State Board Report

December 2009

After years of discomfort with its membership status in the International Federation of Accountants, in November NASBA was given “affiliate” status by the IFAC Council. As an affiliate, NASBA is released from membership obligations, which include having its members support the policies, standards and programs of IFAC. As NASBA is a forum of State Boards of Accountancy, it could not bind them to such support.

President David Costello explained: “We applaud IFAC for the work it has done in raising accounting standards in developing economies and its continuing efforts to promote high quality standards worldwide. Our membership in IFAC was a show of support for this organization back in its formative period. However, as IFAC matured, it became obvious that a voluntary association of state licensing Boards did not fit the membership obligations that were being carved out. NASBA can encourage State Boards to adopt standards, but it cannot pledge they will do so. Questions posed in surveys regularly circulated by IFAC were inappropriate for NASBA to answer.

“After a couple of years of meetings and discussions and trying to find the appropriate way to cooperate, IFAC’s leaders and NASBA agreed that the ‘affiliate’ status fit us best. We cannot be a member without committing to supporting and promoting IFAC’s mission, goals, programs, initiatives, etc. We cannot be an ‘associate’ since that is a member in waiting. We can be an ‘affiliate’ and enjoy privileges of meetings, communication, updates and the like. We have great incentive as an affiliate: NASBA becomes so important on the world stage that IFAC changes its bylaws to accommodate our full membership and comes running after the State Boards.”

NASBA representatives attended the 32nd Annual IFAC Council Meeting held in Washington, DC, in November. At that time, full membership status was given to professional associations from Iran, Latvia and Kosovo. Professional associations from Brunei and Luxembourg have recently joined IFAC as associates.

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