IESBA proposes changes to code of ethics for accountants

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The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants proposed some changes Wednesday to the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants to improve the mindset expected of accountants.

The exposure draft, Proposed Revisions to Promote the Role and Mindset Expected of Professional Accountants, comes in response to calls from different stakeholders asking the Ethics Board to explore whether and how the code of ethics can contribute to strengthening professional skepticism.

The proposals include a discussion of professional accountants’ wide-ranging role in society and the relationship between compliance with the code of ethics and an accountant’s responsibility to act in the public interest. They also include enhancements to the robustness of the fundamental principles of integrity, objectivity and professional behavior, and strengthen the code of ethics by requiring accountants to have an inquiring mind when applying the conceptual framework. The proposals also highlight the importance of being aware of bias and having an appropriate organizational culture.

The proposals were developed in coordination with the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and the International Accounting Education Standards Board. IESBA and the other standards boards are affiliated with the International Federation of Accountants, whose member bodies in the U.S. include the American Institute of CPAs and the Institute of Management Accountants.

The IESBA is asking for comments on the exposure draft to be submitted via its website by Oct. 31. The Ethics Board plans to host a webinar in September to provide an overview of the proposed revisions. Follow the IESBA on Twitter (@Ethics_Board) for updates on how to register for this event.

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Corporate ethics Accounting standards International accounting IESBA IFAC