APES 350: Participation by Members in Public Practice in Due Diligence Committees in Connection with a Public Document

This overview is not a replacement of the Standard and therefore should be used in conjunction with, and not instead of, the Standard.

Objective

APES 350 Participation by Members in Public Practice in Due Diligence Committees in Connection with a Public Document (PDF) sets out mandatory requirements and guidance for members in public practice when providing professional services to a client which comprise participating in or reporting to a Due Diligence Committee (DDC), as a DDC member, DDC observer or reporting person in connection with a public document.

Scope and application

APES 350 took effect on 1 February 2010 and was revised in March 2011. It requires members in public practice in Australia to adhere to its mandatory requirements when they provide professional services that involve participating in, or reporting to a DDC in connection with a public document. Where the transaction is undertaken, in whole or in part, outside of Australia or is subject to international laws, members are required to adhere to the requirements of the Standard provided that the laws and regulations of the relevant jurisdiction are not breached. For members in public practice outside of Australia the scope of APES 305 must be followed to the extent local laws and/or regulations are not contravened.

Fundamental responsibilities of members in public practice

APES 350 requires members to observe and comply with their public interest obligations when performing professional services associated with the DDC process of an issuer. The Standard also reminds members of their professional obligations established in accordance with APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
(the Code) in respect of:

  • Section 100 – Introduction and Fundamental Principles
  • Section 130 – Professional Competence and Due Care
  • Section 140 – Confidentiality
  • Section 210 – Professional Appointment
  • Section 220 – Conflict of Interest
  • Section 280 – Objectivity – All Services
  • Section 290 – Independence – Assurance Engagements

Professional engagement and other matters

APES 350 reminds members in public practice of their professional obligation to document and communicate the terms of engagement in accordance with APES 305 Terms of Engagement.

Roles and obligations of a member in public practice in a due diligence process in connection with a public document

APES 350 details the typical roles a member may undertake in relation to a due diligence process, which are as a DDC member, a DDC observer, a reporting person, and provides a number of mandatory requirements and guidance in relation to such engagements.

Reporting

A key aspect of APES 350 is the due diligence sign-off reporting requirement. A pro-forma example of a due diligence sign-off is provided in Appendix 1 of the Standard. Where a member is asked to provide draft or interim reports, the member should include appropriate disclaimers in these reports to indicate that the reports are not complete.

Refer to the Standard for information concerning

  • Definitions
  • Public interest
  • Professional appointments
  • Professional independence
  • Professional competence and due care
  • Confidentiality
  • Professional engagement and other matters
  • Materiality guidance
  • Documentation
  • Reporting
  • Professional fees
  • Conformity with international pronouncements

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