New Guidance for Auditors of Public Interest Entities
The Staff of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) today released a questions and answers (Q&As) publication to explain key revisions to the non-assurance services (NAS) provisions of the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards) (the Code). Together with the recently issued fee-related revisions to the Code, the NAS revisions significantly strengthen the International Independence Standards by addressing public interest concerns about independence when firms provide NAS to their audit clients. The development of the Q&As has been informed by the IESBA’s deliberations in the project to revise the NAS provisions and extensive consultations with a wide range of stakeholders, including regulators and audit oversight bodies, the investor and corporate governance communities, national standard setters, firms and professional accountancy organizations.
The publication complements the Basis for Conclusions for the final NAS pronouncement and is intended to assist national standards setters, professional accountancy organizations, and professional accountants in public practice as they adopt and/or implement the revised NAS provisions. The Q&As will also assist other stakeholders, including regulators and audit oversight bodies, those charged with governance, investors, preparers, and academics and other educators better understand the key changes to the NAS provisions of the Code. These changes include the new requirements and guidance that:
- Prohibit a firm or a network firm from providing a NAS that might create a self-review threat to an audit client that is a public interest entity.
- Explain how firms are to determine when a self-review threat to independence might be created, including in relation to providing advice and recommendations to an audit client.
- Are relevant in applying the Code’s conceptual framework to identify, evaluate, and address threats to independence that might be created when an audit firm provides a NAS to an audit client.
- Enable and promote more robust communication and engagement about independence matters relating to NAS between audit firms and those charged with governance of public interest entities.
The revised NAS provisions are effective for audits of financial statements for periods beginning on or after December 15, 2022.
Click here to access the revised NAS provisions, and the other recently approved changes to the Code.