The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) met virtually for the first time on March 16 - 18, 2020. The normally four-to-five day-long agenda was truncated to address matters of higher priority and included the following projects:
- Role & mindset project - The Board discussed the significant comments that came up during the comment process. It's anticipated that the Board will review a further amended draft for final adoption at the Board's June 2020 meeting.
- Engagement team / group auditor independence project - The Board discussed and then approved the project proposal.
- Technology project proposal - The Board discussed and then approved the project proposal.
- IESBA coordination with the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) - The Board discussed coordination efforts related the IAASB's ISQM (International Standard on Quality Management) nos. 1 and 2 projects.
- Definitions of Listed Entity and Public Interest Entity - The Board discussed the task force's preliminary views as to the proposed overall approach to clarify and enhance the definitions, listed entity and public interest entity (PIE) in the Code. A straw poll indicated that the Board was split (12:5) in support of an approach that would take a more flexible / less prescriptive approach to defining PIE. See Agenda Item 9B contains details about proposed approaches. There was general agreement that the PIE definition is relevant to audits and reviews of financial statements (Part 4A of the Code) but not to other assurance services (Part 4B).
The IESBA will hold meeting(s) via teleconference at to-be-determined date(s) to address the agenda items that the Board did not address in this meeting.
Otherwise, the next scheduled Board meeting will be held June 10-12, 2020. The original plan was for that meeting to be held in Toronto, CA, but Board Chair Stavros Thomadakis acknowledged that the meeting may be carried out virtually due to the continuing Corona Virus crisis.