Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting
The Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) is hosted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Created in 1982 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)., its mission is to facilitate investment, development and economic stability by promoting good practices in corporate transparency and accounting.
The Working Group holds its annual sessions at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland, with several hundred delegates attending from more than half of the UN member states. Participants include policymakers, regulators, and representatives from academia, civil society, private industry and various national, regional and international accountancy organizations.
Areas of work
ISAR is focused on a number of areas of financial and non-financial corporate reporting, including:
- Implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
- Accounting by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)
- Corporate governance disclosure
- Corporate responsibility reporting
- Environmental accounting and reporting
Reports and publications
The ISAR Group of Experts produces a number of research and voluntary guidance documents. Each year, UNCTAD publishes ISAR's latest research papers in the annual review International Accounting and Reporting Issues. The work of ISAR is freely available for download from the UNCTAD website. The research and guidance documents are also widely distributed through on-the-ground workshops and training programmes around the world.
Voluntary guidance publications include:
- (2008) Guidance on Corporate Responsibility Indicators in Annual Reports
- (2006) Guidance on Good Practices in Corporate Governance Disclosure
- (2003) Accounting and Financial Reporting Guidelines for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEGA) Level 3 Guidance
The chair of ISAR is Andrew Staines (UK).
- ECOSOC resolution 1982/67