The American Institute of CPAs has announced that Olivia Kirtley, CPA, CGMA, has been elected to a two-year term as deputy president of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). Kirtley succeeds Warren Allen, the newly appointed president of IFAC. She is the first female Deputy President in IFAC history, as well as the first representative from the business community to serve in that position.
IFAC is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. It is comprised of 173 members and associates in 129 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.
As deputy president, Kirtley takes on the role of chair of the Planning and Finance Committee, which works directly with IFAC staff to develop the organization's strategic plan. Additionally, she will become chair of the IFAC Board's Constitution Review Working Group and serve as a member of the Nominating Committee and the IFAC Regulatory Liaison Group.
"There are numerous issues facing the global business world. Olivia's election as Deputy President of the accountancy profession's global professional body is important for both the business community and the profession," said Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, president and CEO of the AICPA.
"Her perspective as former Chairman of AICPA, a former CFO and presently as board member of several companies makes her uniquely qualified for this critical international leadership role for the profession."
Kirtley has a long history of service to the profession, having previously served on the independent IFAC Task Force on Rebuilding Public Confidence in Financial Reporting in 2002 and 2003. She became a member of the IFAC Board in November 2007. In 1998, Kirtley was the first woman to be elected chairman of the Board of Directors of the AICPA and continues to serve as a member of the governing Council. From 2000 to 2003, she was chairman of the AICPA Board of Examiners, during which time the Uniform CPA Examination was converted from pencil-and-paper to a computer based exam. In 2003, the AICPA awarded her its Gold Medal in recognition of her exemplary leadership and service to the accountancy profession.
"Olivia's CPA and CGMA credentials demonstrate deep financial and management accounting experience that is crucial to the future of a profession that underpins the global economy," said Charles Tilley, FCMA, CGMA and CEO of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, which created the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation through a joint venture with the AICPA. "The demands on accountants are intensifying around the world, and Olivia has the insight and vision to ensure the profession keeps pace with the challenge."