In-Ki Joo, emeritus professor of account at YSB, has been elected as the first Korean president of the International Federation of Accountants. His term is two-year term runs from November 2018 to November 2020.
Q> Please tell us how you feel as the first Korean to be elected as the president of the International Federation of Accountants.
A> It was with the help of many people at home and abroad, including a senior member of Yonsei University, fellow professors, and the former chairmen of the Korean Accounting Society that I was elected president of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), the only accountant organization in the world. I am personally very pleased with this honor and that the status of Korean accounting industry has greatly increased.
Q> Please introduce the International Federation of Accountants to us.
A> It represents 175 accounting societies around the world and has about 3 million members worldwide. It actively supports international accounting standards in audits, ethics, accounting education, and public utility standards that accountants use to audit multinational companies' financial statements, and especially helps to ensure that these standards are properly applied in developing countries around the world.
Q> What are the federation's business goals during your term?
A> We have four business goals. First, gaining adoption and application in all member states of the international audit standards, international ethics standards, nonprofit accounting standards, and international education standards that the International Federation of Accountants actively supports. Secondly, develop a strategy for how the accounting industry should change in the innovative development of AI and information technology industries, which is called the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Third, we will pursue the transparency of accounting in the public sector, including government agencies, and finally, we plan to actively participate in the accounting infrastructure of developing countries as part of our plan to help them develop their economies.
Q> What influence will your presidency have on the accounting industry in Korea?
A> Our accounting industry has a world-class pool of talented people. However, when the level of development of the accounting industry is assessed as the level of the membership fee paid to the International Federation of Accountants, it is about 23rd, which is not consistent with our record as the world's 15th largest economy. Our accounting industry needs more effort and participation for the steady development of business and economy.
I think the fact that the president of the International Federation of Accountants is a Korean will broaden the scope of our domestic-oriented accounting industry. As a result, it will not only help our accountants advance in the world but will also contribute to the continued development of the global economy with competitiveness in various international institutions such as the United Nations and the World Bank.
Q> In the accounting industry, please tell us about the future direction of development along with an evaluation of the status of Yonsei School of Business.
A> As you already know, over the past 20 years Yonsei University has produced the largest number of accountants of any Korean university. And it is recognized as a university that produces the best talent. From now on, the Yonsei School of Business will have to expand its international standing beyond the nation. We need to bring in excellent professors, develop a vision and strategy to become one of the best business schools in Asia and the world through the development of international collaborative processes as well as the development of education programs based on active industry-academic cooperation and implement both vigorously.
Q> Please send a message to alumni who are active in the accounting industry and to students who want to enter the industry.
A> In many areas of expertise, including accounting, artificial intelligence will replace mechanical and repetitive tasks. AI will also be responsible for a significant portion of the auditing work as data processing technology. In the future, accountants will have to try to distinguish between what artificial intelligence does and what an accountant does, and create more judgmental work, or value.
Students who want to enter the accounting field should not only study accounting, but also study information processing technology and be interested in various fields that may not have anything to do with accounting.