IRBA Newsletter Issue 49

Issue 49 | January - March 2020 21 THE IRBA’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19 In line with government’s measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, the IRBA has put in place procedures to ensure the continuity of its operations and essential functions, while it delivers on its mandate. The measures and controls set out below have been implemented to address and manage the risks posed by COVID-19, and they are applicable for the duration of the national lockdown period. • Staff have been equipped with internet access and call forwarding from each extension has been set up. • Emails are being processed as normal with remote access. • No physical meetings will take place during this period; rather electronic and/or video conferencing platforms will be utilised. • The Inspections as well as the Education and Transformation monitoring teams will not conduct physical visits, but will liaise with the relevant stakeholders to set up alternative remote working arrangements. • All events, conferences and training sessions have been cancelled. Should you need to contact any of our departments, please use the following contact details: • Executive: • Finance: • Inspections: • Investigations: • Legal: • Education and Transformation: • Standards: • Registry: • Media queries: These interim measures are to assist government in managing this pandemic to prevent the country’s health system from becoming overwhelmed. KZN SMALL, MEDIUM PRACTICE ENGAGEMENT VISIT The IRBA held a workshop in KwaZulu-Natal on 12 February 2020, with CEO Bernard Agulhas meeting with senior staff from a number of audit firms from the area. Participants at the Small, Medium Practice Engagement Programme workshop included professionals from Richard’s Bay, Empangeni, Ballito and the University of Zululand. The CEO updated the firms on the IRBA’s Restoring Confidence initiatives; amendments to the Act; the revision of the Continuing Professional Development requirements; and the review of the Audit Development Programme (ADP). As part of reaching out to various stakeholders, the CEO also visited the practice of Renier Botha and Associates to meet with trainees. The Future of Audit: As part of the KZN visit, the CEO met with trainees, who shared their views on the profession and the journey they are on to become registered auditors. They were pleased to have an opportunity to interact with him, and they also shared their views on the profession and the ADP. They also shared what they believe are the advantages of completing their articles at a small practice, with some complimenting their training officer, Diana Nel, on the level of exposure they were getting on various aspects of an audit. In turn, the CEO spoke to themabout the IRBA’s desire to understand the needs of trainees and what the profession can do to encourage them to remain in the profession and become registered auditors. Following the visit, Nel said the trainees had been re-energised by the interaction and felt more hopeful about the future of audit in South Africa. THE PUBLIC INTEREST OVERSIGHT BOARD (PIOB) APPOINTS A NEW CHAIRMAN The PIOB has announced the appointment of a newChairman, Linda de Beer. She is a chartered accountant (SA) who holds a master’s degree in taxation and is a professor in practice at the University of Johannesburg. As an independent non-executive director on a number of South African listed company boards, she also has extensive professional experience in the setting, monitoring and oversight of reporting standards, corporate governance principles and related regulation. She chaired the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board’s Consultative Advisory Group (CAG) from 2010-2015. During her tenure, she also served on the CAG of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants. GENERAL NEWS