Much has happened to the audit profession since KPMG’s involvement in the state capture saga came to light in 2017. The reputation of the entire industry lies in tatters since scandal after scandal hit individual firms both in SA and abroad. African Bank, Steinhoff, Resilient, VBS Mutual Bank, Oakbay... the list goes on. The audit profession defends itself with pages of disclaimers stating clearly that all audited figures rely on the information provided by management. Hence, if management lies, misrepresents or provides false figures, the audited financials provide no protection to the investor and the auditors take no responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided. Currently, the auditors neither explicitly check, nor audit, for fraud. I have been told that if the scope was to be extended to fraud the costs would escalate. Unfortunately, many of the audit profession’s failures we have witnessed have nothing to do with auditing for fraud. They have everything to do wit...

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