IRBA accredits ACCA as a route to audit specialisation

06 Jul 2023

Johannesburg, Thursday, July 6, 2023 – The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) announced today that it has accredited the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) (South Africa) as an additional professional accounting body providing another route to the audit specialisation programme for aspiring registered auditors. This announcement means that eligible ACCA members can in future register for the Audit Development Programme (ADP) which is an 18-month audit specialism process.

On successful completion of the ADP, these candidate auditors may be eligible for registration as Registered Auditors (RAs). The effective date from when ACCA members are able register for the ADP is 1 April 2024.

Says Imre Nagy, CEO of IRBA: “This is a positive step forward for the audit profession in that it opens a prospective pipeline of qualified accountants who can pursue audit as a career. This will help alleviate some of the talent shortage that the firms are experiencing currently.”

The accreditation of professional bodies is mandated by the Auditing Profession Act 26 of 2005, which outlines the requirements for accreditation. According to sections 5(b) and 5(c) of the Auditing Profession Act, if a professional accounting body meets the prescribed requirements for accreditation, the Board must consider such accreditation and specify the period of validity.

The responsibility and duty to consider and recommend the accreditation of professional bodies to the Board is delegated by the Board to the Education and Transformation Committee (EDCOM). EDCOM appointed an Accreditation Committee (ACCOM) to evaluate the ACCA accreditation application and this process focused on the specific programmes as defined in the IRBA Accreditation Model.

Says Nagy: “The process to accredit and monitor professional bodies is executed through the IRBA Accreditation Model, which stipulates the specified requirements for accreditation and the competency framework, ensuring consistency in the development of competencies for registered auditors in South Africa. The ACCA's application for accreditation was evaluated based on these requirements, involving a multi-layered evaluation process, meetings, workshops, and an iterative decision-making process across the relevant governance structures.

“Initial feedback from stakeholder engagement around the process has been positive, acknowledging the need for multiple professional bodies to broaden the pipeline for students and trainees to enter the audit profession.”

Says ACCA South Africa Head, Portia Mkhabela: “The ACCA developed its audit pathway experience requirements for ACCA members in South Africa in accordance with the IRBA’s competency framework for registered auditors. This includes the establishment of an ACCA audit training scheme with approved training offices. Joining the ADP and becoming RAs will require the completion of specific ACCA exams, an ethics and professional skills module, and three years of practical experience at an approved employer audit firm.

“We’re delighted that the IRBA is providing a route for ACCA members and future members to gain RA status in South Africa. This will grant our members, who have the relevant experience, auditing practice rights in the country.”

The IRBA and ACCA will work closely together to roll-out the agreed post-accreditation deliverables before the effective date of 1 April 2024. IRBA’s monitoring and education committees will ensure continued alignment and compliance with the accreditation monitoring requirements in the best interests of the profession.



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.

More about the ACCA:

ACCA is the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. A thriving global community of 241,000 members and 542,000 future members based in 178 countries and regions, who work across a wide range of sectors and industries. ACCA upholds the highest professional and ethical values.

The ACCA has audit rights in 37 countries and works directly with local regulators in those jurisdictions.

ACCA believes that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society that supports both public and private sectors. ACCA is committed to the development of a strong global accountancy profession and the many benefits that this brings to society and individuals.


Issued by: Lorraine van Schalkwyk APR
Manager: Marketing and Media Relations
The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA)
Contact: +27 87 759 2693
Mobile: 083 626 3762
On behalf of: Imre Nagy
Chief Executive Officer