Use of Experts

Objective

The IESBA is committed to developing revisions to the Code to address the specific ethics and independence issues that might arise when experts work alongside professional accountants (PAs) in business (PAIBs) and in public practice (PAPPs), including in tax planning, technology-related activities and sustainability reporting and assurance. The objectives of the projects are to address:

  • Ethics and independence provisions considerations for the use of an external expert in audit and assurance engagements;
  • Ethics considerations regarding the involvement of an expert (both internal or external to the employing organization or firm) in the preparation and presentation of financial and non-financial information, including sustainability information, and other activities; and
  • Ethics considerations regarding the involvement of an expert (both internal or external to the employing organization or firm) in the provision of other services (such as tax planning and technology-related activities). 

Although the scope of this project is broad, it will be progressed broadly in tandem with IESBA’s Sustainability Project given that the use of experts is critical in the preparation and presentation of sustainability information, including the assurance and audit of such information.

 

PROJECT CONTACT

Kam Leung

  

WORKING GROUP

Laurie Endsley, Chair, IESBA Vice Chair

Saadiya Adam, IESBA Member

Sanjiv Chaudhary, IESBA Member

Andy Mintzer, IESBA Member

Luigi Nisoli, IESBA Member

 

Project Stages

Board Papers

November-December 2022

Board Minutes

November-December 2022 (Available March 2023)

Summary
IESBA November-December 2022 Meeting Highlights

The IESBA considered presentations from:

  • Mr. Granville Martin, Director of Regulatory Outreach, IFRS, who provided an update on the work being undertaken by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) towards developing sustainability reporting standards;
  • Ms. Lyn Provost, Chair of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board’s (IAASB) Sustainability Assurance Task Force, who provided an update on the work being undertaken by the IAASB towards developing sustainability assurance standards; and
  • Mr. David Madon, Director of Sustainability, Policy & Regulatory Affairs at IFAC, who briefed the IESBA on the findings of a limited research study conducted by IFAC on independence disclosures by consulting firms which performed sustainability assurance engagements in 2021 using ISAE 3000 (Revised).[1]

The IESBA then approved two new projects that will deliver the following:

(a)         Sustainability project:

  • Profession-agnostic independence standards for use by all sustainability assurance practitioners; and
  • Specific ethics provisions relevant to sustainability reporting and assurance.

(b)         Experts project:

  • Specific ethics and independence provisions addressing the use of experts by organizations as well as in the context of audit and assurance engagements (including sustainability assurance).

The IESBA agreed on the importance of obtaining input from a broad range of stakeholders, including sustainability assurance providers who are not professional accountants. In this regard, the IESBA agreed to conduct a series of four global roundtables to inform the development of the exposure drafts. The roundtables are planned for March and April 2023 and will cover Europe, Middle East and Africa; Asia; Oceania; and the Americas. Further details will be announced in January 2023.

In the meantime, the IESBA will also continue to coordinate its work closely with the IAASB, the ISSB, and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) with a view to achieving interoperable global standards for sustainability reporting and assurance.

The IESBA will discuss initial issues in the Sustainability and Experts projects at its March 2023 meeting.



[1]       International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised), Assurance Engagements Other Than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information

 

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