Ward said: ‘There are challenges in ensuring a consistency of audit standards throughout the world. For this reason, today’s launch of the IFAC Forum of Firms has particular resonance since it addresses many of the issues concerning raising standards globally and ensuring compliance with them. It proves to the world that the international accountancy profession is truly committed to its remit for the public good.’
Ward added: ‘The work of the IFAC Forum of Firms should result in international business receiving and appreciating the concrete benefits of the profession adopting truly global standards for auditing.’
The Forum of Firms is an attempt by the International Federation of Accountants, of which Ward is the UK representative, to set an international benchmark for audit below which member firms and their subsidiaries will not fall.
Participation in IFAC’s Forum of Firms is open to any firm having transnational clients and which undertakes to comply with rigorous quality obligations.
To date, only seven firms that have committed. They are PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ernst & Young, Arthur Andersen, BDO International and Grant Thornton. But, IFAC hopes that others will soon join up.
The Forum of Firms initiative was first mooted following the Asia crisis in 1997 when investors and regulators decided it was time for more cooperation between firms and themselves.
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