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JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) says a few errant auditors have hurt the profession and it must work to rebuild trust and confidence.

Audit firms such as KPMG, Deloittes and Nkonki have made headlines over the past year or so over irregularities in audit work while some companies' senior executives have stepped down after being implicated in corruption.

"The IRBA concedes that the crisis in the profession precipitated by the revelations of the last 11 months has been a testing time for the profession, including many audit firms that continue to serve their clients with integrity," the IRBA said in a statement.

CEO Bernard Agulhas, said the incidents affecting some companies had refocused the broader profession "to look at ethics, policies, and quality so there would be positive changes emanating from the crisis".

"The IRBA as regulator can only do so much within our mandate, so when auditor conduct is under question, it is the auditors themselves who must counter the misperceptions," he said.

"In the current socio-political climate, auditing is receiving far more media attention than ever before and when something goes wrong the level of public interest is far higher than ever before."

"This is not going to change, but what we do need immediately from all stakeholders is a rational and measured response," Agulhas added.

- African News Agency