IFAC May-June News & Highlights

Friday, 4 June 2021 - 1:45pm

I hope that you are all well and in the best of health.

Below, I have compiled a list of news and resources that I would like to direct to your attention for the May-June period.

Please don’t hesitate to ask for more information on a specific topic or provide feedback on the relevancy of these types of communications. A reminder that all materials from IFAC can be translated and reproduced by submitting a request to our database here and you can always subscribe to The Latest here.

 

Highlights

·       IFAC’s Events Page! Please save for your continuous reference IFAC’s new events page. The Events page will feature free events held by IFAC, the independent standard-setting boards, IFAC member organizations, and the Forum of Firms. If you have an upcoming event you would like included on the Events page, please e-mail me.

o   IFAC invites all individuals and organizations to join our authentic and empathetic panel discussion in support of Mental Wellness on June 8, 2021learn more & register here.

o   An upcoming event being hosted by MOSAIC partners – World Bank, Gavi, and the Global Fund: COVID-19 Response: Vaccine, Finances, Risks, and Innovation on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 9:00–11:00 AM EST. Target audience is public sector accountants.   

·       The Latest on Sustainability Reporting— IFAC Encourages A Building Blocks Approach for Reporting Sustainability-Related Information; a Letter from Kevin Dancey to IFAC members; and IFAC’s dedicated Sustainability Standards webpage

·       Groundbreakers: Gen Z and the Future of Accountancy— This joint report from ACCA and IFAC draws upon the responses of 9,000+ 18-25 year-olds to gain insights into how Generation Z’s top concerns may influence what they want from their careers, what attracts them to organizations, and their views on accountancy, business, and the impact of COVID-19.

·       The Professional Accountant's Role in Data— As economies digitize, organizations of all sizes across sectors face enormous disruption and opportunity. Professional accountants must expand their approach to include both structured and unstructured datasets to support organizations in making insight-driven decisions. The Professional Accountant’s Role in Data, a joint report released by IFAC and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), outlines a data management value chain and explores four key roles professional accountants can occupy within it: Data Engineer, Data Controller, Data Scientist, and Strategic Advisor.

·       IFAC’s Points of View Now Available in Arabic, French, Russian, and Spanish— IFAC's Points of View show where we stand–as the voice of the global accountancy profession–on key policy issues impacting the profession and society. They represent IFAC's official position on the topic. IFAC has issued Points of View on audit quality, anti-corruption, climate action, corporate reporting, and more.

·       Recordings from IFAC’s 2021 Chief Executives’ Forum session PAO Transformation & Evolution: Our Journey Together Now Available on YouTube —For IFAC and its member organizations, which have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the relevance and sustainability of our member organizations is a critical and timely issue.

·       Quality Management Standards: Visit IAASB’s dedicated webpage to the new and approved Quality Management standards – effective December 15, 2022.

o   Upcoming Webinar Series on Quality Management presented by IFAC & IAASB: June 24, July 29, August 5, August 18. The webinars, available via Zoom and IAASB’s YouTube channel, will take a deep dive into aspects of the IAASB’s International Standard on Quality Management 1.

Webinar One: All You Need to Know about the Firm’s Risk Assessment Process

·       June 24, 11 am–12 pm GMT

·       Featuring IAASB members Julie Corden and Chun Wee Chiew and IAASB Deputy Director Natalie Klonaridis

·       Register Now

Webinar Two: Resources: Expectations for Firms and Engagement Partners

·       July 29, 11 am–12 pm GMT

·       Featuring IAASB members Josephine Jackson and Sue Almond and IAASB Deputy Director Natalie Klonaridis

·       Discussion will include the linkage between ISQM 1 and  International Standard on Auditing 220 (Revised), Quality Management for an Audit of Financial Statements

·       Register Now

Webinar Three: What’s New for Firms’ Monitoring and Remediation Processes

·       August 5, 11 am–12 pm GMT

·       Featuring IAASB member Chun Wee Chiew,  IAASB technical advisor Denise Weber, and IAASB Deputy Director Natalie Klonaridis

·       Register Now

Webinar Four: Bringing it All Together: Exploring all the Components of a Quality Management System

·       August 18, 11 am–12 pm GMT

·       Featuring IAASB members Julie Corden and Sachiko Kai and IAASB Deputy Director Natalie Klonaridis

·       Register Now

·       New IESBA Measures to Strengthen Auditor Independence: IESBA released revisions to the Non-Assurance Services (NAS) and fee-related provisions of the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards) (the Code). The revised NAS and fee-related provisions significantly strengthen the guardrails around auditor independence in two important areas that have the potential to create incentives influencing auditor behavior—non-assurance services provided to audit clients and fees. The revised NAS and fee-related provisions become effective for audits of financial statements for periods beginning on or after December 15, 2022. Early adoption is permitted and encouraged—visit the dedicated webpage here.

o   The IESBA is hosting two webinars, one on NAS and one on fees for individuals and organizations to discuss the revisions and what they mean for the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants – we encourage PAOs to share among their members and encourage attendance!

o   Wednesday, June 16, 7 AM EST – Fees Webinar – featuring Mr. Ian McPhee, IESBA Member and Fees Task Force Chair and Ms. Caroline Lee, IESBA Deputy Chair and Fees Task Force Member

 

New! On the IFAC Gateway & Implementation Support:

·       Rethinking the Value of Used Parts – The Accounting and Financial Management Implications — A new white paper is providing a starting point for establishing a trusted methodology to evaluate the financial value of used parts in the balance sheet. A working group led by Circular Economy Solutions GmbH has developed a cross-industry accepted evaluation methods of used parts to improve the access to finance for circular businesses handling used parts.

·       Ethical Leadership in an Era of Complexity and Digital Change: Event Highlights — This article provides a synopsis of an event held February 2, 2021 in collaboration with CPA Canada and ICAS. Interested readers are directed to the time-stamped event recording to watch the spark sessions and breakout discussion debriefs.

·       How Islamic Finance Can Facilitate Public Finance Recovery & Growth— Today, more than ever, governments need to fund growth without resorting to excessive debt, the risk of inflation, and the impacts of devaluing currency. What options are there? The answer may lie in the tenets of Islamic Finance whereby IFRS Standards can be applied to Islamic financial transactions.

·       Data and the Future-Fit Accountant— Building accountants’ data capabilities is the key to unlocking their future relevance. The various case studies heard at IFAC’s Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Advisory Group on the rapidly changing role of finance functions all show how finance and accounting professionals have elevated their contribution as business partners through bringing data-driven insights to the decision-making table. 

·       5 Ethics Challenges that Will Intensify as the Pandemic Wanes— A working group formed by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) and national ethics standard setters (NSS) from Australia, Canada, China, South Africa, the UK and the US has released an article, looking at the key ethical issues that lie ahead for professional accountants as the COVID-19 pandemic moves into the next phase. This article revisits many of the topics the working group cited previously as ethical challenges brought on by the pandemic and provides updated context and insights to help the professional accountant navigate a continually evolving economic and societal recovery.

·       PAO Digital Readiness: Explore IFAC’s PAO Digital Transformation Series webpage which is regularly updated with additional articles, videos, and resources!

o   Frequently asked questions on the Tool are available in English, French, and Spanish

·       cloudThing articles offering more insight into the pillars of the PAO Digital Readiness Assessment Tool are available on the IFAC Gateway:

o   Culture & Capability;

o   Vision & Strategy;

o   Business Systems & Automation;

o   Talent Management;

o   Product & Service Developing;

o   Sales & Marketing;

o   Driving Digital Engagement Amongst Members;

o   Digitally-led Learning & Qualifications; and

o   Governance & Digital Transformation

·       *Special Offer for IFAC Members Only! A new, updated, customizable brochure for IFAC member organizations ONLY, Choosing the Right Service: Comparing Audit, Review, Compilation, and Agreed-Upon Procedures Services, is here! Learn more about your PAO can host and co-brand customizable version for your members. Email ChristopherArnold@ifac.org if your organization uses the brochure or has questions.

 

Did you know you can observe the independent standard-setting board meetings via YouTube? IAASB | IESBA | IPSASB

Ethics

·       INDEPENDENCE BEYOND RULES: FARSIGHTED APPROACHES TO GLOBAL CHALLENGES; A SPEECH BY DR. STAVROS THOMADAKIS to the British Accounting and Finance Association's Audit and Assurance Conference

·       New IESBA Measures to Strengthen Auditor Independence: IESBA released revisions to the Non-Assurance Services (NAS) and fee-related provisions of the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards) (the Code). The revised NAS and fee-related provisions significantly strengthen the guardrails around auditor independence in two important areas that have the potential to create incentives influencing auditor behavior—non-assurance services provided to audit clients and fees. The revised NAS and fee-related provisions become effective for audits of financial statements for periods beginning on or after December 15, 2022. Early adoption is permitted and encouraged—visit the dedicated webpage here.

·       Wednesday, June 16, 7 AM EST – Fees Webinar – featuring Mr. Ian McPhee, IESBA Member and Fees Task Force Chair and Ms. Caroline Lee, IESBA Deputy Chair and Fees Task Force Member

·       PROPOSED IESBA DEFINITION OF PUBLIC INTEREST ENTITY: Supplemental Guidance to Exposure Draft to Aid Local Body Considerations Regarding Adoption and Implementation— This publication provides additional context to the Board’s recently proposed revisions to the definition of a public interest entity (PIE) and supplements the guidance material in the explanatory memorandum of the Exposure Draft Proposed Revisions to the Definitions of Listed Entity and Public Interest Entity in the Code (PIE ED), which was released in January. This staff publication will assist local regulators, national standard setters or other relevant local bodies in considering and planning adoption of the revised PIE definition when finalized and issued by the IESBA.

·       Updated Pathway for the IESBA Technology Initiative

Education

·       The Future of Accountancy Education Is Calling–Here’s How SAIPA Answered— The South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) has embarked on a transformational journey to integrate technological innovations in its operations as well as rethinking its professional qualification. In this video series, Shahied Daniels, SAIPA CEO and Professor Rashied Small, Executive at the SAIPA Center of Future Excellence, share SAIPA’s success and challenges in embracing the 4th industrial revolution.

·       Conversations with Experts | Advancing Accountancy Education—on-demand videos with experts talking about the future of accountancy education & on sustainability reporting!

·       Revisions to IES 2, 3, 4, and 8 are now effective, as of January 1, 2021.  The revisions to these standards reflect the increasing demand for accountants skilled in information and communications technologies and place further emphasis on the professional skepticism skills and behaviors. These apply to both aspiring and professional accountants.

Audit

·       Help Shape the IAASB’s Future Work — The IAASB issued a survey on its Work Plan for 2022–2023. Guided by its strategic objectives for 2020-2023, the IAASB’s current—and future—work is tailored to serve the public interest. The survey is designed to help the IAASB develop its Work Plan for 2022–2023 through understanding what is important to its stakeholders. Responses are requested by August 5, 2021!

o   IAASB’S Framework for Activities — The Framework describes the IAASB’s operating processes and procedures for advancing standard-setting and other related activities. By being more deliberate and evidence-based, the IAASB will be more responsive to the key public interest challenges in audit and assurance.

·       Revised IAASB Work Plan for 2020 – 2021 — After consultations with the Public Interest Oversight Board, the IAASB has published a revised detailed work plan that supersedes its work plan published in February 2021. The work plan was revised to account for the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on both board operations and stakeholders’ capacity to implement new standards and participate in the IAASB’s due process.

·       IAASB Public Report, July 2019 – December 2020PUTTING THE PUBLIC INTEREST AT THE HEART OF OUR WORK: ACTING WITH URGENCY, PURPOSE AND RESPONSIVENESS. The IAASB 2019-2020 Public Report showcases efforts to be a responsive, agile and innovative standard setter, closely connected with its stakeholders. The report highlights completed and in progress standard-setting projects, other new initiatives to respond to stakeholder needs, and our efforts to improve the agility of the standard-setting process. The report also includes reflections from IAASB Chair Tom Seidenstein on his first 18 months in this role.

·       ADDRESSING RISK OF OVERRELIANCE ON TECHNOLOGY ARISING FROM THE USE OF AUTOMATED TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES AND FROM INFORMATION PRODUCED BY AN ENTITY’S SYSTEMS— The IAASB released a non-authoritative Frequently Asked Questions document to help auditors address the risk of overreliance on technology, whether it arises from using automated tools and techniques or from using information produced by an entity’s systems.

Public Sector

·       Your voice matters! IPSASB has released 4 exposure drafts for public comment by October 25, 2021!

·       Exposure Draft (ED) 76, Conceptual Framework Update: Chapter 7, Measurement of Assets and Liabilities in Financial Statements;

·       ED 77, Measurement;

·       ED 78, Property, Plant, and Equipment; and

·       ED 79, Non-Current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations.

 

And more in the most recent issues of The Latest:

·       05/04/21

·       05/18/21