Keith Nuthall is a journalist specialising in international organisations, law and regulation


The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) has proposed changes to its international code that address independence considerations for firms and individuals involved in an engagement to perform an audit of group financial statements.

The proposals clarify and enhance the independence principles that apply to individuals and firms engaged in a group audit, and set out the process to address a breach of an independence provision at a component auditor firm.

The IESBA is also staging three global virtual roundtables to consult on developing an ethics standard addressing tax planning and related services by professional accountants in business and in public practice.


The International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has adopted a 2022 work plan targeted at developing sustainable finance. It involves fighting greenwashing through creating reliable information on businesses’ sustainability impacts to guide investors.

IOSCO will review the upcoming International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) proposed climate and general sustainability disclosure requirements, offering guidance to the 140 IOSCO member jurisdictions on how they might adopt, apply or be informed by the ISSB standards.

In parallel, IOSCO will also push forward work to develop assurance standards.

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) general assembly has appointed members of the EFRAG Sustainability Reporting Board, representing financial and business sectors, European Union (EU) countries, and civil society, such as academics and trade unions.

It is responsible for all EFRAG sustainability reporting positions, including technical advice to the European Commission on draft EU sustainability reporting standards and amendments to existing standards.

The Value Reporting Foundation’s SASB Standards Board has proposed revisions to its guidance on the traceability of raw materials and sourcing locations for raw materials used in the apparel industry. The goal is to provide additional detail on sourcing locations, including ‘tier 4’ suppliers (such as fibre farms and plantations) and countries-of-origin for priority raw materials.

Accrual accounting

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has launched a new digital platform, ‘Pathways to Accrual’, helping governments and other public sector entities move from cash to accrual accounting, with the support of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB).

The platform includes advice on adopting and implementing IPSAS, outlining the benefits and implications of adopting accrual accounting, and suggesting incremental approaches.

Anti-money laundering

IFAC has released a new instalment in its ‘Anti-Money Laundering: The Basics’ advisory series that focuses on how virtual assets, including Bitcoin and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) can be used to move and hide criminal proceeds.


The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has released an implementation guide for ISA 220, Quality Management for an Audit of Financial Statements, helping accountants understand its recommendations, which come into effect on 15 December 2022.

Accounting taxonomy

The IASB has issued an update to its IFRS Accounting Taxonomy to reflect amendments on the disclosure of accounting policies and the definition of accounting estimates.