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  1. IFAC (the International Federation of Accountants) today calls upon G20 countries to pursue smart regulation, heightened transparency, and inclusive growth to rebuild trust in institutions and advance global economic progress. “Low levels of public trust threaten both economic and political stability,” said Fayezul Choudhury, IFAC CEO. “Leaders in government and business must work together to bolster good governance and collaborate for effective public policies that inspire confidence in the institutions supporting the global economy.” G20 countries play a crucial role in fostering institutions and governance models that can anticipate, respond to, and mitigate future crises. In advance of the 2018 G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, IFAC issues 10 actionable recommendations for G20 countries to support the global economy. Develop Smarter Regulation Regulation must effectively support the public interest through well-targeted conception, effective design and committed implementation. To achieve smarter regulation, G20 countries must: Develop and adopt consistent, comprehensive, and high-quality regulation Create a coherent, transparent global regulatory environment that limits divergence; and Implement internationally-accepted standards to enhance confidence and stability in the global financial system. Increase Transparency Robust transparency in the public and private sectors is key to earn public trust, fight corruption, encourage good governance and promote ethical business practices. To increase transparency in the global economy, G20 countries must: Strengthen governance in the public and private sectors Embrace integrated reporting Enhance public sector financial management; and Collaborate to tackle corruption. Enable Inclusive Growth The fruits of a growing global economy must be shared inclusively to inspire confidence in the future. To enable inclusive growth, G20 countries must: Foster an environment that supports small- and medium-sized entity growth Create a secure and digital-ready investment environment; and Collaborate for a coherent international tax system. About IFAC IFAC is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is comprised of more than 175 members and associates in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions, representing almost 3 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce. أضغط على الرابط لزيارة موقع الخبر
  2. Smart regulation, heightened transparency and inclusive growth are needed for global economic progress. These three priorities encapsulate the themes in the IFAC Call to Action ahead of the 2018 G20 Summit. G20 countries play a crucial role in fostering institutions and governance models that can anticipate, respond to, and mitigate future crises. With low levels of public trust threatening confidence in the institutions that support the global economy, IFAC's ten recommendations focus on rebuilding this trust. أضغط على الرابط لزيارة موقع الخبر
  3. The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) seeks public comment by March 15, 2019 on its Exposure Draft of proposed ISRS 4400 (Revised), Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements. Agreed-upon procedures (AUP) engagements are widely used in many jurisdictions and the demand for these engagements continues to grow. To ensure that the IAASB’s standard on AUP engagements remains relevant in the current business environment, the IAASB proposes to enhance key concepts in the standard, including: The role of professional judgment in an AUP engagement. Disclosures relating to the practitioner’s independence or lack thereof. Guidance on appropriate or inappropriate terminology to describe procedures and findings in AUP reports. The use of a practitioner’s expert in an AUP engagement. Restrictions on the distribution and use of the AUP report. أضغط على الرابط لزيارة موقع الخبر
  4. The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) seeks public comment by March 15, 2019 on its Exposure Draft of proposed ISRS 4400 (Revised), Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements. The demand for Agreed-upon procedures (AUP) engagements continues to grow across jurisdictions.Changes in regulation, such as the increase in audit exemption thresholds in many jurisdictions, have also driven increased demand for AUP engagements. This is especially relevant for smaller entities, as the increased audit exemption thresholds prompt stakeholders to look for alternative services to an audit. To ensure that the IAASB’s standard on AUP engagements remains relevant in the current business environment, the IAASB proposes to enhance key concepts in the standard, including: The role of professional judgment in an AUP engagement. Disclosures relating to the practitioner’s independence or lack thereof. Guidance on appropriate or inappropriate terminology to describe procedures and findings in AUP reports. The use of a practitioner’s expert in an AUP engagement. Restrictions on the distribution and use of the AUP report. In developing proposed ISRS 4400 (Revised), the IAASB has received significant stakeholder input, including feedback from its November 2016 Discussion Paper, Exploring the Demand for Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements and Other Services, and targeted continuing stakeholder outreach. About the IAASB The IAASB develops auditing and assurance standards and guidance for use by all professional accountants under a shared standard-setting process involving the Public Interest Oversight Board, which oversees the activities of the IAASB, and the IAASB Consultative Advisory Group, which provides public interest input into the development of the standards and guidance. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IAASB are facilitated by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). For copyright, trademark, and permissions information, please go to permissions or contact permissions@ifac.org. أضغط على الرابط لزيارة موقع الخبر
  5. At a critical moment of development and adoption of international public sector accounting standards, the Nominating Committee issues its Call for Nominations to join the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) for a term beginning in January 2020. Volunteers are central to the effective functioning of the IPSASB, through active participation in meetings, task forces and outreach activities. Experience The Nominating Committee is looking for candidates with the following background: Experience as public sector national standard setters; Preparers of accrual-based financial statements at both national and sub-national levels, including ministries of finance and treasury departments, and international organizations, especially those reporting directly or indirectly in accordance with IPSAS; and Users of general purpose financial reports, such as parliamentarians, budget offices, and credit-rating agencies. The Nominating Committee considers matters such as relevance of candidates’ professional backgrounds, technical skills, past and present contributions to the accountancy profession, and the ability to make a significant contribution to the matters and areas of emphasis in the IPSASB Strategy and Work Plan. The promotion of IPSAS is and will continue to be a key strategic focus; nominees are expected to be strong advocates of IPSAS and should be willing to make regular presentations in their regions every year. Additional Considerations Gender balance is extremely important and, therefore, nominations of qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged. Nominations of candidates from Latin America-Caribbean, Africa-Middle East, and Asia are particularly welcome. Time Commitment and Financial Requirements The minimum time requirement of an IPSASB member is approximately 48 days per year, excluding travel, with many members committing up to 70 days per year. This comprises approximately 18 days for physical attendance at Board and task force meetings and 30 days for preparation, teleconferences and outreach activities. Members are also strongly encouraged to attend the biannual meetings of the Consultative Advisory Group. Costs of attending IPSASB meetings are borne by the member or the member’s nominating organization. Funding is available for public members who do not have a sponsoring organization. There is additional financial support available to self-nominees and candidates nominated by qualifying organizations from developing nations. How to Submit Nominations Nominations can be submitted online from the date of the issue of this Call until February 15, 2019. Instructions on how to apply are available on the Nominating Committee’s webpage. About the IPSASB The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) works to strengthen public financial management globally through the development of accrual-based International Public Sector Accounting Standards® (IPSAS®) and other guidance for use by governments and other public sector entities. It receives support from the Asian Development Bank, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, the New Zealand External Reporting Board, and the governments of Canada and New Zealand. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IPSASB are facilitated by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). For copyright, trademark, and permissions information, please go to permissions or contact permissions@ifac.org. About the Public Interest Committee The governance and standard-setting activities of the IPSASB are overseen by the Public Interest Committee (PIC), to ensure that they follow due process and reflect the public interest. The PIC is comprised of individuals with expertise in public sector or financial reporting, and professional engagement in organizations that have an interest in promoting high-quality and internationally comparable financial information. أضغط على الرابط لزيارة موقع الخبر
  6. This Call for Nominations for the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board in 2020 is issued to key stakeholders and interested parties to invite their nominations for volunteer service on the global standard-setting board (SSB). Volunteers are central to the effective functioning of the IPSASB, through active participation in meetings, task forces and outreach activities. Instructions on how to submit a nomination are available on the Nominating Committee’s webpage. Nominations of new members and re-nominations of current members can be submitted online from the date of the issue of this Call until January 31, 2019. Nominations submitted after the deadline will be reviewed at the discretion of the Nominating Committee. To provide nominating organizations and nominees with some insight into the nomination process and the value of serving on the standard-setting boards, the following documents are available: Developing a Nominations Strategy and Giving Back to the Profession: The Value of Serving. أضغط على الرابط لزيارة موقع الخبر
  7. This report, capturing conversations and takeaways from the IFAC Professional Accountants in Business Committee meeting in September 2018, provides insight into finance function transformation, including opportunities and challenges facing the profession. Key topics covered include: CFO perspectives on the finance function journey The relationship between audit committees and the CFO/finance function Data analytics applications in business Data modeling beyond financial accounting and reporting The importance of authentic communications and professional ethics to enhance trust in business and accountants The latest thinking from the committee on a vision and roadmap for the future finance function أضغط على الرابط لزيارة موقع الخبر
  8. This Call for Nominations for the IFAC Board and Committees in 2020 sets out the upcoming opportunities for membership in 2020 on the IFAC Board and committees: IFAC Board; Professional Accountancy Organization Development Committee; Professional Accountants in Business Committee; Small and Medium Practices Committee; and Nominating Committee. Along with Developing a Nominations Strategy, the Call for Nominations assists IFAC Members by providing membership qualifications, including the required time commitment and performance expectations for volunteers, and strategic and practical guidance in identifying the most qualified candidate for each available position. It also provides background on the Nominating Committee’s selection process, including the objective of achieving an appropriate balance in the composition of the IFAC Board and each committee. أضغط على الرابط لزيارة موقع الخبر
  9. IFAC (International Federation of Accountants) seeks volunteers with a strong commitment to the public interest to contribute to the strength and vitality of accountancy globally and its future by serving on the IFAC board and committees. The Call for Nominations for the IFAC Board and Committees in 2020 details openings and requirements for successful nominations for membership on the IFAC Board and three IFAC committees— Professional Accountancy Organization Development, Professional Accountants in Business, and Small and Medium Practices Committees. The Nominating Committee encourages all IFAC members to review the Call for Nominations, including vacancy details and composition targets. Gender equality is especially important to the Nominating Committee to ensure balance; nominations of qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged. The companion guide offers strategic guidance in selecting candidates, including identifying the most qualified and diverse nominee for each available position to reflect the depth and breadth of the global accountancy profession. Nominations can be submitted online via the Nominations Database by February 15, 2019. Additional information on the Nominating Committee and its open, transparent selection process is available on the Nominating Committee web page. About IFAC IFAC is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is comprised of more than 175 members and associates in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions, representing almost 3 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce. أضغط على الرابط لزيارة موقع الخبر
  10. Published: Wed, 2018-11-14 Items: Perspectives on the Finance Function Journey Disable Login Requirement: 1 Tags: PAIB Publication Type: Guidance & Support Tools Issues, Insights & Interest Areas: Professional Accountants in Business Language: English Source: PAIB Committee This report, capturing conversations and takeaways from the IFAC Professional Accountants in Business Committee meeting in September 2018, provides insight into finance function transformation, including opportunities and challenges facing the profession. Key topics covered include: ED Status: أضغط على الرابط لزيارة موقع الخبر
  11. IFAC’s Vision and Purpose reflect IFAC’s aspirations for a dynamic, future-focused global profession. They, as well as our three Strategic Objectives, have been developed to be relevant well beyond this plan’s two-year timeframe. The strategy supports a more agile IFAC to cope with a rapidly changing environment, including the uncertainty created by the Monitoring Group’s review of international standard-setting arrangements and the fact that IFAC’s member revenues will likely decrease over the plan’s timeframe due to a stronger US dollar impacting the input data that is used to calculate membership dues. IFAC’s Strategic Actions are grouped under its three Strategic Objectives and leverage IFAC’s Unique Position. They will be regularly reviewed to ensure they are responsive to challenge and opportunity. The Strategic Plan concludes by defining success, providing our stakeholders with a view of our priorities and key targeted outcomes for the two-year period. أضغط على الرابط لزيارة موقع الخبر
  12. This resources provides an overview of the different types of data analytics and their applications to financial reporting and audit, as well as usage in business, to uncover valuable insights. أضغط على الرابط لزيارة موقع الخبر
  13. Greetings and thanks to Nicola Roxon, Channa Wijesinghe and APESB staff for their collaboration and the warm welcome they have prepared for the IESBA Team in Sydney. We are very pleased with the continuing close and productive relationship of APESB with IESBA. We are celebrating the good news – with which APESB has greeted us upon arrival – of the incorporation of the Restructured International Code of Ethics into the Australian ethical standards. This merits our sincere congratulations! Ladies and gentlemen, I think it appropriate, on this excellent occasion of Australian adoption of the International Code of Ethics, to share my thoughts with you about the essentials of the Code, its global positioning, and the challenges that both standard setters and users of the Code face for the present and future. A. Essentials of the Ethics Code The five fundamental principles of the Code of Ethics may appear self-evident but are hard to apply. A score of doubts, dilemmas, dubious loyalties and conflicting incentives may cloud their application. Independence for auditors, and integrity and objectivity for other professional accountants can frequently be difficult to achieve just on one’s own. Let us not overlook that it takes both personal courage and the support of others, colleagues, superiors, employing organizations to attain these noble objectives. The public interest, as an overarching objective of the activity of professional accountants, is also difficult to achieve given that it may be inconsistent, may even conflict, with private or corporate interests that need to be subdued. Again, achieving public interest outcomes is not always easy to do on one’s own. It also requires clarity, courage and support from others. These are the reasons why the International Ethics Code for Professional Accountants is not a document of only two pages, including the conceptual framework and the fundamental principles, but rather the current restructured Code of four parts, including a large number of topical sections that specialize the principles in a variety of circumstances and accountant roles. The Code is all about professional accountants’ responsibility. It makes clear that compliance with the fundamental principles is a primary duty of the professional accountant. The Code is centered around the ways in which professional judgment is exercised. It conceives of the professional accountant not as an individual who simply follows rules and ticks boxes. Compliance with the Code – and quality of service too by the way – requires active, perceptive and responsible individuals applying it. Yet, we must recognize that active, perceptive and responsible individuals are not self-sufficient or solo actors. They certainly need courage but they also need the support of other agents in their environment. This is something I will be coming back to. What I would like to present to you tonight is the perspective of IESBA on the broad issues that challenge the content and the spread of ethical practices of accountants in present and future. B. Global Positioning of the Code Before speaking of challenges however, let me share briefly my perspective on how the Code should be positioned and remain operable in the global environment. We think of a Code of professional ethics as a suite of principle-based standards that underpin proper behavior and support the good reputation of an international profession that is explicitly bound by its obligation to act in the public interest. We think of professional behavior bound by its public interest mission as being subject to public expectation and public criticism. In that regard, the Code must take into account public perceptions, especially with regard to the role of professional accountants as guardians of the credibility of economic measurement and reporting. We think of the profession as a global body whose behavior is based on ethical principles that can operate alongside national, institutional and cultural diversities, in the offering and conduct of professional accounting services. We believe the mission of the Code’s implementation is not to operate only as an instrument of exclusion of bad behaviors but also as one of motivation of good behaviors: HENCE: The Code seeks to elevate the ethical bar of the profession. The Code applies to large as well as small audit practices The Code applies to auditor as well as non-audit roles, e.g., professional accountants in business and in government. The Code applies to developed as well as developing and emerging markets and economies. In other words, we envision the Code as a highly integrated body of principles, standards and requirements aiming at the totality of behaviors of a Global Profession. The unity of the Code reflects the identity of the profession, the interrelationship of roles, and the integrity of the personality of the ethical professional. I must say that this view is not universally held. In some quarters, there is belief that the Code should be split into two bodies of standards, one including auditor independence, the other embracing the balance of professional roles and behaviors. We disagree with this view because we think it will make effective implementation uneven, complicated and risky, damaging the public interest. Finally, we understand the Code as a dynamic body of standards responsive to changing circumstances and new challenges, but anchored on a sound conceptual framework and stable fundamental principles, that form the Code’s anchor to ethical behavior. In that sense, the challenges I am talking about do not – at least at first pass – cast doubt on the general validity of the fundamental principles. But they do create questions about relevance and innovation of existing requirements and application material. In approaching what the major challenges will be in our view, I will categorize my remarks into three areas that will give ample reason to rethink and refurbish behavioral standards. These are: Shifting public expectations and regulation; pervasive technological change; and the interplay of globalization, integration and fragmentation in international practices. C1. Public Expectations, Public Interest, Regulation In my experience, as I am sure in yours, there is a continuous ebb and flow of challenges, questions and criticisms about the profession’s performance. These arise from misbehaviors, failures or unfulfilled public expectations that feed more demanding public reactions, more intense interventions to banish misbehavior via inspection mechanisms, more activist stances towards crisis prevention. A general tightening up is, of course, understandable and expected after a global financial crisis. And much of the resulting focus is placed on the financial sector itself, not only here in Australia but also worldwide, critical as that sector is for the functioning of national and global economies. Regulation that becomes more comprehensive has direct implications for the accounting profession, its stance and its social profile: commitment to the public interest, both in substance and appearance; adherence to policies of quality of service; and close and visible observance of fundamental principles of ethics are now more needed to elevate trust in the profession and respond to satisfy regulatory pressure. After all, the ebb and flow of misbehaviors and failures, as it continues, implies a constant focus on the profession’s role as guardian of the quality and objectivity of information. Professional firms are in charge of collecting, organizing and interpreting information to produce opinions. The business model of doing this needs to remain open to review and adjustment, not only because of technological developments that I will come to in a moment, but also because of public perceptions about reputation, objectivity, and credibility. I would say that a central place in the response to public and regulatory doubts about integrity, objectivity of information and credibility of opinions should be held by the acquisition and exercise of a critical mindset, akin to “professional skepticism,” by all accountants. Clearly then, the role of ethics becomes more and more central and should penetrate more deeply both into the corporate cultures and the organizational forms of the providers of audit and other accounting services. What do these circumstances imply for standard setters? Working even harder to make our conceptual framework and fundamental principles easy to understand and implement, while resisting the temptations of sliding down the slope of producing explicit prescriptive rules! That implies the need for clarity and relevance: Provision of new examples and guidance; awareness of the evolving regulatory, business and technological environment; underlining anew the need to comply both with the letter of detailed requirements and with the spirit of the conceptual framework. Those are the objectives that we aimed to achieve with the Restructured Code. And we will continue to aim at these in future, knowing full well that the success of the Code will depend on it. C2. Technological Revolution This is a very broad subject and I am sure many of you have been already exposed to its repercussions. I confess that we at IESBA are late starters on this, only now beginning to examine the topic, from an ethical perspective. Thankfully, there are many others who have already a track record on the issue of “technology and the profession,” so that we can profit from a voluminous body of work and reflection. The technological revolution around us is sometimes astounding and certainly comprehensive. Methods of gathering, storing and organizing information are revolutionized. Analytics with large bodies of data now perform algorithmic functions at great speed and lead to unprecedented richness of conclusions and understanding of variations and co-variations. These imply that the organization of production of services, the delivery methods, the coordination of collaborating entities will acquire new forms. Finally, necessary skills and capabilities will be greatly differentiated. From the perspective of the Code of Ethics, we must seek to distinguish truly new dilemmas from old problems with new wrappings. We must start off by looking at our fundamental principles, and risks and opportunities for their application in the new technological circumstances. It is clear that some of our fundamental principles will come to encompass new contents: for example, competence will embrace knowledge of multiple technological applications. Confidentiality will encompass data security. A deeper question has to do with the fundamental core of the Code: professional judgment. To what extent will judgment be relegated to algorithmic intelligence? What will skepticism mean vis-à-vis self-learning machines? What will be the necessary safeguards for independence in the light of sub-contracting agents who will put together different streams of analysis to be fed into an overall opinion? Not pretending I have answers to these questions, I am able to say that we are embarking on a process of collective reflection and thought, hoping that we will be able to spark dialogues around the globe about these issues. To achieve meaningful results, we must work closely with those who lead in the practice of new technologies and those who champion them. C3. Global Ethical Practice: Integration or Fragmentation? As standard setters, we have no direct power on adoption and implementation of standards by national jurisdictions. We do have a measure of indirect power, however, through the provision of standards that are amenable to global application and implementation. And we do spend a considerable portion of our resources to make the Code user-friendly and comprehensive; that was the essence of our project of Restructuring the Code. Adoption is a jurisdictional task, and the relevant decision-makers (national standard setters) may well decide to add on or modify specific code provisions relating to particular needs and experiences. In fact, the history of audit failures in each jurisdiction leaves its particular mark on ethical requirements. More stringent national provisions vis-à-vis the Code are common international practice. The Code itself is, in our thinking, a principles-based set of requirements that ensure a robust ethical culture but can be enriched by experience. I would call this “positive variation.” There is also negative variation in adoption: Jurisdictions that, rather than adding on, carve out pieces of the Code or choose not to adopt newer versions. However, by far the larger challenge is implementation. Implementation may lag, vary, misread the ethics code, or misinterpret its provisions. No doubt, the application of the Code – no matter how clear – may be stressful and costly. Lack of resources, risks of being penalized for “doing the right thing,” and self-interest are the frequent barriers to espousing ethical behavior. It may also happen that the peaks of the profession – say the large accounting firms – expend resources to implement the Code; but the periphery of the profession, say small audit practices, accountants in business, or other isolated practitioners are not even aware of ethics requirements. There is therefore an awareness problem and a resources problem that hinder broad and even implementation. To my mind, this defines one of the primary duties of professional accountancy organizations: to activate programs that raise awareness, to support education and compliance to member obligations, to put in place disciplinary mechanisms for unethical practice. The IESBA, as the international standard setter, plans to engage with IFAC on the design and execution of proper implementation support, leveraging IFAC’s relationship with its members to promote awareness and compliance. There is also an obverse side to the response to public expectations, the challenge I talked about, which relates to effective implementation. As the accounting profession gears up to respond to its public interest responsibilities, there should be symmetric actions by other agents to facilitate, strengthen and make more effective that response. Those could be non-accountant corporate and financial leaders, regulators, public officials and policymakers. They could all work up and abide to commensurate Codes of Ethics. They could also engineer institutions and policies to facilitate the exercise of accountants’ responsibilities. Let me use NOCLAR as an example. This is a standard that places a clear responsibility on professional accountants but needs the action of other agents in order to work. Corporate management and those charged with governance are involved. They must have not only an organizational capacity but also a corporate culture that discourages and discredits noncompliance. If there is to be disclosure, an appropriate public authority must exist; and that public authority must have the capacity to handle NOCLAR, after disclosure. Lastly, the institutional environment regarding protections of the discloser is also the work of government. Clearly then public expectations on accountants must be matched by expectations of meaningful cooperation from agents outside the accounting profession, in the private and public sector. This must become part of a program for action towards the general application of ethical rules in economic life, that can offer great improvement in implementation. In closing, I cannot but also comment on an emerging macro-challenge that is quite visible in our times: the rise of economic nationalism and the risk of dissolution of international agreements that support the global economic order. Let us not forget that standards make up a part of that order. We at IESBA are staunch internationalists. Not only are we a broadly diversified Board in terms of origin and culture, not only do we hold high respect for each other’s views and perspectives, but also we are exercising day after day our commitment to an international Code and its global ambitions. We believe that fundamental human values are universal and provide the foundation for ethical behavior. The same fundamental human values are the indispensable foundation for the broader world order and peaceful competition and cooperation. So, in the challenging circumstances of rising nationalism, we become even more staunch supporters of our global code of ethics, and even more determined to work to achieve its broad and beneficial implementation. Thank you very much. أضغط على الرابط لزيارة موقع الخبر
  14. Greetings and thanks to Nicola Roxon, Channa Wijesinghe and APESB staff for their collaboration and the warm welcome they have prepared for the IESBA Team in Sydney. We are very pleased with the continuing close and productive relationship of APESB with IESBA. We are celebrating the good news – with which APESB has greeted us upon arrival – of the incorporation of the Restructured International Code of Ethics into the Australian ethical standards. This merits our sincere congratulations! Ladies and gentlemen, I think it appropriate, on this excellent occasion of Australian adoption of the International Code of Ethics, to share my thoughts with you about the essentials of the Code, its global positioning, and the challenges that both standard setters and users of the Code face for the present and future. A. Essentials of the Ethics Code The five fundamental principles of the Code of Ethics may appear self-evident but are hard to apply. A score of doubts, dilemmas, dubious loyalties and conflicting incentives may cloud their application. Independence for auditors, and integrity and objectivity for other professional accountants can frequently be difficult to achieve just on one’s own. Let us not overlook that it takes both personal courage and the support of others, colleagues, superiors, employing organizations to attain these noble objectives. The public interest, as an overarching objective of the activity of professional accountants, is also difficult to achieve given that it may be inconsistent, may even conflict, with private or corporate interests that need to be subdued. Again, achieving public interest outcomes is not always easy to do on one’s own. It also requires clarity, courage and support from others. These are the reasons why the International Ethics Code for Professional Accountants is not a document of only two pages, including the conceptual framework and the fundamental principles, but rather the current restructured Code of four parts, including a large number of topical sections that specialize the principles in a variety of circumstances and accountant roles. The Code is all about professional accountants’ responsibility. It makes clear that compliance with the fundamental principles is a primary duty of the professional accountant. The Code is centered around the ways in which professional judgment is exercised. It conceives of the professional accountant not as an individual who simply follows rules and ticks boxes. Compliance with the Code – and quality of service too by the way – requires active, perceptive and responsible individuals applying it. Yet, we must recognize that active, perceptive and responsible individuals are not self-sufficient or solo actors. They certainly need courage but they also need the support of other agents in their environment. This is something I will be coming back to. What I would like to present to you tonight is the perspective of IESBA on the broad issues that challenge the content and the spread of ethical practices of accountants in present and future. B. Global Positioning of the Code Before speaking of challenges however, let me share briefly my perspective on how the Code should be positioned and remain operable in the global environment. We think of a Code of professional ethics as a suite of principle-based standards that underpin proper behavior and support the good reputation of an international profession that is explicitly bound by its obligation to act in the public interest. We think of professional behavior bound by its public interest mission as being subject to public expectation and public criticism. In that regard, the Code must take into account public perceptions, especially with regard to the role of professional accountants as guardians of the credibility of economic measurement and reporting. We think of the profession as a global body whose behavior is based on ethical principles that can operate alongside national, institutional and cultural diversities, in the offering and conduct of professional accounting services. We believe the mission of the Code’s implementation is not to operate only as an instrument of exclusion of bad behaviors but also as one of motivation of good behaviors: HENCE: The Code seeks to elevate the ethical bar of the profession. The Code applies to large as well as small audit practices The Code applies to auditor as well as non-audit roles, e.g., professional accountants in business and in government. The Code applies to developed as well as developing and emerging markets and economies. In other words, we envision the Code as a highly integrated body of principles, standards and requirements aiming at the totality of behaviors of a Global Profession. The unity of the Code reflects the identity of the profession, the interrelationship of roles, and the integrity of the personality of the ethical professional. I must say that this view is not universally held. In some quarters, there is belief that the Code should be split into two bodies of standards, one including auditor independence, the other embracing the balance of professional roles and behaviors. We disagree with this view because we think it will make effective implementation uneven, complicated and risky, damaging the public interest. Finally, we understand the Code as a dynamic body of standards responsive to changing circumstances and new challenges, but anchored on a sound conceptual framework and stable fundamental principles, that form the Code’s anchor to ethical behavior. In that sense, the challenges I am talking about do not – at least at first pass – cast doubt on the general validity of the fundamental principles. But they do create questions about relevance and innovation of existing requirements and application material. In approaching what the major challenges will be in our view, I will categorize my remarks into three areas that will give ample reason to rethink and refurbish behavioral standards. These are: Shifting public expectations and regulation; pervasive technological change; and the interplay of globalization, integration and fragmentation in international practices. C1. Public Expectations, Public Interest, Regulation In my experience, as I am sure in yours, there is a continuous ebb and flow of challenges, questions and criticisms about the profession’s performance. These arise from misbehaviors, failures or unfulfilled public expectations that feed more demanding public reactions, more intense interventions to banish misbehavior via inspection mechanisms, more activist stances towards crisis prevention. A general tightening up is, of course, understandable and expected after a global financial crisis. And much of the resulting focus is placed on the financial sector itself, not only here in Australia but also worldwide, critical as that sector is for the functioning of national and global economies. Regulation that becomes more comprehensive has direct implications for the accounting profession, its stance and its social profile: commitment to the public interest, both in substance and appearance; adherence to policies of quality of service; and close and visible observance of fundamental principles of ethics are now more needed to elevate trust in the profession and respond to satisfy regulatory pressure. After all, the ebb and flow of misbehaviors and failures, as it continues, implies a constant focus on the profession’s role as guardian of the quality and objectivity of information. Professional firms are in charge of collecting, organizing and interpreting information to produce opinions. The business model of doing this needs to remain open to review and adjustment, not only because of technological developments that I will come to in a moment, but also because of public perceptions about reputation, objectivity, and credibility. I would say that a central place in the response to public and regulatory doubts about integrity, objectivity of information and credibility of opinions should be held by the acquisition and exercise of a critical mindset, akin to “professional skepticism,” by all accountants. Clearly then, the role of ethics becomes more and more central and should penetrate more deeply both into the corporate cultures and the organizational forms of the providers of audit and other accounting services. What do these circumstances imply for standard setters? Working even harder to make our conceptual framework and fundamental principles easy to understand and implement, while resisting the temptations of sliding down the slope of producing explicit prescriptive rules! That implies the need for clarity and relevance: Provision of new examples and guidance; awareness of the evolving regulatory, business and technological environment; underlining anew the need to comply both with the letter of detailed requirements and with the spirit of the conceptual framework. Those are the objectives that we aimed to achieve with the Restructured Code. And we will continue to aim at these in future, knowing full well that the success of the Code will depend on it. C2. Technological Revolution This is a very broad subject and I am sure many of you have been already exposed to its repercussions. I confess that we at IESBA are late starters on this, only now beginning to examine the topic, from an ethical perspective. Thankfully, there are many others who have already a track record on the issue of “technology and the profession,” so that we can profit from a voluminous body of work and reflection. The technological revolution around us is sometimes astounding and certainly comprehensive. Methods of gathering, storing and organizing information are revolutionized. Analytics with large bodies of data now perform algorithmic functions at great speed and lead to unprecedented richness of conclusions and understanding of variations and co-variations. These imply that the organization of production of services, the delivery methods, the coordination of collaborating entities will acquire new forms. Finally, necessary skills and capabilities will be greatly differentiated. From the perspective of the Code of Ethics, we must seek to distinguish truly new dilemmas from old problems with new wrappings. We must start off by looking at our fundamental principles, and risks and opportunities for their application in the new technological circumstances. It is clear that some of our fundamental principles will come to encompass new contents: for example, competence will embrace knowledge of multiple technological applications. Confidentiality will encompass data security. A deeper question has to do with the fundamental core of the Code: professional judgment. To what extent will judgment be relegated to algorithmic intelligence? What will skepticism mean vis-à-vis self-learning machines? What will be the necessary safeguards for independence in the light of sub-contracting agents who will put together different streams of analysis to be fed into an overall opinion? Not pretending I have answers to these questions, I am able to say that we are embarking on a process of collective reflection and thought, hoping that we will be able to spark dialogues around the globe about these issues. To achieve meaningful results, we must work closely with those who lead in the practice of new technologies and those who champion them. C3. Global Ethical Practice: Integration or Fragmentation? As standard setters, we have no direct power on adoption and implementation of standards by national jurisdictions. We do have a measure of indirect power, however, through the provision of standards that are amenable to global application and implementation. And we do spend a considerable portion of our resources to make the Code user-friendly and comprehensive; that was the essence of our project of Restructuring the Code. Adoption is a jurisdictional task, and the relevant decision-makers (national standard setters) may well decide to add on or modify specific code provisions relating to particular needs and experiences. In fact, the history of audit failures in each jurisdiction leaves its particular mark on ethical requirements. More stringent national provisions vis-à-vis the Code are common international practice. The Code itself is, in our thinking, a principles-based set of requirements that ensure a robust ethical culture but can be enriched by experience. I would call this “positive variation.” There is also negative variation in adoption: Jurisdictions that, rather than adding on, carve out pieces of the Code or choose not to adopt newer versions. However, by far the larger challenge is implementation. Implementation may lag, vary, misread the ethics code, or misinterpret its provisions. No doubt, the application of the Code – no matter how clear – may be stressful and costly. Lack of resources, risks of being penalized for “doing the right thing,” and self-interest are the frequent barriers to espousing ethical behavior. It may also happen that the peaks of the profession – say the large accounting firms – expend resources to implement the Code; but the periphery of the profession, say small audit practices, accountants in business, or other isolated practitioners are not even aware of ethics requirements. There is therefore an awareness problem and a resources problem that hinder broad and even implementation. To my mind, this defines one of the primary duties of professional accountancy organizations: to activate programs that raise awareness, to support education and compliance to member obligations, to put in place disciplinary mechanisms for unethical practice. The IESBA, as the international standard setter, plans to engage with IFAC on the design and execution of proper implementation support, leveraging IFAC’s relationship with its members to promote awareness and compliance. There is also an obverse side to the response to public expectations, the challenge I talked about, which relates to effective implementation. As the accounting profession gears up to respond to its public interest responsibilities, there should be symmetric actions by other agents to facilitate, strengthen and make more effective that response. Those could be non-accountant corporate and financial leaders, regulators, public officials and policymakers. They could all work up and abide to commensurate Codes of Ethics. They could also engineer institutions and policies to facilitate the exercise of accountants’ responsibilities. Let me use NOCLAR as an example. This is a standard that places a clear responsibility on professional accountants but needs the action of other agents in order to work. Corporate management and those charged with governance are involved. They must have not only an organizational capacity but also a corporate culture that discourages and discredits noncompliance. If there is to be disclosure, an appropriate public authority must exist; and that public authority must have the capacity to handle NOCLAR, after disclosure. Lastly, the institutional environment regarding protections of the discloser is also the work of government. Clearly then public expectations on accountants must be matched by expectations of meaningful cooperation from agents outside the accounting profession, in the private and public sector. This must become part of a program for action towards the general application of ethical rules in economic life, that can offer great improvement in implementation. In closing, I cannot but also comment on an emerging macro-challenge that is quite visible in our times: the rise of economic nationalism and the risk of dissolution of international agreements that support the global economic order. Let us not forget that standards make up a part of that order. We at IESBA are staunch internationalists. Not only are we a broadly diversified Board in terms of origin and culture, not only do we hold high respect for each other’s views and perspectives, but also we are exercising day after day our commitment to an international Code and its global ambitions. We believe that fundamental human values are universal and provide the foundation for ethical behavior. The same fundamental human values are the indispensable foundation for the broader world order and peaceful competition and cooperation. So, in the challenging circumstances of rising nationalism, we become even more staunch supporters of our global code of ethics, and even more determined to work to achieve its broad and beneficial implementation. Thank you very much. أضغط على الرابط لزيارة موقع الخبر
  15. Visionary French accountancy leader, Mr. René Ricol, was today awarded the international accountancy professions’ highest honor, the IFAC Global Leadership Award in Honor of Robert Sempier. “René Ricol has served the global accountancy profession with distinction,” said IFAC’s immediate past President Rachel Grimes. “During his term as IFAC President, he was a passionate advocate for standard-setting in the public interest, initiating, with international regulators and standard setters, enhancements that led to the current arrangements for setting international audit and ethics standards and helping to create the shared public-private model we recognize and still strongly support today.” Mr. Ricol is a Chartered accountant, financial expert, and former expert of the court of last resort (Cour de Cassation). He was recognized as Grand Officer of the National Order of Merit and Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor in July 2011. He also received the Grand Cross Medal of the National Order of Merit in 2014. He joined IFAC’s Board in October 1997 and served as the IFAC President from November 2002 to November 2004. From 1994 to 1998, he was President of the Ordre des Experts Comptables and was President of the Compagnie Nationale des Commissaires aux Comptes from 1985 to 1989. Since 1991, he has served as President of the Observatoire National des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises. He is one of the founders and primary movers of the “Tous Pour l’Emploi” movement, set up with the help of professional associations and organizations to help businesses create jobs. In August 2005, the Prime Minister entrusted him with the mission to restructure the l'Agence Pour la Création d’Entreprises (APCE), where he led the adoption of a strategic plan and implementation of a new governance structure. Mr. Ricol was also Chairman of “France Investissement” (France Investment) set up by the government in partnership with private investors to accelerate the development of capital investment in France and increase available funds for small and medium sized companies. In 2008, he led the development of a report about the financial crisis for President Nicolas Sarkozy who subsequently said in an interview that all the decisions made by the G4, G5, G20 were proposed in this report. René Ricol was subsequently appointed as National Credit Mediator to support and help businesses facing financial issues. As General Commissioner for Public Investment from 2010 until 2012, he was in charge of the management of 35 billion euro of investments for the development of a future-oriented French economy. He initiated what would become the pact of responsibility and solidarity announced by François Hollande in December 2013. In September 2014, René Ricol was entrusted by the French President François Hollande with a mission related to retirement savings’ mobilization to support French economy. About the IFAC Global Leadership Award Established in 2017 by the IFAC Board, the IFAC Global Leadership Award in Honor of Robert Sempier recognizes individuals who make outstanding contributions to the global accountancy profession. The award honors the contributions of Robert Sempier, IFAC’s first executive director and replaces two past IFAC Awards—the Robert Sempier Award (established in 1991) and the IFAC International Gold Service (IGS) Award (established in 2010). About IFAC IFAC is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is comprised of more than 175 members and associates in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions, representing almost 3 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce. أضغط على الرابط لزيارة موقع الخبر
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