The Dutch Association of
Accountants (Nederlandse Beroepsorganisatie van Accountants – NBA)
has issued a new code to improve transparency in audit

The NBA said all audit
firms with an OOB (Public Interest Companies) permit authorised by
the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets must appoint
independent advisors within their organisation.

The independent advisors
will oversee internal matters such as quality and ethical issues. A
comprehensive account will be created describing the results of
internal and external reviews and the action taken. The number of
reports created and complaints received will be recorded.

The new code is a
response to the current public debate surrounding the accounting
profession and the NBA said it was inspired by the UK’s Audit Firm
Governance Code, introduced in June 2010.

“The public interest in
the accounting industry justifies the strengthening of supervision
within accounting firms,” the Royal Dutch Institute of Accountants
(Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut Van Registeraccountants – NIVRA)
president Ruud Dekkers said.

The adoption of the code
will be compulsory and is expected to be introduced to NBA members
as a consultation document this year.

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NBA is the new name for
the two former professional accounting bodies in the Netherlands,
NIVRA and the Nederlandse Orde Van
Accountants-Administratieconsulenten (NOvAA), which have
unofficially merged to form one organisation.

The institutes have to
wait for government to pass a new law before they can legally
merge, but they have moved ahead with operational aspects of the
merger, including combining offices and working as if they share a
single board.