IFAC issues guidelines regarding working in IT environment

International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has released guidelines to assist accounting bodies in preparing professional accountants to work in information technology environment.

According to a press release by IFAC international education guideline (IEG-II) titled “Information technology for Professional Accountants” describes the knowledge and competencies required in IT environment and includes examples of tasks that a competent professional accountants should be able to perform in the work place.

“IT is one of the core competencies of professional accountants and requires special attention due to its explosive growth and its rapid rate of change”, emphasised Warren Allen, Chairman IFAC’s Education Committee.

“Professional and academic accountancy bodies throughout the world are grappling with the need to define the body of knowledge and the competencies that their members must possess with respect to IT. This guideline is meant to help them by outlining how they can include coverage of important IT knowledge and competency areas in pre-qualification education programmes, pre-qualification work experience and post-qualification professional education in both general work domains and specialty areas.”

It was pointed out that IEG II was first issued in 1995 and was revised in 1998. A further revision of IEG II was exposed for comment in 2001.

IFAC’s Education Committee reviewed the comments made by IFAC member organisations, academics and others and made changes to include a competence-based approach to IT for accounting professionals, discussion regarding the development of a more specialist pre-qualification IT-focused accounting curriculum and reference to e-business.

In addition, the document offers flexibility so that member bodies can extract a number of competencies from each of the three roles of designers, manager and evaluator to create a hybrid competency cluster that best meets their needs.

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