Accountants laud KPMG move to cease non-audit services to listed clients
JOHANNESBURG - THE SOUTH African Institute of Professional Accountants (Saipa) yesterday commended the local unit of audit firm KPMG over its decision to no longer offer non-audit-related services to clients listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
KPMG has been slammed over its services to a company owned by the controversial Gupta family.
On Monday it said it would cease all future non-audit-related services to listed clients from March 31 “as a result of an intensive review process that seeks to improve the perception of auditor independence and protecting the interests of the public”.
The move was in the best interest of the public and will contribute to the process of restoring confidence in the accountancy profession, Saipa chief executive Shahied Daniels said yesterday. Another leading audit firm, Deloitte, has also been embroiled in an accounting scandal at retail giant Steinhoff.
While auditing was under the greatest pressure to regain public trust, the accounting profession, a subset of accountancy, also needed to contribute to that goal, Daniels said. “It is not just one party working to restore confidence inthe profession. It must be a unified progression with professional accountancy organisations, like Saipa, playing a leading role,” he said.
Business advisory was rapidly evolving to become a unique and specialised competency within the accountancy stable and Saipa had established a dedicated centre to equip professional accountants to offer these advanced solutions, he added. Professional accountancy bodies were collaborating on several initiatives to ensure the field regained the “unquestioned” respect it once enjoyed, Daniels said.
One such initiative was the drive to encourage accounting firms, especially the larger ones, to adopt transparency reporting, while all professional bodies were also taking a collective stand to ensure that accountants disqualified from one body could no longer seek membership with another, Daniels said.
African News Agency