The highlights of the IFIAR meeting this year were around the announcement of the new IFIAR Chair Mr. Lew Ferguson, Board Member of the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and the election of Mrs. Janine Van Diggelen, Head of Audit Firm Oversight at the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) as IFIAR Vice-Chair for a two-year term with immediate effect. Additional members were elected to the IFIAR Advisory Council from Australia, France, Singapore, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom.
IFIAR Members welcomed the admission of members from Indonesia and Slovenia bringing the total number of members to 46. The IFIAR Charter was also updated in order to expedite IFIAR in being the global leader in audit quality and enable it from expressing membership views and outreach efforts.
The three-day meeting covered many topics including the agreement on the Officer’s Work Plan for 2013 – 2015 which emphasizes increased public outreach through comments on standards and through interaction with relevant international organizations. The Work Plan encourages IFIAR thought leadership and includes an examination of measures of audit quality, and of how the governance structures and business models of large auditing networks contribute to, or detract from, audit quality. The Work Plan also proposes the establishment of an Enforcement Working Group to facilitate cooperation and information sharing on enforcement issues.
The IFIAR Meeting was attended by representatives of the Basel Committee of Banking supervisors, the European Commission, the Financial Stability Board, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, the Public Interest Oversight Board and the World Bank that participated as Observers and presented on their audit-relevant work.
Prominent investor representatives from The Netherlands, The United Kingdom and Japan addressed various topics relating to recent auditor oversight developments in the Netherlands, auditor independence, audit quality and audit firm rotation, professional skepticism, and the understandability and usefulness of the audit report.
IFIAR discussed issues with the Global CEOs of the six largest international audit networks, including measuring progress in improving audit quality, driving consistency of execution in audits and encouraging an environment conducive to audit quality.
IFIAR Members shared their findings from recent audit inspections, agreed to conduct a second survey of Members’ inspection findings and discussed recent developments in audit policy. IFIAR also heard from, and provided feedback to, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) on issues including IESBA governance, its agenda and on-going projects.
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