Johannesburg, Monday, March 2, 2020 – The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) confirms that court proceedings on Wednesday, 26 February 2020 dealt with an interlocutory application regarding the disclosure of documents.
The application brought by East Rand District Chartered Accountants (ERD) and Jari Cerny sought to compel IRBA to hand over the record supporting the decision to implement Mandatory Audit Firm Rotation (MAFR). The IRBA had already provided the Board file on which it made its decision on MAFR to the ERD, and this application dealt with access to specific additional documentation.
The order granted to the ERD ruled that the applicants could have access to the specific documents that had been requested. Given the confidential nature of the documents sought, the IRBA’s position has always been that the disclosure of such documents could only be made to those with direct interest in the MAFR decision and/or those duly authorised by interested parties, hence the requirement for the applicants to provide proof of their legal standing and authority.
The IRBA has never intended to delay the process but sought to ensure that the disclosure of confidential information was lawful. Thus, the IRBA welcomes the direction provided by the Court and intends to fully comply with the court order.
The IRBA confirms that the court has not yet heard any arguments or made a ruling on the Mandatory Audit Firm Rotation Rule and as such the rule remains in force with the effective date of 1 April 2023.
More about the IRBA:
The IRBA is a public protection statutory body established to protect the financial interests of the public by ensuring registered auditors and their firms deliver services of the highest quality. It upholds audit firm independence to ensure that audit quality is such that it enhances the accuracy and credibility of financial performance reporting. In this way, the IRBA has an important role to play in building the reputation of South Africa as an investment market for both local and global investors and driving economic growth for the country.
The IRBA also registers suitably qualified accountants as auditors, who must adhere to the highest ethics standards, and promotes the auditing profession through the effective regulation of assurance conducted in accordance with internationally recognised standards and processes.