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Global Accountancy Profession’s Response to the IESBA’s Proposed International Ethics Standards for Sustainability Assurance

| Comment Letters

On behalf of the global accountancy profession, IFAC welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the IESSA ED. The global business community and the accountancy profession are at the start of significant transformation with respect to evolving sustainability disclosures. IESBA has an important role, like other standard setters, in this transformation.

We appreciate the significant resources and effort the Board has devoted to this important project. However, the actions of standard setters, regulators and policy makers must be undertaken and calibrated with the priority of being an effective influence on the transformation and by “bringing along relevant stakeholders” in the business community, including the accountancy profession, on this journey. It is important for the IESBA to be a positive influence in this transformation through the creation of practical, easily understandable, and sufficiently flexible standards.

Below are three key matters we urge IESBA to reconsider to enhance the practicality of implementation:

  • Reducing complexity and calling for transparency from practitioners with respect to relevant, jurisdiction-specific sustainability assurance oversight and enforcement where they conduct engagements.
  • Ensuring barriers to financial statement auditors providing sustainability assurance to the same client are removed.
  • Addressing matters of practicality related to value chain considerations—i.e., through revision or removal of proposed requirements.
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