Professional Skepticism: Short-term project
Members of this task force participated in the
To develop application material relating to professional skepticism (PS) and professional judgment (PJ), in the context of audits, reviews, and other assurance engagements. This short-term project is expected to be finalized at the December 2017 IESBA meeting.
Richard Fleck, Chair, IESBA Deputy Chair
Patricia Mulvaney, IESBA Member
Tone Maren Sakshaug, IESBA Technical Advisor
“Professional skepticism” (PS) has been a cornerstone of the professional accountancy profession for decades. While it sounds good, there is no generally accepted definition of what PS means for the profession as a whole.
The IAASB defined PS for assurance services, suggesting that only PAPPs providing assurance services demonstrate professional skepticism in their work. We’ve heard from many others (members of the profession and those that work with them), both anecdotally and in writing, that they hold a different perspective. IESBA is positioned to work with IAASB and other constituencies to address this relevant issue.
IESBA charged the Professional Skepticism Task Force (PSTF) to
(1) consider various way to resolve the meaning of PS, and whether it is a responsibility of PAs performing assurance services only, or if it applies to the broader profession,
(2) develop a consultation paper for respondents to weigh-in on the meaning of PS and its applicability to the profession,
(3) synthesize the feedback into a recommendation to IESBA,
(4) integrate IESBA’s final decision into the Code,
(5) consider developing supporting materials to help PAs understand their responsibility to act with professional skepticism.