The International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) was established on 15 September 2006 by independent audit regulators from 18 jurisdictions. Since its creation, IFIAR’s membership has grown in light of the establishment of new independent audit regulators in different jurisdictions around the globe, bringing together independent audit regulators from a total of 52 jurisdictions. IFIAR focuses on the following activities:
1. Sharing knowledge of the audit market environment and practical experience of independent audit regulatory activity with a focus on inspections of auditors and audit firms,
2. Promoting collaboration and consistency in regulatory activity, and
3. Providing a platform for dialogue with other international organizations that have an interest in audit quality.
Since its creation, IFIAR has convened on a semi-annual basis for high-level plenary meetings and on an annual basis at an Inspection Workshop to exchange information and experiences relating to inspections of audit firms. IFIAR moved to annual plenary meetings in 2013. IFIAR has established a number of Working Groups that address various work streams important to audit regulators and form the core of IFIAR’s activities alongside its plenary meetings and workshop.
IFIAR became a Member of the Monitoring Group during 2011; the Group oversees audit and accounting related standard setting activities of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), monitors the activities of the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB), and convenes to discuss issues and share views relating to international audit quality and regulatory and market developments having an impact on auditing.
CURRENT OFFICE BEARERS
IFIAR is currently chaired by Brian Hunt, CEO of the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB). Frank Schneider, CEO of the Federal Audit Oversight Authority (FAOA) of Switzerland serves as IFIAR Vice-Chair. The Chair and Vice-Chair have two-year terms which expire in April 2019 when new Officers will be elected.
Chair - Brian Hunt
Brian Hunt, CEO of CPAB, is the Chair of IFIAR. “Investors and global financial markets rely on auditors to assure the integrity of financial statements. Given that audit is increasingly global, it is important that audit regulators around the world continuously exchange information about the overall audit market environment to serve the public interest and enhance investor protection.”
Hunt says IFIAR has made considerable progress over the past years. Hunt’s focus continues to include governance, working with the six largest international audit firms on audit quality, reaching out to audit committees, standard setting, and implementing an effective and efficient permanent secretariat for IFIAR.
“We are on the edge of a transformation – of both the way business is conducted and audits are performed. Changes in the way audits are planned, performed, staffed and communicated and how audit firms are structured to compete have the potential to alter the quality of the work that is performed. These will be key items for IFIAR Members in the next few years.”
A founding Director of CPAB, Brian Hunt was appointed CEO on January 29, 2009. In April 2017 he was elected Chair of IFIAR. Prior to that he served as IFIAR's Vice-Chair and Chair of IFIAR’s Global Public Policy Commitee Working Group. Prior to his current position at CPAB, Mr. Hunt was President and CEO of CPA Ontario. Before joining CPA Ontario, he was President of Canada’s largest membership organization, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), representing CAA as a director and/or officer of the International Touring Alliance, the American Automobile Association Traffic Safety Foundation and the Transportation Association of Canada. Mr. Hunt’s earlier positions include President of Hayward Industrial Products Inc., President of PHH Canada, and Vice-President of Sales and Client Services of PHH’s US operation. In 2000, Mr. Hunt was elected a Fellow of CPA Ontario, served as a member of the CPA Ontario’s 2000/01 Governing Council, and was awarded Life Membership in 2009. Mr. Hunt holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree and is a CPA Chartered Accountant. He is also a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, completing his ICD.D in 2012. Mr. Hunt is a member of Ryerson University’s School of Accounting and Finance Advisory Council.
Vice Chair - Frank Schneider
Frank Schneider, CEO of the Federal Audit Oversight Authority of Switzerland is the current Vice- Chair of IFIAR. “Reliable financial reporting is fundamental to the health of the global economy”, says Frank Schneider. “Therefore I will support IFIAR in relentlessly continuing to follow its mission to improve audit quality.”
Frank says trust in the reliability of financial reporting requires that the value of an audit is widely understood and accepted by all its stakeholders. An open dialogue with stakeholders is therefore essential.
“Emerging technologies will be a great challenge of the years to come and will require a fresh look at the way an audit is performed not forgetting that an audit is in the public interest.”
Frank Schneider is a Swiss Certified Public Accountants and holds an Executive MBA from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences. Since 2007, Mr. Schneider has been the CEO of the FAOA of Switzerland. Prior to that, he served as the head of accouning enforcement division of the Swiss Exchange Regulation (2002-2006). Between 1991-2001, he held various leading positions with PwC in Zurich and New York. Mr. Schneider was a member of the Swiss GAAP FER accounting standards setting body from 2003-2006. He has always been dedicated to IFIAR: between 2010 and 2017 he served as IFIAR's Treasurer.
Carl Renner joined IFIAR on 1 April 2017, to lead the new Secretariat based in Tokyo. Originally from New Zealand, Carl is a chartered accountant with more than 17 years’ experience in medium and large audit firms; 13 years as an auditor and four years as a financial due diligence specialist. During his career, Carl has worked in Sydney, Tokyo, and London where he has spent most of his time.
Mr. Renner was most recently project director at the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) Financial Reporting Lab (Lab) which brings together companies and investors to support improvement and innovation in reporting. Since he joined the Lab in 2013, Carl has led projects on various topics including accounting policy disclosure and business model reporting. He also co-led the project on disclosure of dividends – policy and practice.
As of April 2017, IFIAR is governed by a Board. The Chair and Vice-Chair lead the Board. The Board's tasks and duties are set out in the Charter. The current Board Members are Abu Dhabi, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.