EFAA members meet on 23-24 October
EFAA Holds its Extraordinary General Meeting: Celebrates its 25th Anniversary, the Approval of new Statutes and Establishes a New Expert group to Monitor Development of European Union Regulation on Professional Services
Brussels – On the 23 and 24 of October, EFAA had a broad working agenda to further its role as the “Big Voice for SMPs and SMEs”. The 25th Anniversary celebration was carried out in the early part of the EGM - a simple act of remembrance and celebration – during which Salvador Marín, the EFAA President, indicated that “EFAA was originally based in the Hague. The Dutch entity was founded on October 1994. EFAA later moved down the road to an office here in the European Quarter of Brussels. We are still here and still serving as the big voice for SMPs and their SME clients in Europe. And we will continue to raise this voice”.
During the event, Inge Buffolo, senior official at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), gave an insightful keynote presentation where she introduced EUIPO – its background, vision, objectives and the partners of their SME Programme – and then shared the initial findings of the SME landscape as well as the key role accountants, especially small and medium-sized practices (SMPs), can play. Potentially SMPs can play an important new role, a win-win for both SME client and practice.
The EGM, subsequently, adopted the new statutes. Marín pointed out that, “this reflects the progress of the federation; perhaps the most important is the fact that we look ahead with optimism thanks to the efforts of many people. These statutes provide a firm basis for our continuous progress and to face the challenges of the future. We invite all European PAOs focused on SMEs through SMPs to join this valuable endeavour”.
The EGM was also advised that that the day before the Board of Directors had decided to create a new working expert group to monitor, in collaboration with our member organizations, the development of new EU regulations and rules on professional services “so as to be able to give an informed consensus opinion and to take part in debates affecting our profession and field of activity. It is our obligation to be active in this area and advocate our views rigorously and responsibly in defence of our SMPs and the public interest”
On the eve of the EGM, EFAA’s Assurance Expert Group, Accounting Expert Group and Digital Working Group, each made up of excellent professionals from different member organizations , met. The Assurance Expert Group, chaired by EFAA Director Paul Thompson, continues to closely monitor the IAASB’s project on audit of less complex entities (LCEs), where EFAA’s unequivocal position is that the IAASB should expedite the development a new separate stand-alone audit standard for SMEs / LCEs based on the same principles as the ISAs, and stands ready to monitor and input to the possible revision of the EU Audit Directive in 2020. The Accounting Expert Group, chaired by ACCA Head of Corporate Reporting, Richard Martin, reflected on the response given to the EFRAG European Lab Consultation on Future Projects, which called for greater emphasis on SMEs, and plans to provide timely input to key IASB projects where there are significant SME implications including the Comprehensive Review of IFRS for SMEs. In 2020 the EU Accounting Directive may be reopened and revised and the group agreed that EFAA should make timely and robust interventions. Furthermore, this Group prioritized the following three projects of EFAA´s interest: reporting of NFI by SMEs, Intangibles reporting by SMEs and quality of published financial information. Lastly, The Digital Working Group, chaired by Martin de Bie from NBA, discussed the future development of the recently launched Digital Competency Maturity Model (DCMM)™. The DCMM™ has been translated into 5 different languages and is rapidly gaining recognition across Europe as a valuable tool to help SMPs improve their digital competence. EFAA is also inviting non-EFAA member organizations to join, either by simply promoting the DCMM™ on their website or providing its translations. The group discussed and agreed to develop the DCMM further with practice benchmarking and automated feedback and recommendations.
For more information:
Mrs. Sara Zambelli
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EFAA represents the professionals in accounting, auditing and the finances that provide high quality services to the European SMEs. In general, its members represented by national bodies are small and medium professionals (SMPs). The EFAA members are thus SMPs that provide a wide range of professional services (auditing, accountancy, as well as tax, commercial, economic, financial and strategic advisory) to the SMEs. At present, EFAA counts with a wide power of representation as it unites 13 national organizations of auditing, accountancy and tax advisory with more than 370.000 members that offer their services to millions of SMEs in the EU.