IESBA revises assurance independence standards for international code of ethics

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The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants has released a set of revisions to the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, making some changes in the independence standards for assurance engagements, other than audit and review engagements.

The revisions to Part 4B of the code of ethics fulfill a commitment announced by IESBA in its five-year Strategy and Work Plan for 2019-2023 to review and change Part 4B to make its provisions consistent with the revised assurance terms and concepts in the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board’s International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised), Assurance Engagements Other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information. Both IESBA and the IAASB are affiliated with the International Federation of Accountants.

The main revisions, developed with the IAASB, include changes in key terminology, including a revised definition of the term “assurance client;” amendments to certain independence requirements in light of the revised assurance client definition; more clarity about the parties to an assurance engagement and their roles and responsibilities, and the related independence requirements that apply; along with a clearer distinction between the types of assurance engagement covered in Parts 4A (addressing independence for audit and review engagements) and 4B of the ethics code.

“It is in the public interest that Part 4B of the Code is consistent with ISAE 3000 (Revised), clear on the applicable independence requirements and, most importantly, sufficiently robust and practicable for assurance practitioners in the field,” said IESBA chairman Dr. Stavros Thomadakis in a statement Monday. “The successful completion of this project reflects the IESBA’s strong commitment towards enhanced communication and coordination with the IAASB, to better serve the needs of stakeholders in today’s global economy.”

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