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New Education Standards Focus on Enhancing Accountancy's Technology and Skepticism Skills

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The International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) today released four revised International Education Standards (IESs) addressing learning and development for information and communications technologies (ICT) and professional skepticism. As market expectation increases for ICT skills and professional skepticism, these standards were developed to address the competencies, skills, and behaviors for both aspiring and professional accountants in these critical areas.

“These revised standards support the continued enhancement of quality financial reporting as the disruptive potential for ICT increases and the importance of demonstrating professional skepticism is heightened.” said IAESB Chair Anne-Marie Vitale.

The revised education standards include newly added and revised ICT and professional skepticism learning outcomes that:

  • Improve the relevance and quality of professional accounting education offered by professional accountancy organizations (PAOs), including IFAC member organizations;
  • Identify learning and development activities that enhance the professional competence of aspiring and current professional accountants; and
  • Support the accounting profession in its provision of high-quality financial reporting, auditing, or other related financial and accounting services in the digital age.

The revised education standards should be incorporated into the educational requirements for IFAC membership organizations. They are also relevant for stakeholders interested in professional accountants’ learning and development, such as public accounting firms, regulators, and employers.

The IAESB has also developed support materials to assist PAOs in developing curricula for ICT, professional accountants in business, and public sector accountancy programs.

About the IAESB
The IAESB develops education standards, guidance, and information papers for use by IFAC member organizations under a shared standard-setting process involving the Public Interest Oversight Board, which oversees the activities of the IAESB, and the IAESB 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 IAESB are facilitated by IFAC.

In 2018, IFAC and the IAESB developed a plan for a new path forward for advancing accounting education at the global level. With the conclusion of the IAESB’s work plan in 2019, this new approach, which is designed—as part of a broader mandate—to maintain and reinforce the authority of the International Education Standards, is being implemented and the IAESB and its consultative advisory group have ceased operation.

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.


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