IESBA updates ethics handbook


The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants has released its 2021 Edition of the Handbook of the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, including International Independence Standards.

The latest edition, released Thursday, contains recently approved revisions to the Code, includes revisions to Part 4B of the ethics code to align terms and concepts used in the code with those in the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board’s International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised). Those revisions took effect in June.

IESBA has been updating its standards to respond to the challenges facing accountants in recent years. Outgoing IESBA chairman Stavros Thomadakis told Accounting Today in a podcast this week about some of those challenges. “Clearly ethics is a very difficult topic,” he said. “There are many challenges, and in order to do our work, we had to navigate many national differences, many rising public perceptions about the duties of accountants and changing circumstances. Crisis, scandals, failures — in short, a complex and dynamic global environment a global standard-setter has to operate within and reach the production of global operable standards.”

The revisions to Parts 1 and 2 of the ethics code aim to promote the role and mindset expected of professional accountants. Those revisions will take effect in December 2021, although IESBA is encouraging early adoption of them.

Approved revisions that are taking effect in December 2022 include revisions to the ethics code pertaining to the objectivity of an engagement quality reviewer and other appropriate reviewers; revisions to the non-assurance services provisions of the code; and revisions to the fee-related provisions of the code.

To access the 2021 edition of the IESBA Handbook, click here.

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