ACCA - The global body for professional accountants
The membership of the Forums and the issues discussed reflect the global nature of ACCA’s membership and our work. They embody ACCA’s belief that consistent global technical insight and policy positions are essential to the global economy, requiring wide contributions from diverse expertise across sectors and geography
—Neil Stevenson, executive director - brand, ACCA

New global forums will be launched in September 2011; International expertise to drive innovative thinking on the global accountancy profession

ACCA is reinvigorating its technical committees and will be launching ten new Global Forums in early September 2011.

The Global Forums will bring together experts from the public and private sectors, public practice and academia from around the world, including many people from leading international organisations.

The Forums will meet on a regular basis to further the thinking on current and future issues in a number of specific technical subject areas, as well the accountancy and finance profession more widely. The groups will have an international remit to develop views which are supportive of the needs of business globally, with an increasing emphasis on emerging markets. This will include ACCA’s responses to consultations introduced by policy makers, regulators and standard setters.

Neil Stevenson says: 'The membership of the Forums and the issues discussed reflect the global nature of ACCA’s membership and our work. They embody ACCA’s belief that consistent global technical insight and policy positions are essential to the global economy, requiring wide contributions from diverse expertise across sectors and geography.

'The Forums will be advisory in nature, working to shape and inform ACCA’s global policy; they will also ensure that appropriate issues and concerns for the profession are addressed.'

The new global Forums will be introduced at an inaugural Symposium for all chairs of the new groups on the 6 September in London, and will become live after ACCA’s AGM on Thursday 15 September 2011.

The ten Forums will also support ACCA’s influential Research and Insights programme and provide new expertise to help ACCA develop publications and speak at events. ACCA believes that issues are very frequently local and will continue to pursue a local agenda where appropriate within this new framework, especially in areas such as tax, regulation and SME matters.

The new Forums will also help ACCA with its aim to strengthen its local contributions by drawing on thinking and best practice from around the world to inform its insight.

The new global forums

Accountants for Business This Forum will consider the issues relevant to Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and finance functions in the corporate sector and drive a global programme to strengthen the role of professional accountants in business.

Accountancy Futures Academy This Academy will work to develop ACCA’s Research and Insights programme by identifying issues of major significance for the global accountancy profession. It will also develop a network of potential high-level contributors to ACCA’s work, and will ensure the overall quality of ACCA’s Research and Insights outputs.

Global Forum for Governance, Risk and Performance Established to influence policy makers and regulators to create an appropriate environment for responsible, profitable business, this Forum will work to show how professional accountants can support ethical, sustainable business and enhance their value to their employers and other stakeholders.

Global Forum for Corporate Reporting This Forum will reflect the fact that corporate reporting is of increasing importance, especially with the continuing globalisation of standards, developments in integrated reporting and a drive to ensure the relevance of reporting to investors. The Forum will work to influence the development of IFRS and it will also work to identify, evaluate and champion enhanced forms of reporting which are crucial to bringing value to investors, business and the public.

Global Forum for Audit and Assurance Audit is in the spotlight, so this Forum will provide input into audit standards-setting, in particular to influence the development of International Standards on Audit (ISAs). It will also work to identify, evaluate and champion new and alternative forms of assurance which bring value to investors, business and the public.

Global Forum for Sustainability This Forum will continue ACCA’s long history of promoting transparency and accountability on sustainability issues, and the role of the professional accountant. ACCA has been at the forefront of sustainability issues since 1990, so the Forum will be building on strong foundations. It will debate trends and developments in sector-specific areas, and develop leading positions on relevant issues related to the broad topic of sustainability.

Global Forum for Business Law This Forum will work to reflect the fact that the business world is becoming increasingly global; there are more and more areas of the law, such as money laundering – that are becoming effectively standardised. This Forum will examine issues about the legal implications of doing business, fighting corruption and financial crime and challenging red tape.

Global Forum for the Public Sector This Forum will champion the many issues affecting the public sector around the world, including financing, governance and capacity in the delivery of public services.

Global Forum for SMEs ACCA believes that SMEs are the lifeblood of economies around the world. They account for over 95% of enterprises and between 60% and 70% of employment in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. This Forum will identify the needs of SMEs around the world and argue for policy makers to put this vital sector at the forefront of public policy.

Global Forum for Taxation While tax is local in nature, many tax principles are universal. Tax also lends itself to international comparison since the different tax rates and tax laws which different countries adopt can make them less or more attractive in which to do business or indeed to live. This Forum will provide a basis for lobbying internationally for transparent and simple tax systems, and will discuss developments and trends in this often contentious area, from personal taxation, to tax regimes for SMEs and for large corporates.

Neil Stevenson concludes: 'These new Global Forums highlight the very wide area of influence accountants have in business from audit to tax to sustainability to corporate governance. ACCA wishes to champion a global accountancy profession which constantly innovates to meet the needs of business. It is also clear that issues are increasingly complex and inter-connected. By developing a global framework accommodating many experts across different specialist areas, ACCA will draw on expertise from across the spectrum to provide a truly informed and integrated perspective on issues relevant to the global accountancy profession.'

The full list of Global Forum members and chairs will be announced in September.