Taranaki man heads world's accountants

JOHN ANTHONY
Last updated 07:59 05/12/2012

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A Taranaki man has become the first New Zealander to be made president of a global organisation representing 2.5 million accountants.

Warren Allen has been appointed head of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) - the body representing the world accounting profession.

It represents qualified accountants across 173 member associations in 129 countries.

Allen has been deputy president for the past two years and will be president until November 2014.

Allen recently retired as a partner at Ernst and Young New Zealand and was also a past president and life member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Allen was born and bred in New Plymouth, where he went to Fitzroy Primary School, Highlands Intermediate School and New Plymouth Boys' High School.

His first accounting job was at New Plymouth's Watts, Wilson, Okey and Burr, where he stayed for two years before deciding to study fulltime to become a chartered accountant.

His most recent work in Taranaki was as the Ernst and Young partner responsible for auditing Taranaki Maori farming organisation PKW.

Allen's father, Ross Allen, was chairman of the Taranaki Regional council for a number of years.

Allen said his first priority as IFAC president would be to continue the good work New Zealand had contributed to world accounting.

"It is timely having a New Zealander as president, with the sovereign debt crisis," Allen said.

"Our public sector system is robust and transparent.

"It's one of the key reasons that New Zealand has fared quite well in the GFC (global financial crisis)."

There was an opportunity to work with governments to improve public financial management.

"New Zealand has led the world in that area."

The role of IFAC president was a volunteer position.

Because the presidency role required extensive travel, Allen and his wife Helen would move to London.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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