New law set to change face of auditing
THE face of auditing will change in South Africa after Parliament approved a law that would scrap the use of exams to admit chartered accountants (CAs).
Instead, candidate CAs would be required to undergo specialised training before being admitted into the profession.
Chairman of the standing committee on finance Yunus Carrim said on Friday candidate CAs would be required to take up this training because it was comprehensive and specialised.
MPs backed the Auditing Profession Amendment Bill when they unanimously voted for it on Thursday in the National Assembly.
The new system would come into operation once the bill has been signed into law by the President.
Carrim said that it was unacceptable that 21 years after democracy 8 percent of Africans and 23 percent women were auditors .
He said new innovative ways must be found to increase the number of African and female auditors.
DA MP David Ross said they welcomed any legislative intervention that would increase the number of Africans and women entering the profession.
Shaik Emam of the National Freedom Party said the bill would ensure that candidate CAs were taken on a rigorous training course before being admitted.
But IFP MP Sibongile Nkomo warned that despite South Africa being ranked as the top auditing country in the world, white collar crime was besmirching the good name of the country.
She said white collar crime, which is said to cost the country R40 billion a year, was endemic. “The public sector, because of our funds, must bear the greatest scrutiny against white collar crime.”
She said young auditors must be trained in real needs.
“The training the candidates will now undergo will get them specialised skills.”
The bill has been referred to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence, and after that it would be sent to President Jacob Zuma.
The bill states that candidate CAs would undergo specialised training for an unspecified period.
It says the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors has replaced the practice exam with the audit development programme.
“The audit development programme is a period of specialisation undertaken by professional accountants who want to be registered auditors,” says the bill.
“The purpose of this programme is to consolidate and refine capabilities that are developed during the training programme.
“This takes place in a more complex learning environment and the aspiring auditors are required to perform roles more senior to those undertaken in the current training contract,” says the bill.