COVID-19: Ethics & Independence Considerations

During the COVID-19 pandemic professional accountants must continue to comply with the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, (including International Independence Standards). This webpage compiles resources that may be useful to assist our stakeholders in navigating some of the challenges ahead.


Message from the IESBA Chairman, Dr. Stavros Thomadakis

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to profoundly impact our global financial system. Disruption of production, loss of business and employment, financial distress are becoming economic landmarks of the pandemic and, while revitalization and growth will surely follow the present economic malaise, the near-term challenges are never-ending.

Professional accountants must now, more than ever, remain focused on the public interest and their ethical responsibilities. Truthful financial reporting and independent auditing have a large role to play in managing outcomes of, and exit from, the sudden calamity.

Professional accountants are advantaged by having a highly developed, clear and well-structured international Code of Ethics guiding judgment and behavior. The application of this Code is key to preservation and expansion of trust.

In response to the pandemic, the IESBA has transitioned to fully digital platforms to execute day-to-day work, plenary meetings and stakeholder outreach. Working closely with the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, the IESBA is coordinating its COVID-19 response with the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB), regulatory authorities, national standard setters, and other stakeholders. We will remain close to the voices of all our stakeholders through this crisis, that is testing and changing all of us.


Extension of Comment Deadlines

To provide stakeholders who are experiencing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic additional time to comment, the IESBA has extended the comment period for its Non-Assurance Services and Fees Exposure Drafts. The new comment deadline is June 4, 2020.


Staff Question & Answers

To help our stakeholders navigate ethics and independence issues that might arise during the COVID-19 pandemic, the IESBA Staff has released the following Staff Q&As.


Thank you for your interest in our publications. These valuable works are the product of substantial time, effort and resources, which you acknowledge by accepting the following terms of use. You may not reproduce, store, transmit in any form or by any means, with the exception of non-commercial use (e.g., professional and personal reference and research work), translate, modify or create derivative works or adaptations based on such publications, or any part thereof, without the prior written permission of IFAC.

Our reproduction and translation policies, as well as our online permission request and inquiry system, are accessible on the Permissions Information web page.

For additional information, please read our website Terms of Use. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.