Independence Standing Committee
The Independence Standing Committee’s (ISC) mandate is to assist the Public Trust Committee (PTC) in serving the public interest by recommending high-quality independence standards for proposed adoption by the Canadian profession’s provincial bodies in their own provincial codes of ethics by all Canadian CPAs. Along with the PTC, we appointed a Chair and public members of the ISC, and although we have a limited oversight role with respect to the ISC’s activities, AASOC receives regular updates and information at its meetings.
The ISC exposes for public comment in Canada proposed changes to the Independence requirements of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (the IESBA Code).
The ISC plans to make recommendations in the next fiscal year, for changes to renew the Canadian Independence standards such that they are no less stringent than the requirements included in the IESBA Code unless in respect of a particular provision it is prohibited by law or regulation or it is determined not to be in the public interest.
Our Year in Review
Independent Review Committee on Standard Setting
In May 2021, we established the Independent Review Committee on Standard-Setting (IRCSS) jointly with AcSOC. The IRCSS is conducting a review of the current governance and structure for establishing Canadian accounting, auditing and assurance standards, as well as what might be needed for the future, including sustainability standards. The IRCSS issued a Consultation Paper in December 2021 to engage with stakeholders and gather feedback that will help identify recommendations to ensure Canadian standard setting continues to be independent and internationally recognized.
The IRCSS made a recommendation in the December Paper that a Canadian Sustainability Standards Board be established. The Paper also covered the independence of standard setting, time to market, and engaging stakeholders, especially users. Other issues included transparency and accountability, and effectiveness of governance and oversight.
We look forward to the final recommendations of the IRCSS later in 2022 and stand ready to continue our collaborative approach to oversight in the public interest.
Continuous improvement of our oversight processes
We continued to focus on evolving the role of the Council to become more strategic by improving our processes, staying abreast of international issues, and updating certain governing documents, including our terms of reference.
International standard-setting developments, the formation of the IRCSS and a potential sustainability standards board, continued to be important discussion topics this year. They gave us opportunities to explore new ways to meet changing stakeholder needs more quickly and effectively
A main focus this year was the AASB’s new 2022-2025 Strategic Plan on which we provided input. The AASB’s strategy considers the changing environment with a focus on understanding and responding to the related emerging issues and needs of stakeholders.
A key area receiving immediate action is to address the challenges of applying standards to the audit of the less complex entity. Also featured prominently is the impact of new technologies, assurance for new types of sustainability and performance reporting, and the changing public confidence in audits. The strategy also prioritizes enhancing engagement with stakeholders to keep abreast of their needs and collaborate with them to develop solutions. This strategy charts a path that will lead the AASB to continue to set high-quality standards and guidance that are responsive to the public interest.
Retirements, Appointments and Reappointments
We are pleased to announce new appointments and reappointments to AASOC, and the AASB, and we thank those retiring this year. See the appointments page for full details.
First row L-R: Kevin Nye (Chair), Ian Bandeen (member), Donna Bovolaneas (member), Sheila Filion (member), Janet Grove (member), Carla-Marie Hait (member)
Second row L-R: Gary Hannaford (member), Donald Newell (member), Fred Pries (member), Neil Sinclair (member), Michael Tambosso (member), Johnny Walker (member)
Third row L-R: Bruce West (member), Paul Winton (member), Beili Wong (member), Stacy Hammett (non-voting member), Renée Chen (non-voting member)