We have responded to the IESBA’s consultation paper on professional skepticism – meeting public expectations.
Accountancy Europe recognises that there is pressure from certain stakeholders for the Code to better reflect what the public expects of a professional accountant.
To address these concerns, we believe that the most appropriate response from IESBA is to insert additional application material into the restructured Code. We believe new content should be inserted in the Code to highlight what is expected of the professional accountant, including their public interest responsibilities. We think that IESBA should not develop a new term and new definition, but develop on the term and core principle of ‘Integrity’ by adding new application material on this topic.
Additionally, consideration should be given to reviewing the application material that supports the fundamental principles to see whether this needs to be strengthened to better emphasise the expected behavioural characteristics.
Accountancy Europe believes it is important that IESBA continues to co-ordinate its activities on this initiative with both IAASB and IAESB. In relation to IAESB it is essential that the education standards properly reflect any changes made. Any changes to the Code will not of themselves achieve the desired outcomes. Stakeholders such as professional bodies, firms, etc., all need to ensure that they continue to play their part in ensuring that training in the required behavioural characteristics expected of a professional accountant is provided to all those joining the profession.