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New International Foundation for Ethics and Audit Strengthens Independence of the Standard-Setting System

Mar 27, 2023 | New York, New York | English

The Board of Trustees of the International Foundation for Ethics and Audit (IFEA, or the Foundation) celebrates the launch of the Foundation, which implements a key recommendation contemplated in the Monitoring Group’s July 2020 Recommendations, Strengthening the International Audit and Ethics Standard-Setting System.

The objective in establishing the Foundation is to move the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) and the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) to a new entity that is independent of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).

Under the new structure, IESBA Chair Ms. Gabriela Figueiredo Dias and IAASB Chair Mr. Tom Seidenstein serve as Co-CEOs of the Foundation. The Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB) continues its role as an independent oversight board, supporting the public interest responsiveness of the international standards and the effective delivery of the boards’ strategies.

“Establishing the Foundation as an independent legal entity to house the IESBA and IAASB, which were previously within the IFAC structure, is an important step in strengthening the independence of the international standard-setting system for ethics, audit and assurance,” said Robert Buchanan, Chair Trustee of the Foundation.

“We are confident that the revised structure—with IFEA as the home of the standard-setting boards governed by a board of trustees that includes both PIOB and IFAC appointed trustees—is an important mechanism created by the Monitoring Group to reform with the profession and simultaneously enhance the independence of the standard-setting boards,” said Linda de Beer, Chair of the PIOB. “This, in conjunction with an independent nominations process housed within the PIOB through the PIOB Standard Setting Boards Nominations Committee, will continue to enhance the trust and confidence in the standard-setting process.”

Paul Munter, Co-Chair of the Monitoring Group, added, “The objectives of the Monitoring Group’s recommendations included achieving an independent and inclusive, multi-stakeholder standard-setting system, and fostering the development of timely, high-quality standards that are responsive to the rapidly changing environment while still being responsive to the public interest. We are confident that the new structure advances both objectives. We are pleased the recommended reforms are on track for full implementation through diligent, collective efforts, and the focus is now on the implementation of the resource and costing plans.”

Commenting on the new structure, Ms. Figueiredo Dias and Mr. Seidenstein stated, “We are delighted with the modernization of the standard-setting system and the progress already achieved under the new Foundation, including transferring board personnel from IFAC to IFEA, the approval of our 2023 budget, and the process to strengthen our technical staff, which is well underway. We welcome the myriad opportunities created by the Foundation’s establishment. As always, we are committed to the delivery of high-quality standards in service of the public interest, and to the faithful implementation of the reforms. We would like to thank IFAC for all its support to date, and for its continued involvement as the Foundation’s service provider.”

Accompanying today’s announcement is the launch of the Foundation’s website at www.ethicsandaudit.orgStakeholders are encouraged to visit the website to learn more about the Foundation.

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About the Foundation
The International Foundation for Ethics and Audit is a nonprofit organization that supports high-quality, international ethics, audit, and assurance in the public interest. It does so through its two standard-setting boards, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants. These boards develop and issue their standards independently and in accordance with an approved due process and the Public Interest Framework, overseen by the Public Interest Oversight Board. 

About the Public Interest Oversight Board
The PIOB is the global independent oversight body that seeks to improve the quality and public interest focus of the international audit, assurance, and ethics standards formulated by the international standard-setting boards: the IAASB and the IESBA. The PIOB’s ultimate goal is to ensure relevant audit, assurance and ethical standards that are responsive to the Public Interest, in order to enhance confidence in capital markets. For more information, please visit the PIOB website.

About the Monitoring Group
The Monitoring Group (MG) is a group of international financial institutions and regulatory bodies committed to advancing the public interest in areas related to international audit related standard-setting and audit quality. Further information can be obtained from the IOSCO website.

Notes to the Editor

  • The Foundation’s Board of Trustees are appointed by the Members of the Foundation, comprised of the Monitoring Group, PIOB and IFAC. The Board of Trustees comprises six individuals, four of whom are nominated by the PIOB and two nominated by IFAC.
  • IAASB and IESBA work closely together to ensure their standards are interoperable and complement each other. These standards strengthen public confidence in financial markets.
  • IAASB and IESBA receive operational support from IFAC in accordance with a service level agreement between IFAC and the Foundation.
  • The Monitoring Group and PIOB continue to work to secure sustainable, long-term, multi-stakeholder funding to provide financial support for the Foundation and all Monitoring Group Reforms.