An interview with Alta Prinsloo, Executive Director, Strategy, and Chief Operating Officer, International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)
Why does your organization support <IR>?
The strategic partnership between IFAC and the IIRC is captured by a Memorandum of Understanding that encapsulates a shared vision of the evolution of corporate reporting for the 21st century, in which <IR> plays an important role in promoting sustainable capital markets and transparency.
<IR> is a major development in business reporting, providing organizations a structure for effectively explaining how their businesses create value. Financial reporting alone does not satisfy the information needs of all users, and the International <IR> Framework is the only reporting approach that covers the full range of activities that organizations undertake to deliver value.
After the significant effort that went into establishing the IIRC and the International <IR> Framework, it is heartening to see an increasing number of organizations, including IFAC and some of our member bodies, embracing <IR> and experiencing positive results.
Why should your members get behind <IR>?
Our members are the more than 175 professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) that comprise the global accountancy profession and represent over 2.5 million professional accountants in public practice, government service, industry and commerce, and education. It is our collective responsibility to raise awareness and prepare accountants working throughout the entire business reporting supply chain – that is, those involved in the preparation, approval, audit, analysis, and use of business reports – for the changes related to <IR> and the benefits it brings.
Accountants working throughout the reporting process all have an important role to play in ensuring that reporting supports good decision making, both within organizations and among providers of financial capital, including investors and creditors, and other key stakeholders. A particularly important constituency for these efforts are CFOs, who need to view <IR> as a natural extension of their role and that of the finance function (see Board and CFO Leadership Key to Integrated Reporting Success on the Global Knowledge Gateway for additional information).
What campaign or approach has given you the best response? And what tip(s) would you give to other organizations?
IFAC is in a unique position as the global organization for the accountancy profession. We work with our members and other stakeholders to facilitate collaboration, dialogue, and information sharing across the profession. We do this in a number of ways, including through our board and constituency committees, forums with our members and other key stakeholders, and through the Global Knowledge Gateway online.
A great success in 2014 was a plenary session at the World Congress of Accountants, Integrated Thinking: The Key to Improved Performance and Value Creation. Speakers on the panel, chaired by the IIRC’s Paul Druckman, took audience members through their in-depth journeys to <IR>. The session reached approximately 4,000 accountants in the audience, plus an online audience; feedback showed it really provided inspiration and practical advice.
Working together with the IIRC and our member bodies, we can continue to ensure professional accountants remain relevant and well equipped to help their clients and organizations to implement <IR>.