On August 9, the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) released for public exposure a proposed revision of International Education Standard (IES) 8, Professional Development for Engagement Partners Responsible for Audits of Financial Statements.
The revised standard proposes the professional development requirements for both aspiring and current engagement partners on audits of financial statements. IES 8 is primarily aimed at International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) member bodies, but will be of interest to employers, regulators, government authorities, educational organizations, and any other stakeholders who support the learning and development of professional accountants.
The IAESB recognizes that the quality of an aspiring engagement partner's performance is dependent on professional development. Accordingly, the IAESB is proposing learning outcomes that demonstrate the professional competence required to become an engagement partner in areas relating to technical competence, professional skills, and professional values, ethics, and attitudes. IES 8 also recognizes the professional development needed to foster and maintain professional competence for those currently serving as engagement partners, especially for those serving on audits involving more complex industries, operations, or reporting requirements.
"A primary way the accountancy profession protects the public interest is by requiring that engagement partners have the necessary skills and training to perform their roles effectively", said Professor Peter Wolnizer, IAESB chair. "The public has a right to expect that engagement partners are properly trained and can be relied on to competently perform audits of financial statements throughout their careers."
As part of its initiative to improve the clarity of its standards, the IAESB is redrafting all eight of its IESs in accordance with its new drafting conventions. Also related to the revision project on IES 8 are the proposed revisions of:
- IES 2,Initial Professional Development - Technical Competence;
- IES 3,Initial Professional Development - Professional Skills;
- IES 4, Initial Professional Development - Professional Values, Ethics, and Attitudes;
- IES 5, Practical Experience Requirements for Aspiring Professional Accountants; and
- IES 6, Assessment of Professional Competence.
Under the current timetable, the IAESB anticipates that all IESs will have been revised and redrafted, or redrafted only, by third quarter 2013.
How to Comment
The IAESB invites all stakeholders to comment on its proposals. To access the IES 8 exposure draft and submit comments, visit the IAESB's website. Comments are requested by December 11, 2012.
About the IAESB:
The IAESB develops education standards, guidance, and information papers for use by IFAC member bodies 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.
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. It is comprised of 167 members and associates in 127 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.
Source: August 9, 2012, IAESB News Release