KPMG SA partners with ABASA to provide market exposure to smaller black-owned firms

KPMG South Africa is the first, and only, big auditing firm to enter into an agreement like this.

KPMG South Africa has announced that it has entered an MOU with the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of South Africa (ABASA) to create more meaningful and broad-based commitment to transformation in the profession, by providing training and market exposure to smaller black owned firms.

“Transformation is one of KPMG’s strategic pillars, and we view this alliance with ABASA as an opportunity to support smaller businesses, grow skills and support a broader industry commitment to transformation. ABASA is a recognised organisation in the industry, which shares our objective of supporting diversity and growth, and was therefore a strong partnership choice for us,” said KPMG South Africa CEO Ignatius Sehoole.

ABASA president Ashley Dicken said that, as part of the association’s overall strategy, ABASA wants to facilitate opportunities for its members to actively participate in economic decisions and socio-economic development. “Through this MOU with KPMG SA, our smaller black accounting and/or audit practices will be given the opportunity to work directly with KPMG, as full team members on their client engagements – giving them extended opportunity into larger market opportunities and a diverse range of projects.”

KPMG is the first, and only, of the big four auditing firms to enter into such an agreement. “We are very proud to work with ABASA on this strategic imperative,” Ignatius added. “Certainly, if transformation in our sector is to be taken more seriously, then examining ways in which we can uplift the entire industry must be examined. Our commitment to supporting training and delivering full market exposure to smaller black firms, under the KPMG brand, will allow them to gain stronger insight into a full spectrum of clients, which can then be taken back into their own firms to help support growth and development.”

The statement said that once KPMG has completed their own internal risk processes, team members from these firms will be integrated into the KPMG teams and will be trained on the KPMG audit methodology, using KPMG technology. KPMG will take full responsibility for the quality of all work delivered by the staff members and they will be required to comply with KPMG’s strict independence requirements. They will also be provided with independence and ethics training as a prerequisite for this.

An ABASA committee specifically dedicated to the initiative will choose the firms that will work with KPMG on the programme. This committee will work independently to onboard relevant smaller member firms and ensure those selected are correctly assessed in terms of their own business practices and have good standing memberships not only with ABASA, but with SAICA and IRBA too.