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IAASB issues exposure draft over auditor public interest drive

MOUNTING PRESSURE on auditors to perform their role in the public interest and provide a unified global approach when they unearth suspected illicit activity, has led the IAASB to issue an exposure draft.

The powerful regulator says amendments need to be made to its own international standards to enable auditors to operate in unison with the IESBA’s standards and avoid the confusion of operating in multiple jurisdictions that use both.

Arnold Schilder, IAASB chairman, said: “The IESBA’s exposure draft proposes a framework for professional accountants in deciding how best to act in the public interest when they come across an act or suspected act of non-compliance with laws and regulations, which will be highly relevant for auditors.

“The IAASB therefore believes that amendments are needed to the IAASB’s international standards in the public interest to enable them to operate in concert with the IESBA standards and without confusion due to the many jurisdictions that utilize both.”

The core thrust of the exposure draft – open for comment until 21 October – is the proposed amendments to the International Standard on Auditing 250, Consideration of Laws and Regulations in an Audit of Financial Statements, with less extensive changes proposed to seven other standards. The limited amendments, “do not explicitly duplicate in detail all the specific requirements in the IESBA Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants“, in order to “allow for flexibility when ethical codes other than the code are applied”.

The IAASB insists its proposals seek to “acknowledge the enhancements that will be made by the IESBA in the code and clarify and emphasise key aspects of the IESBA’s proposals in the IAASB’s international standards”.

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