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IESBA Unveils 4-year Strategic Roadmap Putting Ethics at the Heart of Corporate Decision-Making

Apr 11, 2024 | New York, NY | English

Expansion of IESBA activity to address culture and governance at accounting firms

Exploration of increased scope and applicability of the IESBA Code to all individuals who perform the same activities as professional accountants

New workstream to address the evolving role of the CFO in protecting the integrity of financial and non-financial information.

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) today announced the publication of its Strategy and Work Plan for 2024-2027 (SWP), titled Towards a More Sustainable Future: Advancing the Centrality of Ethics. The SWP sets out the IESBA's vision and strategic goals and actions, underpinning its ambition to put the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards) at the heart of business and organizations.

"Putting ethics at the center of every business judgment and decision is the surest way to earn, restore and strengthen public trust in all that an organization does. The external landscape continues to evolve, presenting new dynamics and challenges, but good ethical behavior acts as a constant amidst the uncertainty. It is about integrity, expected behaviors and mindset, and making the right decision,” said Gabriela Figueiredo Dias, IESBA Chair. “Our new strategic plan reflects the IESBA’s unwavering determination to face the external environment head-on, broaden the reach and scope of our work, and set the highest standards of ethical conduct for professional accountants and others who play a role, large or small, in the financial and non-financial information supply chain. That is how our work, vision and ambition support the proper functioning and sustainability of organizations, financial markets and economies worldwide in the public interest."

Within the SWP, the IESBA has identified two high-priority strategic areas of focus, namely:

  • Accounting firm culture and governance, which seeks to identify potential actions the IESBA might take within or outside the Code to respond to the persistent high-profile cases of unethical behavior in accounting firms.
  • Exploring the opportunity to extend the impact of the Code beyond the accountancy profession to a wider array of individuals who perform similar work as professional accountants, building on its current project to develop profession-agnostic ethics, including independence, standards for all sustainability assurance practitioners. Among other matters, this will include a new workstream to explore expanding the scope and applicability of the Code beyond professional accountants to all preparers of sustainability information.

Other key highlights of the SWP include:

  • New initiatives to explore ethical considerations relating to the evolving role of CFOs and other senior professional accountants in business, and independence considerations relating to business relationships between firms and their audit clients.
  • A commitment to conduct a series of post-implementation reviews for significant ethics, including independence, standards the IESBA issued in recent years.
  • Ongoing monitoring of the rapidly changing landscape of technological transformations and their impact on the professional activities and services performed by professional accountants and others, with a view to determining the need for any further standard-setting or other actions the IESBA might take in the public interest.
  • A commitment to close coordination with the IESBA’s sister Board, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), and to fostering collaborative relationships with other standard-setters to ensure standards interoperability.

The SWP represents the culmination of careful assessment of market developments and thoughtful consideration of stakeholder feedback from the IESBA’s extensive outreach and consultation activities over a two-year period.

In developing its SWP, the IESBA engaged closely with IAASB, which today also issued its Strategy and Work Plan 2024-2027, Advancing Public Trust and Strengthening Global Audit and Assurance.


The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants serves the public interest by setting high-quality ethics standards, including independence requirements, as a cornerstone to ethical behavior in business and organizations, and to public trust in financial and non-financial information that is fundamental to the proper functioning and sustainability of organizations, financial markets and economies worldwide.

Along with the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (“IAASB”), the IESBA is part of the International Foundation for Ethics and Audit (“IFEA”). The Public Interest Oversight Board (“PIOB”) oversees IESBA and IAASB activities and the public interest responsiveness of the standards.