Rome, Italy (WCOA 2014). The 19th World Congress of Accountants (WCOA 2014) held in Rome has come to a close and the profession has reiterated its commitment to further collaborate in order to enhance its presence worldwide.
The WCOA 2014 closed with a speech of the newly appointed IFAC president Olivia Kirtley, the 16th of the organisation and the first female leader. She takes over from Warren Allen to whom she said jokingly in her speech: "Warren you certainly left big shoes to fill, but I wear high heels."
Kirtley highlighted the importance of further strengthening the profession globally and gave the example of Rwanda which in the past 20 years has gone from 54 qualified accountants in the aftermath of the genocide and concurrent civil war to over 200 in present days.
She announced the first three countries, out of ten, to beneficiate from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) £4.935m ($8.254m) funding to IFAC for capacity building projects: Ghana, Rwanda and Uganda.
She went on to emphasise the importance of accrual accounting in the public sector and invited the participants of the WCOA 2014 to "call [their] Minister of Finance now", so that transparency and accountability in the public sector can be guaranteed.
Finally she announced that the 20th World Congress of Accountants to take place in November 2018 will be held in Sydney Australia.
The last words were left to the Consiglio Nazionale de Dottori Commercialisti e degli Eserti Contabili, the organisers of the WCOA 2014, its president Gerardo Longobardi extended the Italian institute thanks to IFAC and all the congress’s participants and concluded: "Arrivederci Roma and see you in Sydney."