The PwC report into Steinhoff names CEO Markus Jooste and his top executives, but the biggest corporate scandal in SA happened because the "gatekeepers" didn't do their job, says corporate reporting specialist Steven Firer. According to the summarised version of the report, the international furniture retailer created fictitious profit-boosting schemes totalling R106bn between 2009 and 2016. "This is about the failure of gatekeepers, the audit committee, the board, the auditors," says Firer. They're likely to argue that they complied with financial reporting standards. "Audit firms and companies comply with the technical part of the standards come hell or high water," he says. The PwC report confirms it. "There's nothing in the report about them departing from correct accounting standards. What we hear is fraud." This is because the gatekeepers that investors and pensioners rely on to safeguard their money forgot about "fair presentation", which essentially means looking at the bigg...

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