IRBA takes steps to assist government with containment of community transmissions

23 Mar 2020

Johannesburg, Monday, March 23, 2020 – The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors has made significant progress to put in place containment measures since President Ramaphosa declared a National Disaster on Sunday, March 15.

Says Bernard Agulhas, CEO: “As an entity reporting to the Ministry of Finance it is important that we are aligned in our approach with regards to staff and stakeholders to achieve the level of containment which government seeks and whereby we can play our part in limiting community transmissions as quickly as possible.

“The leadership of IRBA met on Monday to discuss how we would respond. During Tuesday we agreed the parameters of our COVID-19 Safety Protocol and at close of business on Tuesday we briefed staff on the short-term measures we intended to take in the period to April 14. Staff were asked to stay home and we instituted a remote working policy which will be in effect until April 13.

“We have documented our COVID-19 Safety Protocol, including how it will be implemented in line with all IRBA’s other policies and procedures. Communication will be circulated to all our stakeholders on how to interact with our IRBA staff in this period. The IRBA will continue to operate virtually.”

A few key measures include:

  • Local and international air travel has been cancelled until further notice
  • Personal travel over the holidays has been strongly discouraged
  • Remote working for all staff
  • Staff have been requested to self-isolate and limit their movements
  • Cancellation of all face to face meetings both internally and externally
  • Deployment of alternative meeting technology such as Skype, Microsoft Teams and others
  • Physical inspections and monitoring visits will be replaced with alternative remote monitoring
  • Our email system will remain fully functional
  • Call forwarding to all mobile devices has been activated
  • Staff have access to the building to collect or drop off work but are encouraged to limit the number of visits.

Says Mr Agulhas: “We are also engaging regularly with the auditing profession as well as accountancy bodies and other stakeholders to align responses to the current situation where it is possible. These are challenging times and as the restrictions from government continue to change we will update our safety protocol to ensure that we remain aligned to government’s approach to containment. The sooner the majority of us are staying at home and limiting movement, the sooner transmission will slow down and this will enable government to focus on getting adequate resources into place to assist the vulnerable in society.

“It has been a proven strategy that reduced contact can reduce transmission, as evidenced by China recording its first day of zero new cases.”




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.

Issued by: Lorraine van Schalkwyk APR
Manager: Special Projects and Media Relations
The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA)
Contact: 087 940 8800
Mobile: 083 626 3762
On behalf of: Bernard Peter Agulhas
Chief Executive Officer