IESBA ED - Objectivity

  • Professional & Ethical

IESBA Proposed Revision to the International Code Addressing the Objectivity of Engagement Quality Reviewers

The Exposure Draft includes proposed guidance on the application of the conceptual framework in the International Code to address the topic of the objectivity of the engagement quality reviewer (EQR), thereby supporting proposed ISQM 2[1] in addressing the matter of eligibility of an individual to serve in an EQR role. In particular, the proposed guidance:

  • Explains the different types of threat to compliance with the fundamental principle of objectivity that might be created in circumstances where an individual is being considered for appointment as an EQR for a given engagement;
  • Sets out the factors to consider in evaluating the level of the identified threats; and
  • Suggests actions that might be safeguards to address the threats.

The IESBA is proceeding on an accelerated time frame to finalise the proposal in order to alight closely with the anticipated finalisation of ISQM 2 within 2020.

If we have not identified any compelling reasons for modifications to the IESBA’s draft of planned revisions to the International Code, and the IESBA finalises the exposure drafts as they are, we will issue an equivalent amendment to Professional and Ethical Standard 1 with minimal changes only to reflect references, language and grammatical conventions used in New Zealand.

This is therefore your opportunity to comment on the amendments that will be issued in New Zealand. However, if we do identify compelling reason amendments to the international proposals, we will issue a NZAuASB exposure draft in New Zealand seeking your comments.


[1] Proposed International Standard on Quality Management 2, Engagement Quality Reviews


Consultation Document

Link to IESBA website


Commenting on the Proposals

We encourage you to read the EDs and submit your views to the NZAuASB, either in writing by 3 April 2020, or by attending one of our planned outreach activities. You can also respond directly to the IESBA .

We are particularly interested in hearing whether you agree with the IESBA view that it is more appropriate for the IAASB[2] to determine a cooling off period before an individual is appointed to the EQR role after serving as the engagement partner.


 [2] International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board


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  • We would appreciate receiving a copy of your comments in electronic form (preferably Microsoft Word format).  This helps us to more efficiently collate and analyse comments. Please also specify the exposure draft number and title in your electronic file. 

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  • We intend publishing all comments on the XRB website, unless they may be defamatory. If you have any objection to this, we will not publish them. However, they will remain subject to the Official Information Act 1982 and, therefore, may be released in part or in full. The Privacy Act 1993 also applies.

  • If you have an objection to the release of any information contained in your comments, we would appreciate you identifying the parts of your comments to be withheld, and the grounds under the Official Information Act 1982 for doing so (for example, that it would be likely to unfairly prejudice the commercial position of the person providing the information).