Earlier today, the Staff of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) and the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) jointly released the publication, Using Specialists in the COVID-19 Environment: Including Considerations for Involving Specialists in Audits of Financial Statements.
The publication provides guidance to assist professional accountants in business and in public practice determine when there might be a need to use the services of a specialist to assist in performing specific tasks and other professional activities within their employing organizations, and in serving their clients in the COVID-19 environment. The publication also highlights relevant ethical considerations for accountants when thinking about using a specialist, as well as circumstances that indicate a need for a specialist during an audit of financial statements.
The publication was developed by the Staff of the AICPA under the auspices of a Working Group formed by the IESBA and national ethics standard setters (NSS) from Australia, Canada, China, South Africa, the UK and the US. Chaired by Mr. Richard Fleck, IESBA Deputy Chair, the Working Group’s mandate is to develop implementation support resources to assist accountants effectively apply the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards) when facing circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The publication benefited from input from IESBA and IAASB Staff.
The publication can be found on the IESBA’s and IAASB’s COVID-19 resource pages. The Working Group has committed to developing additional COVID-19 guidance in the coming weeks.
About the IESBA-NSS Working Group
The Working Group organizations comprise: APESB (Australia); Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada; the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants; the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (South Africa); the UK Financial Reporting Council; and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (US).
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the accounting profession. The AICPA’s history of serving the public interest stretches back to 1887. Today, you’ll find 431,000+ members in 130 countries and territories, representing many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting.
The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) is an independent global standard-setting board. The IESBA’s mission is to serve the public interest by setting ethics standards, including auditor independence requirements, which seek to raise the bar for ethical conduct and practice for all professional accountants through a robust, globally operable International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards) (the Code).
The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) develops auditing and assurance standards and guidance for use by all professional accountants under a shared standard-setting process involving the Public Interest Oversight Board, which oversees the activities of the IAASB, and the IAASB Consultative Advisory Group, which provides public interest input into the development of the standards and guidance.