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UK energy support scheme; IAASB objectives for auditing standards

The UK government announced a new business energy scheme for eligible nondomestic consumers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This will replace the current Energy Bill Relief Scheme and begin on 1 April.

Eligible consumers under the Energy Bills Discount Scheme will "receive a unit discount of up to £6.97 megawatt hour (MWh) unit discount to their gas bill and a unit discount of up to £19.61/MWh to their electricity bill during the 12-month period," the UK Government said in a fact sheet.

The discount will be available to those:

  • On existing fixed-price contracts that were agreed on or after 1 December 2021;
  • Signing new fixed-price contracts;
  • On deemed/out-of-contract or standard variable tariffs;
  • On flexible purchase or similar contracts;
  • On contracts paying energy costs above a price threshold;
  • On variable "Day Ahead Index" (DAI) tariffs (Northern Ireland only).

Businesses in sectors with particularly high levels of energy use and trade intensity will receive a higher level of support, the UK Government said in a news release.

Sectors that meet the requirements of the Energy and Trade Intensive Industries (ETII) scheme "will receive a gas and electricity bill discount based on a supported price which will be capped by a maximum unit discount of £40.0/MWh for gas and £89.1/MWh for electricity," the release said.

The list of eligible sectors is available here.

"Wholesale energy prices are falling and have now gone back to levels just before Putin's invasion of Ukraine. But to provide reassurance against the risk of prices rising again, we are launching the new Energy Bills Discount Scheme, giving businesses the certainty they need to plan ahead," Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said in a statement.

UKEB publishes DECA on IFRS 16 amendments

The UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) has published a Draft Endorsement Criteria Assessment (DECA) on Lease Liability in a Sale and Leaseback — Amendments to IFRS 16, on amendments issued by the IASB in September 2022, the UKEB said in a publication. The IASB set out that the amendments have an effective date of 1 January 2024, with earlier application permitted.

"The UKEB invites stakeholders' views on the potential UK adoption of the amendments; and the prevalence in the UK of sale and leaseback transactions within the scope of these amendments," the publication said.

To comment on the DECA, the documents titled Invitation to Comment and Your Details can be downloaded at the bottom of this webpage. These can be sent by email to UKEndorsementBoard@endorsement-board.uk.

The DECA is open for stakeholder comments until the close of business on 5 April.

IAASB strategic plan for audit and assurance engagements

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has issued a public consultation for its 2024–2027 proposed strategy and work plan. The strategy seeks to accelerate the actions the board originally laid out in the 2020–2023 strategy with a focus on standard-setting that supports the performance of high-quality audit and assurance engagements, an IAASB news release said.

The proposed strategy outlines four strategic objectives:

  • Support the consistent performance of quality audit engagements by enhancing our auditing standards in areas where there is the greatest public interest need;
  • Establish globally accepted standard(s) for assurance on sustainability reporting;
  • Strengthen coordination with the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants and other leading standard-setters and regulators to leverage better collective actions in the public interest; and
  • Create more agile, innovative ways of working in line with the Monitoring Group's reform vision.

"Our proposed new strategy strives to develop the globally accepted standards for audit, assurance, and related services that enable high-quality engagements, with a distinct focus on both the core need for audits of financial statements and the growing demand for sustainability assurance engagements," Tom Seidenstein, chair of the IAASB, said in the release.

The deadline for commenting on the proposed strategy and work plan via the website is 11 April 2023. Stakeholders can respond to all questions in the Consultation Paper or focus on those questions that are most relevant to them and where they have specific comments.

— To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Steph Brown at Stephanie.Brown@aicpa-cima.com.