IESBA releases guidance for PIE revisions; UK plans to reduce carbon emissions

This week’s roundup examines the latest developments in corporate reporting, along with the UK government’s plans to reduce carbon emissions.

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) released a question-and-answer (Q&As) publication on the revisions to the definitions of listed entity and public-interest entity (PIE) in the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards (the Code), a news release said. The development of the Q&As was informed by consultations with stakeholder groups, along with the board's own deliberations during the development and finalisation of the revisions.

The Q&As will assist national standard-setters, professional accountancy organisations, and firms in adopting and/or implementing the PIE revisions. "[They] will also assist regulators and audit oversight bodies, the corporate governance community, investors, preparers, educational bodies or institutions, and other stakeholders," the release said.

According to the release, the PIE revisions:

  • Include an expanded definition of a PIE by specifying a broader list of PIE categories, including a new category "publicly traded entity" to replace the category "listed entity".
  • Recognise the essential role local bodies responsible for the adoption of the Code play in delineating the specific entities that should be scoped in as PIEs in their jurisdictions, encouraging them to properly define the PIE categories in the expanded definition and adding any other categories relevant to their environments.
  • Introduce a transparency requirement for firms to publicly disclose the application of independence requirements for PIEs where they have done so.

The PIE revisions are effective for audits of financial statements for periods beginning on or after 15 December 2024.

ISSB exposure draft in development

The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) is developing an exposure draft to explain the process and methodology for updating specific jurisdictional laws and regulations in the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards "in order to enhance the international applicability of the SASB standards," an IFRS publication said.

The ISSB expects to publish the exposure draft in May.

ADAA adopts International Code of Ethics

IESBA announced that the Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority (ADAA) has adopted the 2022 edition of the Code, which will apply to all entities subject to the ADAA's mandate for audits of financial statements for periods beginning on or after 15 December 2023, a news release said.

"IESBA's ethics and independence standards could not fit better with ADAA's mandate to work for the integrity and transparency of businesses within its remit. ADAA's commitment to ensuring fair and transparent financial reporting and improving the quality of audit across all its subject entities will benefit immensely from its adoption of the Code," IESBA Chair Gabriela Figueiredo Dias said in the release.

Wael Abdul Qader, acting head of Monitoring and Auditing Sector at ADAA, has announced the full adoption of the standards set by IESBA. "The standards will be applicable to preparers of financial information and financial statement auditors of Abu Dhabi government entities as part of our efforts to promote the principles of transparency, integrity, and accountability, and elevate the quality of audit," Qader said.

UK government sets out plans to reduce carbon emissions

The UK government announced the formation of a task force charged with improving the energy efficiency of the nation's homes and buildings and cutting the country's energy use. A government press release said the task force plans to deliver on the government's ambitious commitments.

The Energy Efficiency Taskforce will devise a workplan to help reduce total UK energy demand by 15% from 2021 levels by 2030 across domestic and commercial buildings and industrial process — while cutting bills and helping push down inflation, the release continued.

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