A common global accounting code came a step closer this week when members of the International Federation of Accountants gave the body responsible for setting international accounting standards independence for the first time. IFAC members, which include 150 professional bodies representing around two million accountants worldwide, gave final approval to a new constitution for the International Accounting Standards committee at the conference, held in Edinburgh. A new board will have sole responsibility for setting standards and will comprise of fourteen members chosen for technical expertise, not their nationality as previously. Twelve members of the team will be full-time. Board members will have to renounce all other professional obligations. The board will be overseen by a new 19-strong group of trustees, headed by Paul Volcker, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve. His colleagues are from business, academia and standards-setting, and include Sir Sydney Lipworth, chairman of the UK Financial Reporting Council. IAS committee secretary general Sir Bryan Carsberg said: ‘The trustees selected take office immediately and will work on fundraising and selection of the new board, which will commence operation on a date determined by the trustees with Jan 2001 the target.’
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