International Standards of Accounting and Reporting

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The Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) was created by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1982, and is the only intergovernmental expert body focused on corporate transparency and accounting issues.[1] Hosted by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, ISAR's work covers a range of financial and non-financial corporate reporting issues. Its mission is to support sustainable economic development and financial stability by contributing to improvements in corporate transparency.


UNCTAD hosts the annual session of ISAR at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva. Several hundred experts from more than half of UN member States participate in the annual session in Geneva. Participants include: policymakers, regulators, and representatives from academia, civil society, private industry and various national, regional and international accountancy organizations.[2]

Reports and publications[edit]

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.[3] The work of ISAR is freely available for download from the UNCTAD website.[4] 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[5]
  • (2006) Guidance on Good Practices in Corporate Governance Disclosure[6]
  • (2003) Accounting and Financial Reporting Guidelines for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEGA) Level 3 Guidance[7]