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IFAC FORUM ADDRESS CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FACING SMPS IN CHANGING GLOBAL MARKETPLACE

Source: IFAC
Country: International - IFAC
Date: 25/03/2012
Contributor: Andy Lymer
Web: http://www.ifac.org
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Over 200 delegates from 40 professional accountancy organizations in 36 countries convened in Singapore for the sixth annual IFAC Small and Medium Practices (SMP) Forum. Co-hosted with the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS), this year’s event featured a keynote address by Ms. Jessica Tan, Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Finance and Trade & Industry in Singapore, and speakers from the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore.

Delegates from IFAC member bodies convened with representatives from the regulatory community, leading regional business associations, and international standard setters to discuss the hot-button challenges facing the SMP sector and to collaborate on the solutions on a global level. Plenary panel session topics included shaping regulations and standards and how SMPs can capitalize on emerging opportunities in an ever-changing marketplace.

In his opening remarks, IFAC Deputy President Warren Allen gave an overview of IFAC’s role in the changing SME/SMP landscape: “The results of the 2011 IFAC Global Leadership Survey highlighted that the needs of SMPs and small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs) continue to be a high-priority area among IFAC’s membership. This may be because SMEs—and the SMPs that serve them—often constitute the backbone of economic stability. Here in Singapore, for instance, SMEs and small components (subsidiaries, branches, etc.) of multinational corporations contribute up to half of gross domestic product (GDP). And that is why IFAC is speaking out to ensure that world leaders recognize that the small business sector is a public interest issue, and that policy, regulation, and standards are developed in a way that will facilitate the growth of this sector.”

ICPAS President Dr. Ernest Kan said, “ICPAS is honored to co-host this year’s SMP Forum with IFAC. The focus on SMPs and SMEs dovetails with ICPAS’ strategic focus on SMP development. In today’s complex global economic environment, SMPs and SMEs face unique challenges in value creation and capacity building. With the forum, we aim to provide a platform for international representatives to share insights on supporting this sector.”

IFAC SMP Committee Chair Giancarlo Attolini added, “We can see from the attendance here today and the high level of participation in the SMP Quick Poll throughout 2011 that IFAC members are committed to serving their SMP constituents. IFAC shares this commitment since small accountancy practices typically serve small businesses, and when small businesses prosper, their local economies tend to prosper as well. We believe that SMEs and SMPs can be a part of the solution to the global economic recession.”
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