Delegates at ICA’s General Assembly discussed the importance of providing accounting education tailored to co-operatives. As part of a special showcase session, Gary Strain, President and Thomas Husek, Director of the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives (NSAC) presented the large number of activities and projects carried on by their professional society.
The two speakers emphasised that accounting standards are a strategic regulatory risk factor for the continued viability of the co-operative business model worldwide. According to them, accounting standards setters generally do not understand co-operatives or the co-operative form of organisation.
NSAC seeks to address this problem by supporting co-operative business interests in standard setting processes. Founded in 1936 and comprising of 2,000 individual members actively involved in financial management and planning of co-operative business, NSAC aims to keep its members up to date with the latest tendencies and developments in the field of accounting. The society also helps identify and respond to relevant accounting and tax issues on a timely basis.
They run training, networking and education events for their members, who are either employed by a co-operative or provide professional services for co-operatives. They include, but are not limited to, accountants, chief financial officers, auditors, bookkeepers, chief executive officers, attorneys, bankers, tax professionals and other finance and accounting employees of co-operatives.
NSAC’s vision for the future includes creating an International Society of Accountants for Cooperatives and enhancing and expanding educational programmes.