Monitoring Group updates on strengthened audit for changing times

Posted on September 1, 2023 by Editor

The Monitoring Group (MG) has again reported on its progress on strengthening the international audit-related standard-setting system.

The MG is made up of key international regulatory bodies and public financial institutions and works to advance the public interest in areas related to international audit standard setting and audit quality. In 2020, it issued recommendations on ‘Strengthening the International Audit and Ethics Standard-Setting System,’ with the objective of implementing “an independent and inclusive multistakeholder standard-setting system.” It responded to ongoing concerns that the Standard Setting Boards (SSBs) – the International Audit and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) – lacked sufficient independence from the audit profession.

The latest report states that there has been significant progress in implementing the recommendations, and emphasises the need to foster the development of timely, high-quality standards that respond to an accelerated pace of change. “This objective is critical as it relates to the evolving space of sustainability reporting. Strong momentum continues around the globe regarding voluntary and mandatory reporting of sustainability information and assurance over that information. Investors want high-quality and reliable sustainability information on which to base capital allocation decisions. Independent assurance providers with strong ethical behavior form the cornerstones of high-quality sustainability assurance engagements and serve an important gatekeeping function to help protect investors and enhance investor confidence.”

In terms of recent progress, the report notes developments in the creation of the new Stakeholder Advisory Council, which will provide strategic advice to the SSBs. An inaugural Chair has been appointed by the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB), and a call for members is currently active until 30 September. It also discusses the need for a sustainable, diversified, long-term funding model.

Read the MG’s report here.

This also seems like a good time to remind readers that Mark Babington, Executive Director of the UK’s Financial Research Council – who is one of our keynote speakers at Data Amplified – is also an IESBA Board Member. He will be speaking about how digitisation is changing both financial and sustainability reporting, and we are sure that audit will be one of his many areas of insight into the coming future.

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