Bernard Agulhas, CEO of the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (Irba), says the regulator needs powers of search and seizure because of the "noncooperation" of local audit firms. Proposed changes to the Auditing Profession Act to give Irba powers of search and seizure have caused howls of protest from the auditing profession, which says they're "extreme" and "unconstitutional". Agulhas says the crisis of public faith in the auditing profession makes quicker and more effective investigations by Irba essential. The body has come under pressure from the public and parliament to speed up the process. "We've been asked by the standing committee on finance about the speed of our investigations. We told them about the non-cooperation of the audit firms, and the difficulty to obtain information from them when we perform an investigation." The need for sharper teeth was highlighted by Irba's release this week of its 2018 "Public Inspections Report", which shows that local audit firms ...

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