Auditors 'drive changes' to salvage professional image
Publish date: 11 February 2019
Issue Number: 810
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa
Auditing bodies say they will ‘aggressively drive changes’ to salvage their image in 2019. The profession has been under fire since the implication of KPMG in state capture and the implosion of Steinhoff. Questions have also been raised about the role of internal auditors in shining light on activities that cannot easily be picked up by external auditors. According to a Business Day report, representatives of the bodies told the Public Sector Forum that intimidation of internal auditors and the total disregard of professionals’ recommendations are among the factors speeding up the capture of corporate and public institutions. Another concern is the promotion of police officers without the relevant experience to investigate financial statements. Jaco de Jager, of the Association of Fraud Examiners SA, said 26 professional bodies had joined forces to minimise instances where ‘a guy who was working in the police office filling out charge sheets suddenly becomes a financial statement expert’ in public institutions. In 2019, association members will change their reporting to also show who was employed in critical positions in organisations, such as directors, risk managers and forensic consultants, De Jager said. ‘The fraud examiner will start issuing reports to point out if the organisation does not have qualified staff that belong to professional bodies,’ he said.