Quality Management Series for small firm implementation, articles, videos, webinars and other resources from here.

Ethics: Ethics Considerations in Sustainability Reporting Including Guidance to Address Concerns about Greenwashing was issued by IESBA in October 2022. This question and answer publication highlights the relevance and applicability of the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants to ethics-related challenges in the context of sustainability reporting and assurance, especially circumstances involving “greenwashing”.

IESBA Code: 2022 version of the IESBA Handbook of the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants..

IFAC Professional Accountants in Business Advisory Group (PAIBAG) – Key Takeaways from September 2023 Meeting

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), following its PAIBAG’s September 2023 meeting, has released an article from Sanjay Rughani, IFAC’s PAIBAG chair. This article, Navigating Transformation: The Impactful Leadership of Accountants, summarises the key takeaways that emerged during the meeting, highlighting how professional accountants have led organisational transformation.  

In the era of digital transformations, sustainability and climate transitions, the contribution of skilled professional accountants as organisational leaders in business is essential to navigate this complex scenario.

IFAC: New Quality Management Toolkit

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), together with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), released a quality management toolkit with the aim of helping small and medium-sized practices (SMPs) implement the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board’s (IAASB) suite of quality management standards.

The toolkit, which includes a suite of illustrative documents, policies, checklists, sample letters and forms, is designed in a way as to require each SMP to adapt the content to its nature, circumstances, and engagements - a crucial element given each firm goes through its own unique process developing its quality management system.

Read more and access the toolkit here.

IFAC Releases Sustainability Checklist for SMEs

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) released a Small Business Sustainability Checklist - a diagnostic tool which lists a comprehensive range of initiatives and actions to be considered in terms of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors.

The Checklist has been designed in a way as to be tailored by each business according to its own unique circumstances, such as its industry sector, lifecycle, and products and services provided, with the aim to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) maximize the benefits of incorporating sustainability into their strategy and business operations.

More information may be accessed here.

IFAC Content Series: Professional Accountants as Business Leaders and Value Partners

To elevate their contribution as value partners, professional accountants must focus on activities and actions that enable value creation for organizations, customers, society, and other stakeholders. This involves leading or enabling digitalization and transformation initiatives, as well as ensuring sustainability objectives are integrated in and aligned to business priorities and decisions. 

For this purpose, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has provided a collection of materials which explores how professional accountants can be future ready, data-savvy leaders who drive sustainability. They aim to help in understanding and navigating challenges and opportunities across various roles as finance and business leaders, risk managers and analysts, and in broader commercial roles including in procurement and supply chain management. 

Read more.


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