International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards)

Apr 09, 2018

Published: IFAC – IESBA

Early Implementation Preparations Encouraged

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants® (IESBA®) today released a completely rewritten Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants that is easier to navigate, use and enforce. Beyond the new structure, the Code brings together key ethics advances over the past four years, and is clearer about how accountants should deal with ethics and independence issues.

While the fundamental principles of ethics have not changed, major revisions have been made to the unifying conceptual framework—the approach used by all professional accountants to identify, evaluate and address threats to compliance with the fundamental principles and, where applicable, independence. New Code highlights include:

 – Revised “safeguards” provisions better aligned to threats to compliance with the fundamental principles;

  • Stronger independence provisions regarding long association of personnel with audit clients;
  • New and revised sections dedicated to professional accountants in business (PAIBs) relating to:

–         preparing and presenting information; and

–         pressure to breach the fundamental principles.

– Clear guidance for accountants in public practice that relevant PAIB provisions are applicable to them;

_ New guidance to emphasize the importance of understanding facts and circumstances when exercising professional judgment; and

– New guidance to explain how compliance with the fundamental principles supports the exercise of professional skepticism in an audit or other assurance engagements.

Renamed the International Code of Ethics for Professional AccountantsTM (including International Independence StandardsTM), the new Code becomes effective in June 2019. It is the culmination of extensive research and global stakeholder consultation. Stakeholders can now access the new Code on the IESBA’s website, where implementation resources and other supporting materials will be released throughout the period leading up to the effective date.


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