ACCA: New accountancy rules should bring clarity and consistency

Wednesday 14 June 2017

The latest consultation from the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) is a great opportunity to bring clarity and consistency to the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.
This is the view of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), which believes removing a lot of the repetition in the existing draft that has been circulated for comment is an easy way to make the article less lengthy. 

ACCA wants to make sure the code does not become more rule based, as it instead wants to see the rules be focused more on principles. 
Changes to the International Independence Standards (IISs) in particular have been backed by the group because they properly consider the ethics of the industry.  

Sundeep Takwani, ACCA’s director of regulation, said: “This change recognises the difference between the need for independence in respect of some assurance engagements, and the fundamental ethical principle of independence, which is relevant to all professional accountants. 

“ACCA believes that these IISs are needed to carry more prohibitions to enhance independence in appearance and enforceability.”
Mr Takwani went on to say that compliance is vital so a clear and concise code that everyone in the profession can understand is a key priority, particularly for small and medium practices. 

He explained that complying with a code that is a set of rules has little value if compliance with the rules does not tie in to key ethical principles. With this in mind, it is vital that IESBA works to make the conceptual framework easy to both understand and follow. 

Mr Takwani added that ACCA is a key and active supporter of International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and shares its strong focus on professional values, ethics and governance. 

He explained that the IESBA should be congratulated on its willingness and openness to engage the profession and review the structure of the code. 

Small businesses and freelancers need to be made properly aware of the changes in the financial sector, or they could be breaking the law without even realising. 

To ensure their finances are handled as well as possible, self employed professionals should consult freelancer and contractor accountants. These experts can guarantee people are taxed properly, which can lead to higher earnings and more growth. 

By Victoria McDonnell

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