IAASB to Collaborate with World Sustainability Organisation

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has entered into a collaboration with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to strengthen international assurance standards on sustainability reporting.

The objective of the collaboration is incorporate sustainability reporting within mainstream reporting. The collaborators also want to ensure that external reporting follows the applicable IAASB international assurance standards (or their national equivalents).

The organisations expect that the collaboration will assist in the creation of greater alignment across reporting frameworks and build both trust and confidence in sustainability reporting. Assurance of sustainability information is a frequently repeated source of concern for preparers, assurance providers and investors. Assurance is important in building confidence in sustainability information to make the information relevant and decision-useful.

Further information about the collaboration and Initiative is available on this link. http://www.wbcsd.org/Projects/Reporting/News/IAASB-and-WBCSDs-New-Collaboration-leads-to-further-Sustainability-and-Integrated-Reporting

Monitoring Group Consults on Reforming Global Audit Standard-Setting  

In November, the Monitoring Group, a collaboration of international financial institutions and regulatory bodies, including the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO), the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the European Commission, and the Financial Stability Board (FSB), among others, released a consultation paper discussing options for enhancing the international audit standard-setting process. The comment due date is 9 February 2018.

The consultation paper, Strengthening the Governance and Oversight of The International Audit-Related Standard-Setting Boards in the Public Interest (Consultation Paper), seeks stakeholder views on safeguarding the independence of the standard-setting process and its responsiveness to the public interest.

In developing the Consultation Paper and options for enhancing the standard-setting process, the Monitoring Group identified key principles that should be the focus of standard-setters. These include: the public interest, independence, credibility, cost effectiveness, relevance, transparency and accountability.

The current standard-setters include the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA), and the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB). These boards currently develop international standards for audit and assurance, ethics, and education, subject to oversight by the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB).

Although numerous jurisdictions have adopted the standards of these boards, the Monitoring Group reports concerns regarding the independence of the standard-setting process from the accounting profession and its responsiveness to the public interest. The Monitoring Group is interested in ‘developing a framework which will provide a mechanism for assessing how the public interest is captured throughout the standard-setting process’.

The Consultation Paper discusses a number of options, including changes to:

  • The number of standard setting boards
  • Board composition
  • The boards’ strategic focus
  • The geographical balance and remit of the boards
  • The nomination process for board members
  • The currently applicable oversight arrangements.

The Consultation Paper is available on this link. https://www.ifiar.org/latest-news/monitoring-group-consultation-paper/   

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