On 16-17 December 2013, during their trilogue meeting, the Lithuanian EU Council Presidency, the European Parliament and the European Commission reached a preliminary agreement on the framework of the EU audit reform, which was endorsed by member states on 18 December in COREPER. It needs now the final nod of the European Parliament, planned for January 2014, and of the Council.
Sue Almond Technical Director at ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) says: 'ACCA congratulates the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission for the agreement reached on the compromise text regarding the Proposals for a new Regulation and for amendments of the Directive on audit, after months of tough negotiations.
'It is important that we do not allow the recent controversies to overshadow some of the critical achievements of the negotiations of these measures. In particular, we have moved substantially closer to the adoption of a single set of international standards, which is critical for businesses operating in a global environment. We are therefore pleased to see progress on the adoption of International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) by the EU. Ethics, especially non-audit services, has clearly been an area where there are divergent views, but much of the detail that is contained in the proposed regulation on this issue is now in line with the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA), a step that we support. We are also pleased to see that the role of the audit committee has been recognised in overseeing the provision of non-audit services.'
'The challenge for the audit profession will be to implement these changes in a way that helps restore public confidence in the audit, and in auditors. Audit plays a critical role in supporting global business and it is important that the profession now responds in a positive way that enhances the value of audit to companies and their stakeholders,' Sue Almond concludes.