The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) and International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) welcome today’s announcement from the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) of its support and encouragement for the IAASB’s and IESBA’s work on developing standards relating to assurance of sustainability-related information. The IAASB and IESBA acknowledge that stakeholders are increasingly seeking assurance of sustainability-related information and that it is important to respond to market demands with robust standards applicable to all sustainability assurance providers.
IAASB Chair Tom Seidenstein said: “There is a clear need for ongoing dialogue and collaboration to ensure sustainability reporting, assurance, and regulation develop in a cohesive manner to provide decision-useful information to stakeholders. We are pleased to have IOSCO’s support for our ongoing work to enhance sustainability assurance standards and look forward to continuing our strong, fruitful relationship with IOSCO and others.”
IESBA Chair Gabriela Figueiredo Dias said: “Ethics standards, including independence requirements, are foundational to public trust in the assurance of sustainability-related information. It is crucial and in the public interest that all assurance providers, whether or not they are from the accountancy profession, adhere to the same high bar of ethical behavior and independence when engaged in such assurance work. We have given high priority to bringing to market fit-for-purpose ethics and independence standards in this area and look forward to close coordination with IOSCO and IAASB on this journey.”
The IAASB meets this week to continue discussions and vote on its sustainability assurance project proposal to develop an overarching standard for assurance engagements on sustainability. The standard will provide a global baseline for all professional assurance providers providing assurance on any sustainability information being reported, if the preconditions necessary for effective assurance are met.
The IESBA meets this week to consider possible approaches to standard setting in relation to sustainability assurance and sustainability reporting, recognizing that professional accountants in business play a “first line of defense” role in preparing and presenting trustworthy sustainability information. The IESBA will also consider the applicability of its standards to assurance providers outside of the accountancy profession. The IESBA anticipates approving a project plan by December 2022.
The IAASB and IESBA will continue to closely collaborate with IOSCO and other regulatory and standard-setting bodies to inform the development of robust standards that foster independent, high-quality engagements and globally consistent practices.
About the IAASB
The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board 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. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IAASB are facilitated by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). For copyright, trademark, and permissions information, please go to permissions or contact email@example.com.
About the IESBA
The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) is an independent global standard-setting board. The IESBA serves 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 IESBA believes a single set of high-quality ethics standards enhances the quality and consistency of services provided by professional accountants, thus contributing to public trust and confidence in the accountancy profession. The IESBA sets its standards in the public interest with advice from the IESBA Consultative Advisory Group (CAG) and under the oversight of the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB).