Study Unit 2: Code of Ethics and Quality Management

Study Unit 8: Ethics and Quality Management

Learning Hours: 5

This unit on Ethics and Quality management deals with the aspects which are pre-requisites to the application other professional standards. They provide a uniform approach and highlight the underpinning requirements for professional accountants. SAIBA, as a legislative controlling body for accountants, accounting officers and independent reviewers subscribes to the Code of Ethics, International Quality Management Standards (ISQM) and engagement standards as issued by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA).

The Code of Ethics

The requirements of the standard are included in the Handbook of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (The Code).

Underpinning professional services provided all accountants are obliged to observe the requirements of the Code. As a controlling body SAIBA is required to monitor and sanction compliance standards of members’ conduct. We perform this function by ensuring compliance by our members to the Code prescribed in the IESBA Handbook.

Serving public interest

The Code introduces the requirement of professional accountants to serve public interest. Acting in the public interest is a highly abstract concept but in simple terms it prompts us  to consider the impact of our actions not only for our clients but also for all other stakeholders. This is a highly emphasised principle when performing professional duties. 

Fundamental principles of the Code

The first part of the Code describes the fundamental principles for accountants. The Code requires accountants to comply with the 5 fundamental principles:

  • Integrity
  • Objectivity
  • Professional Competence and Due Care
  • Confidentiality
  • Professional Behavior
  • Independence – relating to assurance engagements.

The conceptual framework

The second part of the Code provides a conceptual framework, which is a step by step approach to:

  1. Identify threats to compliance with the fundamental principles.
  2. Evaluate the threats identified; and
  3. Address the threats by eliminating or reducing them to an acceptable level.

Practitioners need to consider compliance and identify threats throughout their engagements. The Code provides guidance on how to formulate appropriate responses when threats are identified.

The quality management framework (ISQM1) enforces the requirement to comply with the Code for all professional firms.

The International Quality Management System

Accounting officers should adopt a standard of quality management appropriate for the engagements they undertake.

Professional firms should adopt the IFAC the new Quality Management Framework (ISQM1) replacing the old Quality Control Standards (ISQC 1). The new quality management framework is applicable from 15 December 2022.




Study Topics: 

  1. Handbook of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants issued by the IESBA.

    IESBA Code of Ethics v 2021

  1. International Quality Management Framework (ISQM 1)


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