What do Steinhoff’s former CEO Markus Jooste, ex-Eskom finance boss Anoj Singh and one-time Gupta auditor Jacques Wessels have in common? You’d be right if you said state capture, allegations of fraud or unethical behaviour. But you’d be forgiven for not guessing they are all members in good standing of the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica). Telling, isn’t it, that a professional body – which has emblazoned on its latest annual report the motto "Towards an empowered, ethical and successful SA" – would allow its own members to fall so short of the standards it professes to uphold. The much-bemoaned state of the audit and accounting professions — laid bare by a growing list of scandals including Steinhoff, Eskom, KPMG, the Guptas and VBS Mutual Bank – has cast a glaring spotlight on Saica’s own shortcomings. The picture isn’t reassuring. And this has led to a growing number of the institute’s 43,000 members demanding that action be taken against delinquent accountants to p...

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