Institute of Financial Accountants

Institute of Financial Accountants
Established 1916 (1916)
Type Professional Association
Professional title
Incorporated Financial Accountant (FFA or AFA)
Headquarters The Podium, 1 Eversholt Street, Euston, London, NW1 2DN United Kingdom
Region served
Services Accountancy
Key people
John Edwards (CEO), Catherine Chamberlain (Chairman), Sir Bryan Nicholson (Patron)
Subsidiaries Federation of Tax Advisers (FTA)
Slogan To be the lead international professional body for accountants primarily serving small and medium business enterprises

The Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) is a professional body representing and providing certification for financial accountants in the United Kingdom. The IFA is a full member of the International Federation of Accountants.


The Institute was founded in 1916.[1]

In 1973, the IFA established the International Association of Book-keepers (IAB)[1][2] and members of IAB participate in IFA's benevolent fund.[2][3]

In 1997, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) granted reciprocal exemption to the IFA for seven of its exams.[4] However, in that same year ACCA sued IFA for plagiarising ACCA's examination syllabi.[4] The parties neared a settlement agreement.[5] However Accountancy Age reported that, "The High Court found the IFA had plagiarised large portions of ACCA's syllabus, including a typographical error."[6]

In 2005, during a round of merger talks between certain chartered bodies, talks took place with the ICAEW with a view to establishing IFA both as a feeder body, and as a 'fall-back' professional body for accountants who had not passed the final exams of other bodies such as CIMA or ACCA.[7]

In 2006, talks took place between the IFA, the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and the International Association of Book-keepers (IAB), regarding the creation of a joint qualification structure.[8]

As of 2007, IFA members are recognised by HM Treasury as supervisors under anti-money laundering legislation.[9]

In 2008, the IFA became an associate member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), and a full member in 2011.[10]

IFA merged with the Federation of Tax Advisers (FTA) in 2009.[11]

In 2014, the IFA announced a merger with the Institute of Public Accountants of Australia to form the IPA Group; the world's largest SME/SMP professional accountancy body. Members of the IFA obtained membership of the IPA at their equivalent IFA membership grade.[12][13]

As of 2015, IFA had about 10,000 members in about 80 countries.[14]

Membership and certifications

To be admitted to membership of the IFA, applicants must generally complete a period of relevant work experience and pass a series of examinations; applicants can also be admitted to membership by way of exemption or by accreditation of prior learning.[15]

IFA is recognised by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual). Ofqual regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland and grants formal recognition to bodies and organisations that deliver qualifications and assessments.[16] As of June 2015 IFA offers various certifications in financial accounting, tax advisement, and financial and business management, all in small and medium-sized enterprises.[17]

In 2003, the IFA agreed to grant membership to accountancy graduates from the Bolton Institute, now the University of Bolton, where the course includes vocational aspects.[18]

University of Northampton cooperates with IFA to offer continuing professional development for IFA members, leading to a BA (Hons) degree.[19]

See also


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