Faith Ngwenya: acting Chief Executive

In response to National Treasury’s invitation to representative bodies to comment on the new regulatory requirements of the accountancy profession, SAIPA has submitted its proposals in order to play an active role in shaping the future of our industry.

The request by National Treasury came at the end of September and

it is expected that the framework will be presented to the Finance Minister in March 2016. The implementation of the recommendations is tentatively set at two years.

One consideration – which seems to be preferred by National Treasury –  is for the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) to become the comprehensive regulator. Seen as the most suitable body for this task, in this scenario IRBA will regulate private and public sector accountants, external and internal auditors, risk managers, tax advisors, and financial fraud examiners.

National Treasury is aware of the legislative amendments that will be required for the above to be achieved. In preparation for the results of consultations with the potentially affected professional bodies, IRBA has included an additional pillar in their strategy for regulation of the profession. It is understood that IRBA will decide on an accreditation model in consultation with the affected bodies.

When considering the accountancy professional landscape in South Africa, SAIPA agrees with the findings of the 2013 World Bank Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) that there are too many professional bodies in the country and that the foundations upon which these bodies are built are vastly different.

While SAIPA has recommended the consideration of other regulatory frameworks, we are quite confident that our position in the profession together with our qualifications framework, strict disciplinary procedures, and sound governance structures enable us to perfectly fit any regulatory framework.

The capacity that has been built by SAIPA over the last ten years has positioned the institute at a strong advantage point, and the collaboration with SAICA, announced during the SAIPA roadshow earlier this year, strengthens our position in drafting the Accountancy Draft Bill and related regulations in the best interests of South Africa and its economy.

The decision to collaborate in taking proactive responsibility for the sustainability of the accountancy profession was based on talking points of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) CEO Strategic Forum held in March 2015. Both SAIPA and SAICA are IFAC members and have efficiencies and strengths that will be mutually beneficial during this collaboration.

The collaboration will serve as a single voice for the accountancy profession, without changes to the structures of either institute, or the education pathways and professional designations currently in use by respective members.

During the course of the collaboration representatives from both institutes will also consider future models for the accountancy profession that can create mechanisms to counter professional leakages and address skills shortages, and to work towards the ongoing transformation of the accountancy profession.

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