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Institute of Financial Accountants

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.

Institute of Financial Accountants
Established 1916 (1916)
Type Professional Association
Professional title
Incorporated Financial Accountant (FFA or AFA)
Headquarters CS111, Clerkenwell Workshops, 27-31 Clerkenwell Close, London, EC1R 0AT United Kingdom
Region served
Services Accountancy
Key people
John Edwards (CEO)



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 certificationsEdit

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]

University linksEdit

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 alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Index of UK and Irish Accountancy and Professional Bodies at ICAEW website
  2. ^ a b IFA. Benevolent Fund Page accessed June 21, 2015
  3. ^ Open Charities. The Institute of Financial Accountants and International Association of Book-Keepers Benevolent Fund Page accessed June 21, 2015
  4. ^ a b IFA faces big ACCA damages claim for syllabus copying, Accountancy Age, 8 Aug 1997
  5. ^ John Stokdyk for Accountancy Age. 01 Jul 1998 Institutes - ACCA issues plagiarism writ
  6. ^ Accountancy Age, 17 July 1998 News in Brief
  7. ^ ICAEW talks planned new home for 'failed' chartereds, Accountancy Age, 19 Jan 2006
  8. ^ Accounting bodies to discuss qualifications merger, Accountancy Age, 24 Apr 2006
  9. ^ HM Treasury AML/CFT Report Retrieved 15 June 2015
  10. ^ International Federation of Accountants Welcomes New Members and Associates, IFAC, 16 November 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  11. ^ FTA’s First Annual Conference celebrated its merge with the IFA Group, FTA, 8 June 2009. Archived 14 July 2011 at WebCite
  12. ^ Professional Planner
  13. ^ Accountancy Live 18 Dec 2014, Retrieved 10 Jan 2015
  14. ^ IFA.ORG About Us Retrieved 29 May 2015
  15. ^ Routes to membership. IFA.
  16. ^ Who we are, Ofqual. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
  17. ^ The Register of Regulated Qualifications Ofqual Register Retrieved 11 June 2015
  18. ^ British Qualifications, Kogan Page, 36th Edition (2006), page 440
  19. ^ University of Northampton International Accounting (Top Up BA Hons) IFA Retrieved 21 June 2015

External linksEdit