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.
Laurie Endsley, Chair, IESBA Vice Chair
Saadiya Adam, IESBA Member
Sanjiv Chaudhary, IESBA Member
Andrew Mintzer, IESBA Member
Luigi Nisoli, IESBA Member
IESBA December 2023 Meeting Highlights
The IESBA unanimously approved for exposure three proposed new sections to the Code addressing using the work of an external expert – proposed Section 390 for PAPPs, proposed Section 290 for PAIBs, and proposed Section 5390 for sustainability assurance practitioners.
The proposed sections establish an ethical framework to guide PAPPs, PAIBs or sustainability assurance practitioners, as applicable, in evaluating whether an external expert has the necessary competence, capabilities and objectivity to use the expert’s work for the intended purposes. The proposals also include provisions to guide a PAIB, PAPP or sustainability assurance practitioner, as applicable, in applying the Code’s conceptual framework when using the work of an external expert.
The development of the proposals was closely coordinated with the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB).
The Exposure Draft (ED) is expected to be issued by the end of January 2024 with a comment period of 90 days.