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Groups align more closely on strategy, while committing to acting on coordination

(October 18, 2019)

In September, New York City played host to the Third Annual Joint IAASB/IESBA Plenary Meeting, the latest advance in a coordination effort between the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA). The annual joint meeting provides a forum to look at issues and opportunities common to the work of both international boards. 

Building on their overarching commitment for enhanced connectivity and coordination to better serve the public interest, the boards discussed matters of mutual interest and opportunities for collaboration. One presentation, which focused on the IAASB and IESBA future strategies and work plans, discussed the notion of “joined-up thinking.”

“Both standard setting boards are committed to seeking alignment to the fullest extent possible on overlapping issues and identifying issues of common concern to help serve the public interest,” said Tom Seidenstein, recently appointed chair of the IAASB. “In many instances, the boards can achieve a common position. Even if not achieved, it is important to understand the reasons for the different positions and to be transparent to stakeholders about those reasons.”

The theme for this year’s joint session was “Acting on Coordination” and there was a clear sense that both boards realize that ‘joined-up thinking’ can be an important enabler for each to achieve its goals. Board members and official observers participated in discussion groups and exchanged views on selected policy issues. Discussion items included finding a pathway to convergence on the treatment of public interest in their respective standards.

“It is about understanding each other’s views and recognizing where the gaps may be in process, or language, or reason,” said Stavros Thomadakis, Chair of the IESBA.  “Such insights will be valuable in helping the boards deepen and develop joint thinking in their coordination both on specific current projects and in priorities and strategies.”

IAASB and IESBA have committed to holding the fourth annual plenary meeting in 2020. Meanwhile, coordination on current and upcoming projects, as well as strategic planning, will continue as part of fulfilling each board’s standard setting mandate.

Jennifer DiClerico
Head of Communications

Prepared by IFAC's Communications Department. Contact communications@ifac.org for further information.
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