New IESBA Code is Official!

Following years of hard work and forethought about enhancing the international Code, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) has released a completely restructured, strengthened and clarified Code, now titled International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards). Enhancements include: 

  • A design that facilitates navigation, use and enforcement
  • Requirements that are distinguished from the application materials
  • More focus on the fundamental principles underlying the Code
  • Better integration of the conceptual framework with the rest of the code
  • Stronger safeguards embedded in the conceptual framework

The Code has also changed substantively, with the following additions, clarifications, and changes included in the newly-issued Code: 

  • Guides the professional accountant on handling pressure to breach the rules of the code
  • More explicit guidance on preparing and presenting information in compliance with the code's fundamental principles and disassociating from misleading information
  • Factors to consider when assessing threats to independence caused by non-assurance services
  • Additional restrictions on certain recruiting services performed for financial statement audit or review clients
  • Clarification that accountants in public practice should consider all provisions in the code (e.g., as employees of their accounting firms)
  • New guidance linking the exercise of professional skepticism and judgment to the fundamental principles
  • Comprehensive guidance on noncompliance with laws and regulations (all professional accountants) and long association (accountants in public practice) 

Effective dates for applying the new Code are: 

  • Parts 1, 2 and 3 (fundamental principles (1) and ethics provisions applicable to accountants in business (2) and public practice (3), excluding independence) of the Code become effective on June 15, 2019
  • Part 4A (independence standard for performing audits and reviews) become effective for financial statement periods beginning on or after June 15, 2019
  • Part 4B (independence standards for performing other assurance engagements) become effective for engagements covering period beginning on or after June 15, 2019; and otherwise June 15, 2019

The IESBA has posted tools and resources to facilitate adoption of the new code, including Basis for Conclusion documents and a webinar. Staff Q+A publications, videos, fact sheets and PPT slide decks are coming soon. Click here for more information.