Terms of Reference

An Advisory Group will be established with the purpose of advising the Australian and New Zealand governments, accounting standards bodies, auditing and assurance standards bodies and oversight bodies on strategies to:

  • Encourage, wherever appropriate, a consistent approach in Australia and New Zealand to the establishment, application and monitoring of accounting standards and auditing and assurance standards;
  • Ensure that Australian and New Zealand accounting standards, auditing and assurance standards, and associated regulatory and institutional arrangements, do not form an impediment to Trans-Tasman business activity; and
  • Maximise the influence of Australia and New Zealand in the development of international accounting standards1, auditing and assurance standards, and the associated international standard setting processes.

In undertaking this role, the Advisory Group will be guided by the joint Statement of Intent on a Single Economic Market Outcomes Framework issued by the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand on 20 August 2009.  In particular the Group will be guided by the principles enunciated in that joint Statement of Intent.  Specifically, the Advisory Group will take primary responsibility for monitoring progress on the shared outcomes relating to financial reporting policy agreed by the two governments under the Statement of Intent (including any revisions to those outcome statements agreed from time to time). The Advisory Group will accordingly maintain a close working relationship with the Trans Tasman Outcomes Implementation Group (TTOIG) which is charged with responsibility for carrying forward implementation of the shared outcome proposals agreed by the two Prime Ministers.

The Advisory Group will provide advice under four broad headings:

  • Standards setting — advice primarily to the oversight and standard setting bodies on achieving greater coordination and information exchange between the two countries, including how to progress the alignment of Australian and New Zealand accounting standards, and auditing and assurance standards, in light of increasing internationalisation of those standards;
  • Policy co-ordination — advice primarily to the Australian and New Zealand governments on the broader policy and legal framework for financial reporting, with a view to promoting a consistent approach to the establishment, application and monitoring of accounting standards, and auditing and assurance standards, wherever appropriate, as well as to the associated regulatory and institutional arrangements and to enhancing the quality of both financial reporting and auditing in both countries;
  • Institutional arrangements — advice to the Australian and New Zealand governments, as well as the oversight and standard setting bodies, on the specific institutional arrangements that might be established over time to maximise the consistency in approach to the establishment, application and monitoring of accounting standards, and auditing and assurance standards; and to minimise impediments to Trans-Tasman business activity; and
  • International influence —  advice to the Australian and New Zealand governments, and the oversight and standard setting bodies, on strategies to maintain and enhance Australia’s and New Zealand’s influence on the development of international accounting standards, and auditing and assurance standards, through involvement in relevant international fora, including regionally.

The Advisory Group will comprise a nominee of each of the following bodies:

Oversight Bodies

Financial Reporting Council
External Reporting Board

Standard Setting Bodies

Australian Accounting Standards Board
Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board
New Zealand Accounting Standards Board
New Zealand Auditing and Assurance Standards Board

Professional Accounting Bodies

Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia
CPA Australia
Institute of Public Accountants
New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants

Government Departments

Australian Treasury
Ministry of Economic Development

Designated nominees may nominate a replacement where they are unable to attend meetings.  Officials of Australian Treasury and the Ministry of Economic Development responsible for matters on which TTAASAG provides advice may also attend meetings as appropriate.  Australian and New Zealand representatives on international bodies or other experts in financial reporting and auditing and assurance matters may also be invited to brief the Advisory Group from time to time.

Meetings of the Advisory Group will be scheduled as required. It is anticipated that this will entail at least two meetings per year, with meetings normally being held alternately in Australia and New Zealand. The costs of participation in the Advisory Group will be met by the member organisations.

The Chair of the Advisory Group will be rotated on a two yearly basis between Australia and New Zealand and will be nominated by Australian Treasury and the Ministry of Economic Development respectively.  The secretariat for the Advisory Group will be provided by Australian Treasury (when Australia is the Chair) or the Ministry of Economic Development (when New Zealand is the Chair).

The Advisory Group may prepare and release discussion documents in the course of developing its advice.

May 2011


1. For the purposes of this document, international accounting standards comprise International Financial Reporting Standards and International Public Sector Accounting Standards.