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The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (Irba) has called for comment on its proposed rules relating to investigations into disciplinary matters. It’s part of an effort to beef up the regulator, which has long been regarded as having too cosy a relationship with the firms it is supposed to hold to account.The rules also tie in with amendments to the Auditing Profession Act, which came into effect in April.At this early stage, not everyone is persuaded that either change will make much difference to the regulator’s apparent inability to rein in its charges. Simon Mantell of Mantelli’s Biscuits, whose drawn-out battle with PwC over its auditing of SAA means he may have done more to hold the big audit firms accountable than Irba, is not too optimistic. He reckons Irba doesn’t have nearly enough resources to do its job properly, and notes there’s been no provision to boost its budget.Without a hefty injection of resources, the much-touted new powers to undertake search and seizure...

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