The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) have pledged for a stronger alliance at their third annual joint plenary meeting.

At the meeting, held in New York City last month, the boards discussed matters of mutual interest and opportunities for collaboration. One presentation which focused on their future strategies and work plans discussed the notion of ‘joined-up thinking’.

IAASB chair Tom Seidenstein said: “Both standard setting boards are committed to seeking alignment to the fullest extent possible on overlapping issues and identifying issues of common concern to help serve the public interest.

“In many instances, the boards can achieve a common position. Even if not achieved, it is important to understand the reasons for the different positions and to be transparent to stakeholders about those reasons.”

IESBA chair Stavros Thomadakis said: “It is about understanding each other’s views and recognizing where the gaps may be in process, or language, or reason. Such insights will be valuable in helping the boards deepen and develop joint thinking in their coordination both on specific current projects and in priorities and strategies.”

The theme for this year’s joint session was ‘Acting on Coordination’. Board members and official observers participated in discussion groups and exchanged views on selected policy issues. Discussion items included finding a pathway to convergence on the treatment of public interest in their respective standards.

IAASB and IESBA have committed to holding the fourth annual plenary meeting in 2020. Coordination on current and upcoming projects will continue as part of fulfilling each board’s standard setting mandate in the meantime.