All Australian professional accountants have a responsibility to act in the public interest and are expected to act with objectivity and integrity in their dealings with investors, governments, clients, employers and employees and when undertaking work or providing advice.
APESB issues standards that outline the responsibilities of professional accountants to act professionally and ethically when they are performing their role. Each standard contains information on the scope and application of the standard, definitions and the date the standard took effect.
APESB-issued standards are consistent with those issued by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). Relevant professional and ethical standards issued by IFAC are used as the basis for the development of APESB standards and tailored where required to the Australian business environment.
APESB also contributes to international standard setting by developing submissions to the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA), a board of IFAC, and to other relevant international standard setting boards.
APESB standards are applicable to and mandatory for accounting professionals who are members of CPA Australia, CA ANZ or IPA. This includes accountants working in accounting firms (of all sizes), the corporate sector and in government.
CPA Australia, CA ANZ or IPA are each responsible for enforcing the standards and for undertaking any subsequent disciplinary action for breaches of the standards by their members.
The APESB follows a rigorous and transparent process for developing and reviewing standards in accordance with its Due Process and working procedures for the development and review of APESB pronouncements. The typical process for developing or reviewing an APESB standard or guidance note is: