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1. This preface to the International Standards on Quality Control, Auditing, Review, Other Assurance and Related Services (“International Standards” or “IAASB’s Standards”) is issued to facilitate understanding of the objectives and operating procedures of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and the scope and authority of the pronouncements it issues, as set forth in the IAASB’s Interim Terms of Reference.
2. The mission of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), as set out in its constitution, is “the worldwide development and enhancement of an accountancy profession with harmonized standards, able to provide services of consistently high quality in the public interest.” In pursuing this mission, the IFAC Board has established the IAASB to develop and issue, under its own authority, high quality standards on auditing, assurance and related services engagements (“Engagement Standards,” as defined in paragraph 13), related Practice Statements and quality control standards for use around the world.
3. The IAASB’s pronouncements govern audit, assurance and related services engagements that are conducted in accordance with International Standards. They do not override the local laws or regulations that govern the audit of historical financial statements or assurance engagements on other information in a particular country required to be followed in accordance with that country’s national standards. In the event that local laws or regulations differ from, or conflict with, the IAASB’s Standards on a particular subject, an engagement conducted in accordance with local laws or regulations will not automatically comply with them. A professional accountant should not represent compliance with the IAASB’s Engagement Standards unless the professional accountant has complied fully with all of those relevant to the engagement.
4. The IAASB is committed to the goal of developing a set of International Standards generally accepted worldwide. To further this goal, the IAASB works cooperatively with national standard setters, and takes a lead role in joint projects with them, to promote convergence between national and international standards and achieve acceptance of IAASB’s Standards.
5. The IAASB is a Board established by IFAC.
6. The members of the IAASB are appointed by the IFAC Board to serve on the IAASB. The IAASB comprises eighteen members, ten of whom are put forward by member bodies of IFAC, five of whom are put forward by the Forum of Firms,and three public members who may be members of IFAC member bodies but shall not be members in public practice. Candidates for appointment as public members may be put forward by any individual or organization. In addition, a limited number of observers, from bodies that have an appropriate interest in issuing or endorsing standards, may be appointed who will have the privilege of the floor but will be entitled to vote. These observers would be expected to possess the technical skills to participate fully in IAASB debates and attend IAASB meetings regularly to maintain an understanding of current issues. Candidates put forward, including the Chair of the IAASB, are considered for appointment by IFAC’s Nominating Committee. The selection process is based on the principle of “the best person for the job.” IAASB members serve for three years, with one third of the IAASB membership rotating every year. Continuous service by a member on the IAASB is limited to two (2) consecutive three (3) year terms, unless that member is appointed to serve as Chair for a further period of not more than three years. IAASB members act in the common interest of the public at large and the worldwide accountancy profession. This could result in their taking a position on a matter that is not in accordance with current practice in their country or firm or not in accordance with the position taken by those who put them forward for membership of the IAASB. Each IAASB member has the right to appoint one technical advisor who may participate in the discussions at IAASB meetings.
7. IAASB members who absent themselves from two meetings in any twelve month period may be requested to resign from the IAASB.
8. The IAASB may appoint task forces to assist it in the development of materials. These task forces may include individuals who are not members of the IAASB.
9. IAASB meetings to discuss the development, and to approve the issuance, of International Standards, Practice Statements or other papers are open to the public. Agenda papers, including minutes of the meetings of the IAASB, are published on the IAASB’s web site.