Disruptive technologies have significantly impacted the work of accountants, including auditors and those in the finance and advisory fields, especially in terms of the technology and approaches they use. The IESBA has multiple technology-related workstreams.
- First, the IESBA is developing technology-related revisions to the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards) (the Code). This work is being progressed by the Task Force.
- Second, the IESBA is developing non-authoritative material to respond to immediate stakeholder calls for technology-related guidance to assist professional accountants in business and in public practice, including auditors, to understand how to apply the existing provisions in the Code. This work is being progressed by the Working Group.
In addition, the IESBA is undertaking fact finding and information gathering which includes extensive stakeholder outreach to further understand the broader technology environment. Among other matters, the outcome of this fact finding and information gathering will help inform the technology-related revisions that are being made to the Code. The fact-finding and information gathering activities are being progressed by the Working Group.
Having a dedicated Task Force and Working Group enables the IESBA to accelerate the development and release of technology-related guidance while also progressing the development of technology-related revisions to the Code.
Other Publications & Guidance
IESBA September 2021 Meeting Highlights
The IESBA considered a first-read draft of the Task Force’s proposed technology-related revisions to the Code, including the IIS. Among other matters, the IESBA deliberated how best to reflect technology-related considerations in the fundamental principles (e.g., professional competence and due care and confidentiality); how to highlight complexity as a factor when applying the conceptual framework; factors that might mitigate the risk of over-reliance on technology; guidance to remind firms that the NAS provisions apply whether a NAS is performed by an individual or technology; when the use of technology in providing a NAS to an audit client might increase the risk of assuming management responsibility; and a proposal to prohibit firms from providing hosting services to audit clients.
The IESBA will consider the Task Force’s revised proposals with a view to approving an exposure draft in December 2021.
Technology Fact Finding & Thought Leadership
The IESBA received an update from its Technology Working Group on the Working Group’s collaborative efforts with other organizations and other activities in Q3 2021 to progress its fact finding in a number of technology areas and the development of technology-related thought leadership and other material. The IESBA considered the Working Group’s proposal to establish an external advisory group comprising individuals with expertise and practical experience in technology to support and provide input to the Working Group.
The IESBA also received an external presentation on Cybersecurity and the Accounting Profession: A Discussion of Ethical Implications.
The IESBA will receive a further update from the IESBA Technology Working Group at its December 2021 meeting.