Ethical standards for auditors will increase to the level of law

Ethical standards for auditors will increase to the level of law


The Ministry of Finance will eliminate the gaps in legislation on the rules of conduct of these companies

Photo: lime/Alex Maishev

The Ministry of Finance is preparing amendments to the law on audit will be spelled out the requirement of market participants for professional ethics and independence. Despite the fact that such codes in Russia already exist, still allow violations. Themselves the auditors propose to go further and to introduce the use of the term “irreproachable business reputation”.

The requirement for the execution of the code of professional ethics is contained in FZ “About auditor activity” now. The market participants explained “Izvestia” that the rule of law sounds pretty vague and the Finance Ministry have long intended to clarify the law to prevent misunderstandings and to remove the conflict.

The the auditors ‘ compliance with ethical requirements is especially important in connection with the introduction of the international standards on auditing and the beginning of their application in Russia in 2017, recalled “news” the representative of the Ministry of Finance. According to him, the Ministry conducted the analysis revealed the need to introduce a General requirement of independence of audit organizations and auditors to clarify the conceptual framework on the topic, to increase the compatibility of the legislation with internationally recognized ethical principles and standards.

According to the representative of the Ministry of Finance, in practice still there are problems in this matter.

— Among them — a formal approach to the observance of independence, loss of auditor independence as a result of years of service a single client or overly close relationship with the client, providing the same customer services for the audit of its accounts and services incompatible with the audit, the low involvement in the supervision of compliance with the auditor independence of the boards of Directors of organizations and their audit committees — has listed the source.

The current legislation does not prevent the auditors from time to time to violate the principle of independence.

— Recent example: the audit firm carried out an inspection of a fairly large company, and the audit VCCR (external quality control of audit organizations. — Ed.) it turned out that the owner of the auditing company is the chief accountant of the company, that they are the same, and test — led “news” example of a typical violation of the principle of independence of the CEO of the self-regulatory organization of auditors “Association of Commonwealth” Olga Nosova.

She noted that the code of ethics and the independence rules of the market are already not the first year. According to Olga Nosova, the market is now preparing a proposal for the introduction of the concept of “impeccable reputation” for auditors. It is expected that this status will make it easier for companies to appoint an auditor and will act as the guarantor of the independence and quality of audit services.

— The Commission on quality control of audit services is now engaged in the development of the concept of “impeccable business reputation”. This problem is quite complicated. When selecting an auditor, this factor can be crucial. It’s one thing when reporting is confirmed by an unknown firm and the other was the opinion of the company, under which loans are and are taken investment decisions, she said.

The absence of a code of ethics minimal impact on the quality of services provided, the lawyer of the Collegium of advocates “Yukov and partners” Dmitry Kulikov. The tightening of the rules on professional ethics through the development of a code is never superfluous, the attorney said.

The activities of auditors in Russia is regulated quite carefully now, says lawyer the law office A2 Maxim Safiulin.

The code of ethics for auditors in a rather fully describes the rules of conduct that must be respected by the auditor when performing their professional duties in the event of a conflict of interest, the focus of several chapters of the document, — said the lawyer.

According to him, the code reveals the issue of ethical conflicts and conflicts of interests in the implementation of auditing activities and operates with such concepts as “objectivity”, “impartiality”, “integrity” and “competence”. However, the attorney acknowledges that the gaps in the ethics of auditors is still there.

— Quite another matter that the code does not contain Express prohibitions, it is rather a cheat sheet, according to which the auditor can act in controversial situations, but no more. It does not prohibit the auditor to work in the event of a conflict of interest, he says that working with such conflict until it is resolved undesirable, — said Maxim Safiulin.

It is assumed that changes in legislation will come into force from January 2018.