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IFAC revised Code of Ethics

ICAEW bases its code of ethics for members directly on that of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). IFAC revised its code and ICAEW implemented revisions to align with the new IFAC code, with effect from 1 January 2011.

This is also the date that members of the Forum of Firms, who commit to apply the IFAC code directly in addition to national codes, had to apply the revised requirements.

The main effect of the changes was twofold:

  • first, some revised terminology that applies throughout the code, intended not to change the substance of the existing requirements, but to improve clarity of what is there;
  • secondly, some significant changes to the auditor independence requirements, particularly for public interest entity audits.

The independence changes did not affect the APB Ethical Standards that have to be applied to audits in the UK and Ireland.

Stephen Chan, a partner in BDO Limited Hong Kong, summarised the changes to the Code of Ethics that will apply, in a more detailed article.