Malta Visit by the head of SME/SMP and research at IFAC

Mr Christopher Arnold, Head of SME/ SMP and research at International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) visited the Malta Institute of Accountants’ Office on the 6 November 2017 to meet the Institute’s Small and Medium Practitioners.

During the meeting Mr Arnold detailed the scope of the IFAC SMP Committee. He explained that IFAC’s SMP activities are supported by the Small and Medium Practices (SMP) Committee, which was established in 2005. As a strategic advisory body of professional accountants, the SMP Committee supports IFAC’s work in three main activity areas in:

  • Providing regular and timely input to the international standard-setting process in order to help ensure the stability, relevance, and proportionality of international standards to SMEs/SMPs;
  • Developing and sharing practical guidance with a focus on implementation of international standards, practice management, and business advisory services; and
  • Promoting the visibility and recognition of SMPs and representing and advocating on behalf of SMPs and SMEs worldwide.

The IFAC SMP Committee is comprised of 18 volunteers and 18 technical advisors, from 22 countries with diverse professional backgrounds. It actively engages in IFAC’s regulatory dialogue on matters of relevance to SMPs/SMEs. The committee also regularly provides input on international standards, including those on auditing, assurance, and ethics at all stages of their development to help ensure their relevance and proportionality to SMEs and SMPs, and to moderate the pace of change.

Mr Arnold then proceeded to describe the 2016 SMP Survey undertaken by the SMP Committee. Responses received identified that that the top 3 challenges for Maltese SMPs were ‘personnel and staffing issues’, ‘differentiating from competition’ and ‘keeping up with new regulations and standards’. Also highlighting that the next survey is due to be performed in 2018. He then concluded that a number of IFAC resources and tools are available to support SMPs which include discussions and resources in the Global Knowledge Gateway, in particular, on Audit & Assurance, Ethics, and Practice Management.

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