Johannesburg, Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) confirms that amendments to the Auditing Profession Act, 26 of 2005, were submitted to National Treasury on 15 December 2017. This followed commitments from the Standing Committee on Finance (SCoF) in October 2017 that these changes would be prioritised for consideration by Parliament in the first half of 2018.
A follow up meeting with National Treasury on February 7 this year agreed that the amendments should be submitted to National Treasury for tabling in Parliament.
The chairman of SCoF, Mr Yunus Carrim, confirmed to IRBA on Tuesday (17 April 2018) that he had written to National Treasury on 16 April regarding the submission of the APA Amendment Bill and the Postbank Bill, both of which were anticipated by SCoF. Since the scandals around the accounting and auditing profession erupted last year, SCoF had recognised the need to strengthen the IRBA’s oversight powers so that the regulator can respond robustly to any failures and improprieties committed by auditors.
The APA Amendment Bill seeks to strengthen the IRBA sanctions in line with the sanctions pursued by other international audit regulators; furthermore, the amendments will look to strengthen the IRBA’s powers in its investigations process, and simplify the complexity of disciplinary hearings, ensuring that outcomes can be achieved more speedily while remaining within the boundaries of a fair and due process.
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.