Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

Even allowing for some, maybe a lot of, grandstanding by the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (Irba), it does seem the local audit profession is in a rather precarious state. The board’s latest inspection report cites audit firms for a string of contraventions — from the perhaps not too unreasonable (such as taking on work beyond their capacity), to the downright dishonest (such as tampering with audit files and preparing financial statements for companies they were supposed to audit). By the way, did anyone notice that in the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) "Global Competitiveness Report", SA’s audit and reporting standards were ranked a lowly 55th? What a dramatic fall from grace. For seven years until 2017 SA held the No 1 position. It’s impossible to know how thorough Irba inspections are or indeed the extent to which they are representative of the profession but, not for the first time, the board has produced a report with chilling implications for auditors. It is di...

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