FRC Ethical Standard
Auditors undertaking an audit in the UK, and professional accountants undertaking other public interest assurance engagements in compliance with the engagement standards issued by the FRC, are required to comply with the requirements of the Financial Reporting Council's Ethical Standard.
Ethical Standard 2016
The FRC's 2016 Ethical Standard became effective on 17 June 2016.
Audit Technical Advisory Group
Following the publication of the 2016 Ethical Standard, the FRC established an Audit Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to identify those areas where separate additional guidance may be necessary. James Barbour, ICAS Director - Technical Policy, is a member of the TAG. If ICAS members would like any matters to be drawn to the attention of the TAG please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FRC Staff Guidance Notes
The FRC has published Staff Guidance Notes in relation to the Ethical Standard.
Revised Ethical Standard 2019
The Revised Ethical Standard 2019 becomes effective on 15 March 2020, except for paragraph 5.42 which applies to periods commencing on or after 15 December 2020.
Firms may complete engagements relating to periods commencing before 15 March 2020 in accordance with existing ethical standards, putting in place any necessary changes in the subsequent engagement period.
Engagements to provide previously permitted non-audit or additional services entered into before 15 March 2020, and for which the firm has already commenced work, may continue until completed in accordance with the original engagement terms, subject to the application of appropriate safeguards.
The extended cooling in period required by Appendix B (b) (h) relating to the provision of services relating to internal audit does not have retrospective application.
Part 4A - 2020 Revised and Restructured ICAS Code of Ethics - Independence for Audit and Review Engagements (previously Section 290 of the 2017 ICAS Code of Ethics)
Part 4A – Independence for Audit and Review Engagements - of the 2020 Revised and Restructured ICAS Code of Ethics (previously Section 290 of the 2017 ICAS Code of Ethics) is therefore redundant from a UK context as this deals with independence in relation to audit engagements.
As auditors in the UK have to comply with the FRC's Ethical Standard, there is no requirement to also have to comply with Part 4A of the Code.
On those rare occasions where a member is undertaking a review assurance engagement (other than that which is within the scope of the FRC’s public interest assurance engagements) they will need to comply with Part 4A of the Code.
Detailed explanation is provided in Section 400 of the 2020 Revised and Restructured ICAS Code of Ethics.
Where a member acts as an independent examiner for a charity then this will be classified as a review engagement. Due to the nature of such assignments and the benefit that these charities receive from having a chartered accountant review their accounts, on many occasions on a voluntary basis, it has been decided not to require members acting in such a role to comply with the detailed independence requirements of Part 4A of the Code. Rather, such members shall comply with the independence requirements of the respective charity regulator and are specifically scoped out of the requirements of Part 4A of the Code. (Section 280 - 2020 Revised and Restructured ICAS Code of Ethics).