Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) acting chief executive officer Imre Nagy. File photo: IRBA
Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) acting chief executive officer Imre Nagy. File photo: IRBA

SA auditors’ board applauds law amendment enhancing its powers

By ANA Reporter Time of article published May 2, 2021

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An amendment to South Africa’s Auditing Profession Act signed into law last month will give the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) the necessary powers to deliver more effectively on its mandate and remove some of the limitations it faced previously, the entity said on Sunday.

Johannesburg - An amendment to South Africa’s Auditing Profession Act signed into law last month will give the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) the necessary powers to deliver more effectively on its mandate and remove some of the limitations it faced previously, the entity said on Sunday.

In a statement the IRBA, which has overseen a profession besieged by high-profile corporate collapses and instances of audit failure in recent years, said the Auditing Profession Amendment Act signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa on April 23 and gazetted three days later would help improve its enforcement processes to ensure its effectiveness.

The IRBA is a statutory body established to protect the financial interests of the public by ensuring registered auditors and their firms deliver quality services. It upholds audit firm independence to ensure that quality is such that it enhances the accuracy and credibility of financial performance reporting.

The regulator approached the National Treasury in 2017 with proposed amendments to the law which would enable it to address public concerns on the state of the profession and help it carry out its mandate more effectively.

“The Act was amended following a three-year parliamentary process that began with the proposed amendments being included as part of the Financial Matters Amendment Bill,” IRBA acting chief executive officer Imre Nagy said on Sunday.

In addition to strengthening the IRBA’s independence, investigating and disciplinary processes, the amended law also provides for the power to enter and search premises for the purpose of seizing information relevant to an investigation and the power to subpoena people with information required for an investigation.

It also allows it to refer non-audit complaints for investigation to registered accredited accounting bodies and to enforce stricter monetary sanctions in relation to both investigation and disciplinary outcomes.

“These amendments come at a critical time when IRBA is working hard to restore confidence in the IRBA and the profession, and it will help bolster our role as the regulator,” the regulator said.

“The amendments will also go a long way in rebuilding public trust that is necessary to stimulate investment that is important for our economic recovery.”

– African News Agency

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