Some useful definitions

Accounting technician: a skilled person who carries out many of the day-to-day tasks in the accounting environment. Accounting technicians may work alone in smaller organizations. In larger organizations, however, they usually provide support to senior accountants. They generally work at an operational level, making decisions commensurate with their role, with guidance from a senior accountant, as needed. Accounting technicians work in all types of organizations, including commerce and industry, government, public services and private practice. They may progress to higher level jobs or qualifications once they have completed their technician-level training, which is based on the 2005 Occupational Standards for Accounting Technicians developed by the Eastern Central and Southern African Federation of Accountants.

Audit professional: a professional accountant who has responsibility, or has been delegated responsibility, for significant judgments in an audit of historical financial information (source: International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB)).

Pre-qualification: the period preceding qualification as an individual member of an IFAC member body; generally associated with activities and requirements relating to the development of those who have not yet obtained their professional qualification (source: IAESB).

Professional accountant: an individual who is a member of an IFAC member body (source: IFAC).

Public-interest entities: listed companies whose shares trade on an authorized public stock exchange, regulated financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies, and companies that are of major national interest owing to the nature of their business, their size or the number of their employees (source: documents from IFAC, the firm KPMG and the Russian Corporate Governance Round Table organized by OECD in cooperation with the World Bank).

Public-sector entities include national governments, regional governments (for example, state, provincial or territorial governments), local governments (city, town governments) and related governmental entities such as agencies, boards, commissions and enterprises (source: IPSASB).