Financial Mail : 2020-07-02

FEATURES : 23 : 23


The auditing industry is in urgent need of serious reform, says a new report by advocacy group Open Secrets, in part because the public expects so much more than it has delivered so far In 2013, a document was leaked from Deloitte that encouraged investors to use Mauritius to escape taxes, as part of a package to reduce the tax burden of the company’s wealthy clients at the expense of African states. Deloitte failed to report suspicious activities and fraud at Steinhoff and Tongaat Hulett. The Steinhoff fraud resulted in an overnight loss of R120bn, to the detriment of 948 pension funds. The Government Employees Pension Fund alone lost more than R21bn. “Accounting irregulari­ties” at Tongaat meant the sugar company’s assets were overstated by R10bn. Deloitte’s audit of African Bank in 2014 missed red flags in the overstated future cash flow prediction­s Auditing reforms currently being put in place in the UK are imminent in SA too for the bank, which came to near collapse, and ignored red flags raised in its own internal reports. Deloitte earned R207m in fees for an Eskom tender based on an irregular contract. In March 2020, it agreed to pay back R150m of the money it had earned between April 2016 and September 2017, but hung onto more than R57m. . financialm­ 23 July 2 - July 8, 2020

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