New IFAC Guidance Addresses Anti-Money Laundering and the Role of the Professional Accountant

Governments, regulators and the global business community are increasingly calling on accounting practitioners to contribute to the battle against money laundering. A new paper issued by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), Anti-Money Laundering 2nd Edition, addresses the increased expectations of legislators and regulators with respect to the profession's role in detecting money laundering and implementing controls and safeguards against it.

This 2nd edition of IFAC's paper on anti-money laundering (AML) expands on the original paper issued in January 2002 to address the professional accountants' role and ethical obligations as well as recent best practices in auditing, anti-money laundering, and suspicious activity reporting programs.

“This paper is significant for several reasons. The accountancy profession is becoming increasingly involved in to combatting corruption as a result of legislation requiring businesses to have compliance monitoring programs and to independently test the control environment and effectiveness of these programs,” points out Jim Sylph, technical director of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) of IFAC.

“Money laundering can have devastating impacts, particularly on emerging financial markets and developing economies, thus undermining financial stability worldwide,” emphasizes Mr. Sylph.

The new paper highlights both the causes and possible means of preventing money laundering. Sections of the paper focus on indications of money laundering, vulnerability of banks, non-bank financial institutions and other entities, and governance-related issues. Additionally, it includes a compendium of AML guidance.

The paper may be downloaded at no charge from IFAC's website by going to

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) is dedicated to serving the public interest, strengthening the worldwide accountancy profession, and contributing to the development of strong international economies. Its current membership consists of 158 professional accountancy bodies in 118 countries, representing more than 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry and commerce. The organization sets international ethics, auditing and assurance, education, and public sector accounting standards.

Copyright © 2004 International Federation of Accountants. All rights reserved.

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