Who we are

Established in 1916, the Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) is an internationally recognised professional accountancy membership body. We are a full member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) the global accounting standard-setter and regulator.

The IFA is part of the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) Group, the world’s largest SME-focused accountancy group, with more than 49,000 members and students in 100 countries.

Our members work within micro and small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or in micro and small- to medium-sized accounting practices (SMPs) advising micro and SME clients.

Focusing on SMEs and SMPs

At the IFA, we put SMEs first. We recognise their role as vital wealth creators, as employers to more than half of the UK’s private sector workforce and as the power behind vibrant urban and rural communities.

We hold the interests of SMPs in the accounting profession in equal regard. We are proud of our unique relationship with our members, who predominantly come from a SME/SMP background.

As a professional accountancy body, we aim to provide the very best support and guidance to our members who operate within this arena, frequently tailoring policies and recommendations to meet the unique challenges and trading relationships associated with smaller business.

Our aim is to continuously meet the needs of SMEs within the UK and throughout the international market. We offer a range of services and benefits that have been specifically chosen as part of our focus on supporting our members within the SME/SMP sector.

  • IFA Direct - our online education programme
  • Industry news and technical resources
  • Advice, support and guidance
  • CPD workshops and webinars
  • Regional conferences and meetings.

We are also recognised by HM Treasury to regulate our members for the purposes of the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 and 2019.

Representing our members

We represent our members at the following forums: 

  • HMRC Agent Support 
  • HRMC Compliance Reform 
  • HMRC OTM Compliance Board 
  • HMRC Powers & Safeguarding 
  • HMRC Charter Stakeholder Group 
  • HMRC Guidance Strategy Forum 
  • UK Government and UK Finance Economic Crime Plan numerous meetings, including Strategic Communications Group, Economic Crime Levy, Information Sharing and Public-Private Sector discussions 
  • Anti-Money Laundering Supervisors Forum and Accountancy AML Supervisors’’ Group 
  • National Cross Sector SAR Forum and Advisory Reform   
  • Accountancy Intelligence Expert Working Group (ISEWG) 
  • Companies House Accountancy Stakeholder  
  • OPBAS SARs Reform sub-group 
  • Anti-Money Laundering Supervisors Forum (AMLSF)  
  • Accountancy AML Supervisors Group (AASG) 

Our core values

Standard-setting: the IFA demonstrates the highest standards of professionalism, reliability, and customer service.

Professional: we respond to our members’ challenges with consistently relevant, advice.

Enterprising: we are innovative and commercial focused.

Dynamic: we are agile and responsive, no matter the speed or magnitude of changes in the business environment or economic climate.

Ethical: we champion integrity, fairness, diversity, transparency and responsibility.