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IESBA proposes guidance to address the objectivity of engagement quality reviewers

  • IESBA (International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants) (lt gray) Image

Jan 30, 2020

On January 30, 2020, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) released for public comment the Exposure Draft, "Proposed Revision to the Code Addressing the Objectivity of Engagement Quality Reviewers". The proposed limited-scope revision to the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards) (the Code) dovetails with the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board’s (IAASB’s) development of proposed International Standard on Quality Management (ISQM) 2, Engagement Quality Reviews. Comments are requested by March 16, 2020.

The Exposure Draft includes proposed guidance on the application of the conceptual framework in the Code to address the topic of the objectivity of an engagement quality reviewer (EQR), thereby supporting proposed ISQM 2 in addressing the matter of the eligibility of an individual to serve in an EQR role. In particular, the proposed guidance:

  • Explains the different types of threat to compliance with the fundamental principle of objectivity that might be created in circumstances where an individual is being considered for appointment as an EQR for a given engagement;
  • Sets out factors to consider in evaluating the level of the identified threats; and
  • Suggests actions that might be safeguards to address the threats.

The development of the proposal benefited from cooperation with the IAASB within the established coordination framework of the two Boards. The IESBA is proceeding on an accelerated time frame to finalize the proposal in order to align closely with the anticipated finalization of ISQM 2 within 2020.

Review the press release and Exposure Draft on the IESBA's website.

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