The PAO Development Committee: Unearthing the Power of PAOs


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Presentation by Amarjit Chopra, member of the IFAC Professional Accountancy Organization (PAO) Development Committee, on how the committee supports the development and growth of PAOs around the world, and how these PAOs lead to stronger more stable financial systems around the world.

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  • As a Member of the IFAC PAO Development Committee, I must stress this. The Committee works to raise awareness of accountancy, bring attention to the need for a formal profession, and highlight the economic and social benefits that a formal profession can bring.An active and well established professional accountancy body is essential to developing an accountancy profession that is able to provide consistently high quality service in the public interest.Efficient and reliable credit and capital markets = a nation’s economic stability and growth and to the health and welfare of its citizens. The bedrock of sound credit and capital markets is high quality and reliable financial information.
  • PAOs are a key part of IFAC’s overall mission and my Committee focuses onaddressing the challenges facing the development of strong PAOs in emerging and developing countries. I will tell you more about this a little later. First, I’d like to look at why we believe that supporting PAOs is of crucial importance.
  • Most of us in the room are aware of the challenges that face the development of PAOs worldwide. 1. LACK OF AWARENESSOn part of govt and society.2. PAO WEAKNESSESLow membership = low income and reduced technical capacity and the diversity of thought and experience of an organization. 3. LACK OF CAPACITYWithout membership access to technical and financial resource, vital activities such as adoption and implementation of international standards,creation and provision of training and education programs and development of quality assurance and investigation and disciplinary systems becomes difficult, if not impossible, for PAOs.So how does IFAC help?
  • IFAC interactswithPAOsdirectly in twokeyways:Compliance Program and through the work of the PAO Development Committee. Szymon has toldyou about the Compliance Program and the SMOs.
  • So I’d like to focus specifically on the work of my Committee: the PAO Development Committee.
  • Three strategic goals guide PAO Development Committee activities.1. Develop the capacity of the accountancy profession to produce high-quality financial information and sound financial management systems capable of supporting financial stability, economic growth, and social progress. 2. Increase awareness building and knowledge sharing around practical as well as technical issues, such as adoption and implementation of international standards and best practice. PAO-to-PAO as well as other stakeholders.3. Engage and deepen development partnerships with the international donor community, regional organizations, and otherstakeholders.
  • So what kind of activities and initiatives contribute to realizing the Committee’s goals?Here is a high-level look at our priorities. A range of ongoing activities that are undertaken by PAO Development Committee members and IFAC Member Body Development staff at the global level:tools and guidance (such as the Establishing and Developing a Professional Accountancy Body guidance), outreach to existing and potential IFAC members (in 2011, in-country technical assistance was provided to over 100 PAOs),implementation of the MOSAIC MoU with the donor community representation the Committee and IFAC in a range of international and regional fora. The large blue cog represents the ADVANCE initiative - Accountancy Development via Awareness building, kNowledge sharing, and Collaborative Efforts).Four main programs under this: Mentoring Program – Aims to raise awareness of PAO-to-PAO mentoring as an effective form of collaboration between PAOs to further the development of the profession. I will elaborate on this shortly. International Organization Collaboration Program - to enhance communication and alignment of Committee activities with those of international organizations. The Task Force for this program is currently providing input to the MOSAIC Secretariat in the development of the Global Development Report. Will continue to be involved in, and support the work of, the MOSAIC Steering Committee. Ambassadors Program – Drawing on the knowledge and expertise of past members of the PAO Development Committee (and its predecessor the Developing Nations Committee) as well as other individuals with a deep understanding of the work of IFAC, the Committee and direct experience of PAO development. The Program is expected to formalize the relationship between the Committee and such individuals, with the details due for discussion and agreement by the Committee at its meeting in October. Regional Collaboration Program Unique factors affecting development of the accountancy profession and PAOs in each region. Production of Regional Strategies for five regions (Africa; Americas and Caribbean; Asia Australasia-Oceania; Europe and Central Asia; and the Middle East). These strategies identify the key success factors and challenges relevant to accountancy and PAO development in each region and help to ensure that the Committee’s global programs and initiatives can be taken forward in the most appropriate way. Of course, all of these programs and activities are linked. I would like to look at a few of these activity areas in more detail, as they are of particular relevance to our work here today.
  • Firstly, our publications and guidance. You may be familiar with these documents – in fact you have most of them in front of you today.The current Mentoring Guidelines for PAOs, which we are not using today, is due to be updated and enhanced through the Mentoring Program…
  • Now more on the mentoring program. In recent years there has been an increased focus on mentoring activity between professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) as a valuable method of transferring sustainable expertise from one PAO to another. The PAO Development Committee’s Mentoring Program aims to support these efforts. The Program’s over-arching aims are to: raise awareness of mentoring in its various forms as an effective form of collaboration between PAOs to further the development of the profession; increase the range of tools and guidance materials available to existing and potential mentors and mentees; and create opportunities that encourage and facilitate the formation of mentoring relationships.In February 2012, the Committee hosted a launch event titledMentoring Insights—The Mentor Perspective in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The workshop’s innovative style promoted a candid exchange of views and experiences.\\The event was attended by over 40 participants representing 19 countries. This included representatives from four IFAC Recognized Regional Organizations and Acknowledged Accountancy Groupings and member bodies from all over the world.Next steps of Mentoring Program:1. Produce a “mentoring toolkit” guidance publication that builds on the existing Mentoring Guidelines for PAOs;2. Develop promotional literature to bring attention to the benefits and success stories of mentoring; and3. Deliver a “mentoring forum” – a large-scale event bringing together a wide range of stakeholders, launching the “mentoring toolkit” and providing a forum for information sharing and discussion among mentors, mentees, regional bodies, donor organizations and other interested parties.
  • Finally, this diagram summarizes the way in which the PAO Development Committee global strategy is implemented at the regional level. I mentioned before the Regional Collaboration Program, under which Regional Strategies have been developed. This means that the Professional Accountancy Organization (PAO) Development Committee Strategy is not taken forward in a standard way around the world. You can see from this slide how our global initiatives translate into tailored, tangible activity in each region. For example the support of the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) through alignment of the Committee’s May meeting with PAFA’s Conference and Annual General Meeting in Tunis and a meeting day focused on Africa which involved stakeholders from across the continent; CREcER is an annual event in Latin America that brings together donors, decisionmakers and PAOs; and of course today’s seminar, a unique event for stakeholders and PAOs from across the region to talk specifically about the experiences, achievements and challenges of PAO development in East Asia Pacific.
  • Of course, there are certain factors crucial to the establishment and development of a successful PAO no matter where in the world it is.
  • While each region, and indeed each national profession, has its own distinct challenges and success factors, there are a number of essential considerations we find are relevant in all cases. Here is a selection.Without a realistic, flexible strategic plan it is very difficult to prioritize.A successful PAO must work towards being perceived by government and regulators as the voice of the accountancy profession and, ideally, as a valuable technical resource. Early interaction with government and careful monitoring of legislative developments to ensure that they clearly define responsibilities and allow for alignment with international standards is crucial.Engaging with IFAC’s Member Body Development team will help to ensure development is in line with the SMOs and provide an international perspective on the general direction that the national profession and the PAO should follow. Contact with, and membership of, a regional body can provide access to regional programs, systems and events that provide a wider regional perspective. Relationships with other PAOs, whether within or outside of the region, can be an invaluable source of guidance and direct knowledge transfer from the perspective of an organization that has learned directly relevant lessons. As a first step, published SMO Action Plans can provide a wealth of insight into the work being done by peer organizations. Finally, a PAO should always be seeking to improve or enhance their performance, whether it is in the area of organizational capacity or technical expertise.
  • …and IFAC has a wealth of resources to help!
  • I would be happy to answer any questions.
  • The PAO Development Committee: Unearthing the Power of PAOs

    1. 1. The PAO DevelopmentCommittee: Unearthing thePower of PAOsAmarjit ChopraIFAC PAO Development Committee MemberRealizing the Power of PAOsAugust 17, 2012Hanoi, Vietnam Page 1 | Confidential and Proprietary Information
    2. 2. PAOs are Important! Page 2 | Confidential and Proprietary Information
    3. 3. IFAC’s MissionTo serve the public interest by:• Contributing to the development, adoption and implementation of high-quality international standards and guidance;• Contributing to the development of strong professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) and accounting firms, and to high-quality practices by professional accountants;• Promoting the value of professional accountants worldwide; and• Speaking out on public interest issues where the accountancy profession’s expertise is most relevant. Page 3 | Confidential and Proprietary Information
    4. 4. Challenges to PAO Development 1. Lack of Awareness of the Value of Accountancy Mutually Reinforcing Challenges 2. Professional 3. Lack of Accountancy Capacity to Organization Provide Vital (PAO) Activities Weaknesses Page 4 | Confidential and Proprietary Information
    5. 5. How Does IFAC Interact with PAOs? CAP/ PAO Compliance Development Program Committee Member Body Development Team Page 5 | Confidential and Proprietary Information
    6. 6. How Does IFAC Assist PAO Development? CAP/ PAO Compliance Development Program Committee Member Body Development Team Page 6 | Confidential and Proprietary Information
    7. 7. Strategic Goals Develop the capacity of the accountancy profession Increase awareness building and knowledge sharing Engage and deepen development partnerships Page 7 | Confidential and Proprietary Information
    8. 8. Priorities • Tools and Guidance • Outreach • MOSAIC Implementation • Representation and Communication Ongoing Activities ADVANCE Initiative • Mentoring • International Organization Collaboration • Ambassadors • Regional Collaboration Page 8 | Confidential and Proprietary Information
    9. 9. Publications, Tools and Guidance Page 9 | Confidential and Proprietary Information
    10. 10. Mentoring Program• Raising awareness of mentoring as an effective form of collaboration between PAOs• Increasing the range of guidance available to existing and potential mentors and mentees• Creating opportunities that encourage and facilitate the formation of relationships between PAOs• Deliverables: – launch event “Mentoring Insights – The Mentor Perspective” – mentoring toolkit guidance – promotional literature to showcase benefits and successes – mentoring forum Page 10 | Confidential and Proprietary Information
    11. 11. Regional Implementation Integrated Communications Collaboration with IFAC Boards and Committees Support of PAFA Regional Implementation ADVANCE Initiative Joint PAO workshop with Global Programs IO Collaboration CAPA in Vietnam Ambassadors Focus on Middle East at Dubai PAODC meeting Regional Collaboration Mentoring Baltic/CIS States standard- setter event CReCER Page 11 | Confidential and Proprietary Information
    12. 12. Are there secrets to success? Page 12 | Confidential and Proprietary Information
    13. 13. PAO Development: Success Factors• Ensure that your development strategy is realistic• Establish and maintain dialogue with government and/or regulators• Monitor relevant legislation to secure your position and specify responsibilities in line with SMO requirements• Establish contact with IFAC MBD staff• Become a member of a regional organization/accountancy grouping and attend events wherever possible• Establish and maintain links with other PAOs• Continuously develop institutional, technical and financial capacity Page 13 | Confidential and Proprietary Information
    14. 14. PAO Development: IFAC Resources Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs) • PAO Development Committee • Establishing and Developing a Professional Accountancy Body toolkit • Unearthing the Power of Professional Accountancy Organizations • Mentoring: The Path to Sustainable Development • IFAC Member Body Development Contact •Marta Russell Technical Manager, Member Body Development – Asia-Pacific Page 14 | Confidential and Proprietary Information
    15. 15. Thank You! Page 15 | Confidential and Proprietary Information