Johannesburg, Sunday, September 17, 2017 - The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) is aware that KPMG International made an announcement on Friday with regards to its investigation into various allegations with respect to its South African operation’s work on behalf of the Gupta family and the report it produced on SARS. The IRBA is pleased that the firm has made known its findings, enforces accountability and is taking action in the public interest. The IRBA will, however, continue with its own independent investigation in order to bring the matter to the necessary conclusion.
The IRBA cannot at this point give an indication of how long the investigation will take nor what the complete list of allegations will cover. It is, however, committed to performing a robust investigation in as short a time as reasonably possible to deliver on its mandate to serve the public interest.
It is critical for the reputation of the profession and the stability of our capital markets that the IRBA continues to work with audit firms to strengthen independence, professional scepticism and compliance to standards. The IRBA intends to meet with the new team at KPMG to discuss their remedial action programmes which will be regularly monitored by the IRBA.
Now, more than ever, regulators and oversight bodies must work together with the profession to respond to the challenges facing the economy and the country. It is critical that the profession remains responsive to regulators’ measures to protect, not only the public and investors, but also audit firms from exposing themselves from falling short in areas such as ethics, including independence, and the required standards.
Only then will we be able to maintain confidence in the profession, which remains a vital component in creating credible financial markets that will attract the required investment to the benefit of all citizens.
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.
As an internationally recognised regulator of the auditing profession and other assurance services relevant to the South African environment, it has been recognised by the World Economic Forum as the top independent audit regulator worldwide for seven consecutive years for the strength of its audit controls and standards. 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.