APESB and IESBA staff publish guidance on navigating COVID-19 circumstances
APESB and IESBA staff publish ethics guidance for professional accountants on navigating COVID-19 circumstances
The guidance doesn’t amend or override the IESBA Code. the text of which alone is authoritative. (The ICAS Code of Ethics is substantively based on the IESBA Code). The implementation guidance is not meant to be exhaustive and you should always refer to the ICAS Code or IESBA Code where applicable. The guidance does not constitute an authoritative or official pronouncement of APESB, the IESBA or the other NSS organizations that form part of the WG.
The examples in the guidance are hypothetical and don’t necessarily reflect the circumstances in a specific jurisdiction but they illustrate the application of the conceptual framework to enable professional accountants to identify, evaluate and address threats to compliance with the fundamental principles in the IESBA Code created by COVID-19 circumstances.
Professional accountants need to be mindful and take into consideration that some jurisdictions might have provisions that differ from or go beyond those set out in the Code. In these jurisdictions, accountants need to be aware of those differences and comply with the more stringent provisions unless prohibited by law or regulation.
1. Taxation Services – Professional Accountant in Public Practice
A major non audit client of an accountancy firm has requested one of the firm’s tax partners to apply on its behalf to the taxation authority to obtain a grant. The eligibility criterion is based on the impact on the clients turnover.
2. Taxation - Professional Accountant in Business
A professional accountant is business is asked to apply for a government wage subsidy for the business but certain eligibility criteria need to be met.
3. Valuation Services — Professional Accountant in Public Practice
A firm has been requested by a non-audit client which is selling one of its businesses to prepare an independent expert’s report on the valuation of the business. There are question marks over some of the clients assumptions.
4. Valuation Services — Professional Accountant in Business
A professional accountant in business is faced with a potential impairment in the value of goodwill in a group.
Further COVID-19 related guidance
It is expected that further guidance under the auspices of the WG will be issued in due course.