Ethics Board Consults on Future Strategy and Work Plan

Dec 17, 2013 | New York, New York | English

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA, the Ethics Board) today released for public consultation its Proposed Strategy and Work Plan, 2014-2018. The proposed Strategy and Work Plan builds on the strong base established by the revised Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (the Code) issued in July 2009, which clarified requirements for all professional accountants and significantly strengthened independence requirements for auditors.

The Consultation Paper was developed with input from a survey conducted earlier this year and other consultative activities. It lays out four proposed strategic themes to reflect the Ethics Board’s vision for the medium to longer term and to guide its work plan over the five-year period: maintaining a high-quality Code for application by professional accountants globally; promoting and facilitating the adoption and effective implementation of the Code; evolving the Code for continued relevance in a changing global environment; and increasing engagement and cooperation with key stakeholders.

“The board’s mandate is to develop high-quality ethics standards for the profession worldwide. Therefore, the board’s primary strategic priority should be to ensure that the Code continues to be a robust set of standards in the public interest,” said Jörgen Holmquist, chair of the Ethics Board. “The board also recognizes the strategic importance of advancing adoption and effective implementation of the Code to further contribute to public trust and confidence in the profession, and of broadening and deepening stakeholder engagement as an essential ingredient to the quality of its standards and their global acceptance. It is critical that the board hears from stakeholders as to whether the actions and activities it is proposing to prioritize appropriately support these objectives.”

The Consultation Paper includes four work streams that the Ethics Board agreed to pursue in early 2012 in response to a strategic review of external developments: a review of the Code provisions addressing long association of senior personnel with an audit client, and non-assurance services, both with respect to independence;  a review of the structure of the Code with a view to enhancing its usability and accessibility; and a review of Part C of the Code addressing professional accountants in business.

“The proposed Strategy and Work Plan reflects the Ethics Board’s goal of further reinforcing and promoting the Code as a leading set of ethics standards for the global profession,” noted IESBA Technical Director Ken Siong, adding, “Ultimately, this consultation aims to ensure that the board’s proposed strategic priorities are aligned with the needs of its stakeholders and that it is best utilizing and directing its resources to achieve its objectives.”

How to Comment
The Ethics Board invites all those with an interest in international ethics standards for the accountancy profession to respond to the Consultation Paper, which includes specific questions to guide responses. To access the Consultation Paper and submit a comment, please visit the Ethics Board website at Comments are requested by February 28, 2014. The Ethics Board encourages national and regional professional accountancy organizations to share the Consultation Paper with and encourage participation from their members and employees.

About the IESBA
The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) is an independent standard-setting board that develops and issues, in the public interest, high-quality ethical standards and other pronouncements for professional accountants worldwide. Through its activities, the IESBA develops the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, which establishes ethical requirements for professional accountants. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IESBA are facilitated by IFAC. Please visit for more information.

About IFAC
IFAC is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is comprised of 179 members and associates in 130 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.


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