Picture: David Ritchie/ANA
Picture: David Ritchie/ANA
Newly-appointed chief executive of KPMG South Africa, Nhlamu Dlomu (Pic: KPMG website)
Newly-appointed chief executive of KPMG South Africa, Nhlamu Dlomu (Pic: KPMG website)
JOHANNESBURG - Under-fire audit auditing firm KPMG yesterday moved to clean up its battered image when it named a new management team, as it tries to stem the litany of JSE-listed companies dumping them over concerns regarding its integrity and quality of work.

Nhlamu Dlomu, KPMG South Africa’s chief executive, said the firm's new management was a strong and experienced team of KPMG partners.

“This is day one for the new KPMG a KPMG where public interest will share an equally important role with enhanced governance, quality and ethics,” Dlomu said.

Also read: KPMG announces new team to help rebuild trust

“We understand that the immediate road ahead will be challenging, but I believe the individuals in this team have the necessary skill, experience, passion and energy to lead KPMG to once again be a standard setter in the profession.”

The team includes Gary Pickering, who will lead the audit practice, Granville Smith will head up the advisory practice and Sipho Malaba, who will continue as the executive team member responsible for the firm’s financial services audit arm.

Newly-appointed chief executive of KPMG South Africa, Nhlamu Dlomu (Pic: KPMG website)

Modise Maseng will lead the firm’s public sector work and Makgotso Letsitsi will be the leader for KPMG people. KPMG said all three functions of the business (audit, tax and advisory) will be supported by its markets team led by Nosisa Fubu.

But the shake up in the top echelons of KPMG failed to stop the negative sentiments towards the firm. The Foschini Group yesterday became the latest company listed on the bourse to fire KPMG as it external auditors with Deloitte & Touche replacing the embattled firm.

Foschini said in a statement that it had decided to sever ties in the wake of the allegations against the firm. “The change in audit firm, which is effective immediately, was initiated by the company following the concerns recently raised against KPMG,” the company said.

Business Report yesterday reported Telkom had decided to not award any new business to KPMG pending the outcome of an investigation by the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA).

Last week, waste-management company Interwaste fired KPMG as its external auditors, ending a relationship of 17 years. Sygnia Asset Management and Sasfin also ditched KPMG in recent weeks.

The beleaguered firm last month withdrew parts of its report on a probe into the existence of a Sars “rogue spy unit” and said that its audit on Gupta-owned Linkway Trading was below standard.

Also read: Telkom cuts future ties with KPMG till IRBA investigation

Spotlight

The auditing profession has found itself uncomfortably in the spotlight in recent months.

Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu last week also raised questions on the quality of SizweNtsalubaGobodo’s work after it initially gave Denel, the controversy-dogged state-owned arms manufacturer a clean audit, despite the lack of supporting evidence.

In August, Deloitte & Touche rejected allegations by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba that it had not been independent and objective in the forensic report it had conducted for the National Treasury on the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS), saying Deloitte stood by the findings of its forensic report.

Gigaba had told legislators the Treasury was dissatisfied with the forensic investigation conducted by Deloitte into the IFMS and said he had asked the IRBA to investigate Deloitte for “shoddy” work.

Willie Botha, a senior executive of assurance at the South African institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) said the organisation is committed to work together with its members and associates, government, other professional bodies to regain confidence in South Africa and its markets, which is essential for the level of prosperity that the economy can achieve.

"This includes reflecting on the profession and the role of all our members and associates, both in public practice and in business, and interrogating the issues that are needed to self-correct, with the help of affected stakeholders," Botha said