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New due diligence guidance on the cards for accountants


The Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board is in the process of developing new guidance to create greater clarity for accountants around due diligence on non-regulated disclosures.

By Lara Bullock 11 minute read

Yesterday, the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board (APESB) issued proposed guidance note Exposure Draft 02/17 APES GN 31 Professional and Ethical Considerations relating to Low Doc Offering Sign-offs.

The proposed guidance is designed to assist accountants in public practice in respect of their professional and ethical obligations relating to a Low Doc Offering Engagement.

APES GN 31 also aims to provide guidance on determining whether or not a Low Doc Offering Sign-off is appropriate in relation to a Low Doc Offering Engagement, taking into consideration the requirements of other accounting standards.


“We are providing accountants with these proposed new guidelines when they undertake due diligence engagements on low doc offerings and to assist with determining when a due diligence sign-off is appropriate,” said APESB chair, The Honorable Nicola Roxon.

The draft includes guidance on fundamental responsibilities of members in public practice, context for low doc offerings and low doc offering engagements, roles and responsibilities of members in public practice in relation to low doc offerings, engagement circumstances that may enable or preclude issues of low doc offering sign-offs, and reporting and documentation considerations.

The guidance note does not prescribe or create any mandatory requirements.

APESB is seeking stakeholder feedback on the exposure draft, with comment accepted until 25 July 2017.

The proposals in the exposure draft may be modified in light of comments received before being issued in final form and it is intended that the guidance note will be effective when issued.


Lara Bullock


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