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The first half of the calendar year has come and gone. And we

continue to push the limits on our capacity to do more, achieve

more, and deliver more. These ambitious goals do not only

apply to the IRBA, but equally to the profession, which needs

to respond to the myriad of changes which continuously come

about fromdatamoving across our borderless world.

We attended the International Forum of Independent Audit

Regulators’ (IFIAR) meeting earlier in the year, and had the

privilege to meet Senator Sarbanes who co-authored the

renowned Sarbanes-Oxley Act (pictured on the cover). He

shared with us the process to legislate the critical reforms

following the business and audit failures at the time, and the

challenges encountered to ensure that there was an

understanding that the changes were required for the public

protection. It was an important reminder that, if all

stakeholders appreciated the ultimate objective to serve and

protect the public, the matters which were not so important

would take up less of everyone’s limited capacity spent on

legal and political processes. Twenty years into our own

democracy, we are still young, but have the advantage of

learning from others’ experiences and refocus our energies on

what will make a difference, not in the short term, but the


While the International Audit and Assurance Standards Board

(IAASB) will be voting out the newAuditor Reporting Standard

at their September meeting, to respond to the needs of

investors and users for more information, South Africa has

been hosting the leadership from the International Integrated

Reporting Council to stimulate debate on the value of

integrated thinking and integrated reporting. This re-

emphasises the need to eliminate borders and collaborate at

all levels; and recognise that our current thinking must result in

sustainable solutions. Sustainability might be one component

of Integrated Reporting, but a critical component for the future.

We also need to appreciate the benefits of collaboration

between regulators and the profession. As part of our

inspections approach, we have been engaging with firms on

possible areas of improvement where our findings indicated

shortcomings. Appreciating that both the firms and the IRBA

share a common interest to maintain high audit quality, we

have had very positive meetings with the leadership of the

firms where we completed inspections and identified a need

for some remedial action. We also started to share the

common findings with the wider profession (refer to page 14).

Our workshops on the common reasons which lead to

investigations of auditors was a similar initiative to raise

awareness amongst auditors to be proactive in identifying

possible causes for audit failures.

While we continue to engage with the Treasury to implement

the recommendations in the World Bank’s Report on the

Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC), which had

been adopted by the Minister of Finance, we have made some

progress on identifying the processes to introduce Limited

Liability Partnerships and structures for the regulation of the

wider accountancy profession. Although these are only two of

the recommendations in the ROSC, it will already go some

way to eliminate the current imbalance in oversight between

auditors and other accountants, including the Broad-Based

Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) verification

industry. While it remains uncertain whether the IRBA will

regulate the B-BBEE verification industry, we have put in place

processes to support and regulate auditors who deliver

services in this industry. The ROSC is available at

Business and the profession have recognised long ago that

South Africa is not isolated from the continent of which it is but

one country. Similarly, the IRBA is planning initiatives to

engage more with jurisdictions on the continent to share best

practices and offer support to improve reporting and

governance inAfrica.

Finally, we are in the process of completing our final

consultation with the profession to prepare for the

implementation of the Audit Development Programme (ADP)

in January 2015. The ADP is the new programme to qualify

auditors and ensure that, when they register with the IRBA,

they have developed the necessary competencies to sign off

on audit reports on which the public place reliance, including

those competencies to function in a dynamic and increasingly

complex, but exciting, environment. We are also fortunate to

participate in projects to change the international standard on

auditor competencies, which will better equip auditors to

respond to this environment.

So we will continue to push the limits (and the borders), while

working with our stakeholders to achieve our common

objectives - which is why there is no better time than the

present to be part of the auditing environment.



Issue 26 April - June 2014

Bernard Peter Agulhas

Chief Executive Officer