Johannesburg, Friday, 22 September 2017 – The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) has announced its unconditional support for an independent inquiry into the conduct of certain members of SAICA employed by auditing firm KPMG.
Terence Nombembe, SAICA’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “The reputation of the chartered accountancy profession and the CA(SA) designation in South Africa has received a significant reputational setback resulting from the developments surrounding the involvement of certain CAs(SA) employed by KPMG.”
“This inquiry will not be conducted by SAICA, but by an independent retired Judge or Senior Counsel. Furthermore, the inquiry will not contradict, interfere, obstruct, undermine, water down or downplay the investigation being carried out by the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA).”
“SAICA has received widespread requests from its stakeholders including SAICA members, significant players in the business and civil society as well as the general public to take a strong stand against unethical behaviour by its members.”
Given the significant calls for action the Institute has taken the decision to unequivocally support the initiative.
“In the light of this reality, where the actions of a small minority of individual CAs(SA) have seriously affected the reputation of all CA(SA) professionals, SAICA has decided to support the independent inquiry into the actions and intentions of the individuals involved. We have been engaging extensively and have understood the loud call of our members and stakeholders on this matter and equally welcome the position of KPMG leadership both locally and globally in embracing this call.”
Nombembe stressed that, “the concerned groupings are emphatic about the importance of this inquiry extending to all individual CAs(SA) involved in both audit and non-audit work.”
He added: “The requirement for such an extraordinary measure has been called for by many of our members as well as by other stakeholders. All have supported the need for trust to be restored in the profession, given that the unethical actions of a few members are bringing into question the ethical reputation not only of the profession, but of the entire business community in South Africa.”
Nombembe underscored the fact that the independent inquiry in no way affects or replaces other investigations or inquiries by other organisations, including the IRBA.
He also emphasised that the ethical values of the CA(SA) profession are sacrosanct, “hence the need for SAICA to address the unethical behaviour of some of its individual members by way of support for the speedy extraordinary measures to protect the reputation of the profession as a whole. These steps will aid and speed-up the normal SAICA disciplinary procedures, which will also rely on the outcomes of other investigative bodies including that of the IRBA.”
“We will use the findings of the independent inquiry to complement the findings of any regulatory and public prosecutorial investigations when SAICA takes disciplinary steps against members who have brought the profession into disrepute.”
“Of critical importance is the restoration of trust in the chartered accountancy profession and the dependence of all sectors of South African society on this trust. We are convinced this completely justifies our decision to support the independent inquiry,” concluded Nombembe.
The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), South Africa’s pre-eminent accountancy body, is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading accounting institutes. The Institute provides a wide range of support services to more than 42 000 members and associates who are chartered accountants [CAs(SA)], as well as AGAs(SA) and ATs(SA), who hold positions as CEOs, MDs, board directors, business owners, chief financial officers, auditors and leaders in every sphere of commerce and industry, and who play a significant role in the nation’s highly dynamic business sector and economic development.
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