IRBA full steam ahead with mandatory firm rotation

Despite many CFOs rejecting mandatory audit firm rotation (see our recent interviews and articles on this matter by visiting our MAFR dossier), the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) is continuing at full steam, with MAFR in South Africa set to kick in on 1 April 2023.

In a recent press release the Irba reaffirms its plans, despite the fact that the comment process has "delivered substantial engagement", with more than 65 submissions received as part of the public consultation process.

Bernard Agulhas (pictured), IRBA CEO, said:

"While the board has still to review the submissions in detail, we are nevertheless pleased with the public consultation process so far. Engagement throughout the process has been robust and is in our view representative of not only primary stakeholders but also key groupings and associations, as well as the public."

The IRBA says the submissions come from a diverse set of stakeholders, including civil society groups, professional bodies, listed companies, audit firms, accounting practices and state-owned entities, as well as private individuals. A report with all submissions will be compiled and tabled at the February meeting of the board.

Agulhas added that the IRBA, through its international relations with other audit regulators, and participation on various ethics and standards setting committees, has noted a sharp increase in reference to auditor independence concerns across the globe as well as many initiatives to improve transparency, reporting regulations and auditor independence.

MAFR in South Africa is set start on 1 April 2023, with the required rotation being every ten years, pending the conclusion of the current public comment process, which was designed to enable firms and companies to supply evidence of the cost and practical impact of audit firm rotation.