IAESB re-exposes proposals on audit engagement partner competence

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15 Dec, 2013

The International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) has published a revised exposure draft dealing with the professional competence of audit engagement partners. The revised exposure draft is a substantial revision of earlier proposals in response to constituent feedback.

The proposed International Education Standard IES 8 Professional Competence for Engagement Partners Responsible for Audits of Financial Statements, outlines learning outcomes for professional competence that professional accountants are required to demonstrate when performing the role of an engagement partner responsible for audits of financial statements.

The IES would require member bodies of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) to require professional accountants performing this role to undertake continuing professional development (CPD) that maintains and further develops the professional competence required. The exposure draft includes a table of learning outcomes in various competence areas, including technical competence, professional skills and professional values, ethics and attitudes.

In developing the revised exposure draft, the IAESB responded to 'mixed' constituent feedback on an earlier exposure draft published in August 2012, with saw clarifications being sought in a number of areas:

  • improving the clarity of the title, objective, and scope paragraphs to ensure that there is focus on professional competence
  • focusing the requirement on learning outcomes related to the professional competence required of engagement partners responsible for audits of financial statements
  • improving the clarity of the explanatory material by delineating the scope, explaining the concepts of learning outcomes and competence areas, and discussing the importance of applying professional scepticism in assessing audit evidence and exercising professional judgement when determining an appropriate audit strategy
  • amending the explanatory material related to engagement partners of small and medium practices to emphasise the relevance of CPD even though they may undertake a much wider range of tasks in performing the audit than would otherwise be the case.

The proposals are accompanied by an explanatory supplement to demonstrate how the text of the existing IES 8 maps to the proposed IES 8, and a marked up version of the August 2012 exposure draft showing changes made in developing the current exposure draft.

Comments on the proposals close on 17 April 2014 and the IAESB intends to finalise the revised standard by the end of 2014. Click for (links to IFAC website):

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