Black au­di­tors are be­ing side­lined

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Jef­frey Mothu­loe

THE an­nounce­ment by Fi­nance Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba of the im­mi­nent im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Manda­tory Au­dit Firm Ro­ta­tion (MAFR) is sig­nif­i­cant.

The au­dit­ing pro­fes­sion re­mains one of the most un­trans­formed pro­fes­sions in the new demo­cratic dis­pen­sa­tion. It is de­bat­able, how­ever, if this move will re­al­is­ti­cally lead to trans­for­ma­tion given that the trans­for­ma­tion char­ter in the au­dit­ing pro­fes­sion re­mains un­signed by the “big four” au­dit­ing firms.

The big four au­dit­ing firms and JSE-listed com­pa­nies are act­ing in con­cert to en­sure that black au­dit firms are ex­cluded from au­dits in the pri­vate sec­tor. The big four banks have stated cat­e­gor­i­cally that they would only be au­dited by the big four au­dit­ing firms.

The small and medium black au­dit­ing firms can­not even gain ac­cess to work from Au­di­tor-Gen­eral Kimi Mak­wetu. Black char­tered ac­coun­tants are only good enough if work­ing un­der the um­brella of a white-con­trolled big four au­dit­ing firm. How­ever, when work­ing on their own, there are sud­denly is­sues about their “com­pe­tence”.

Gi­gaba is urged, in the pub­lic in­ter­est, to re­view the Sup­ply Chain Man­age­ment Pol­icy of the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral of South Africa re­lat­ing to the al­lo­ca­tion of au­dit work.

This will re­duce the unem­ploy­ment rate in this sec­tor as the black firms will em­ploy more pro­fes­sion­als and sup­port staff and con­trib­ute to­wards poverty al­le­vi­a­tion. Mon­tana Park, Pre­to­ria

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