IRBA welcomes outcome of voting on the Auditing Profession Amendment Bill

17 Mar 2015

The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors welcomed the amendments to the Auditing Profession Amendment Bill voted on in parliament on Thursday, 12 March 2015.

The amendment bill paves the way for the implementation of the Audit Development Programme (ADP) which is a specialisation period for Chartered Accountants to register as Registered Auditors (RAs). The Auditing Profession Act currently does not allow for the regulation of candidate auditors and this amendment is necessary to ensure that all registered candidate auditors are under the jurisdiction of the IRBA.

In the past, all candidates who wanted to become Chartered Accountants (CAs) could choose one of two routes; the audit route or the financial management route. Candidates who chose the audit route and successfully wrote the IRBA’s Public Practice Examination (PPE) could become Chartered Accountants (CAs) and RAs. However, due to the change to the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants’ (SAICA) education and training model, CAs will no longer qualify through specialist routes. All CAs will follow a similar qualification path and write only one final assessment of professional competence presented by SAICA. These assessments are done through written examinations.

“The IRBA believes that the new final assessment does not assess audit competencies to the same level as the PPE, and given that the IRBA’s mandate is to protect the public, we developed the Audit Development Programme” says Bernard Agulhas, CEO of the IRBA.

The purpose of the ADP is to consolidate and refine the capabilities that are developed during the training programme. The new programme ensures that the public is protected by ensuring that all Registered Auditors, who deliver a public service, have demonstrated the professional competence on the job and that they have operated at managerial level within an audit firm.

The Audit Development Programme does not create any additional barriers to entry to the profession, and instead of assessing competence through written examinations, the IRBA will perform assessments through a portfolio of evidence. The programme will run parallel with what happens in audit practices and provides candidates with an opportunity to gain exposure to a broad range of issues faced in the profession before they become Registered Auditors.

“Most Registered Auditors register with the IRBA once they reach partner level which is at least four years into their career. The programme therefore emulates what happens in practice and does not create additional barriers, but rather provides opportunities to gain and demonstrate specialist competencies” says Agulhas.

“The IRBA will have a direct relationship with the auditing firms and will be better positioned to influence the firms’ transformation agendas through the ADP and the CA Charter sector code” adds Agulhas. END.

Issued by the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors
For more information contact: Lebogang Manganye on 087 940 8788/084 510 4658