IFAC, which represents more than three million professional accountants, is urging G20 leaders not to put at risk other urgent global priorities such as sustainability, inclusion and transparency as they grapple with short-term responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘We are at a critical inflection point around the world for many reasons,’ says Kevin Dancey, IFAC CEO. ‘While the immediate response to Covid-19 is paramount, we must not take action that puts other urgent global priorities and progress at risk.

‘The decisions we make now and the actions we take are crucial as we work to build strong, sustainable economies and realize the opportunities of the 21st century for all.’

IFAC called on G20 leaders to:

1. Accelerate Sustainability and Inclusion

The COVID-19 crisis is a wake-up call to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable and inclusive global economy. Both the business community and governments have an important role to play in this transformation, from focusing on long-term value creation to supporting an economy aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

2. Focus on Public Sector Transparency and Integrity

Responding to COVID-19 has driven an enormous increase in public sector spending. Integrity and transparency in the public sector are essential to the social contract between governments and their citizens. IFAC calls on the G20 to step up its efforts to deliver on the G20 Anti-Corruption and Anti-Money Laundering Action Plans, and to adopt International Public Sector Accounting Standards and accrual accounting at all levels of government.

3. Resist Regulatory Fragmentation

Regulatory fragmentation costs the global economy more than $780 billion a year, and the cost is borne disproportionately by small- and medium-sized enterprises. IFAC calls for policymakers to prioritize regulatory cooperation and harmonization so that all enterprises can thrive. We also urge all stakeholders to agree on a global framework for non-financial reporting that incorporates integrated reporting principles.

4. Recommit to Global Collaboration

Global institutions for cooperation and crisis-management—both public and private sector—are more important than ever. Multilateralism in support of building back better for those most in need is the foundation for resilience and a fairer and more prosperous world for all. G20 leadership must commit to working together through global institutions to anticipate and mitigate the global problems of the 21st century.

IFAC’s full call to action for the G20 is available here