Chairperson, Ministers, Deputy Ministers and members of this House, on behalf of the NFP I would like to express our opinion with regard to the Auditing Profession Amendment Bill.
The NFP welcomes the Auditing Profession Amendment Bill. The auditing profession is of vital importance in our country, particularly for the purposes of accountability and transparency, both in government and in the private sector.
It is encouraging to find that the Bill seeks to introduce professional control over candidate auditors under an independent professional regulatory body such as the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors, more so since the candidate auditors will now be regulated according to the same standards of professional conduct as qualified and registered auditors.
The Bill will ensure that candidate auditors receive specialist training prior to becoming registered auditors. This augurs well for the auditing profession. Very often, some of the duties of an auditor are delegated to a candidate auditor and the professional control and oversight mechanism introduced by the Bill will, in our view, promote increased professionalism in the auditing profession.
We submit that the aims of the Bill will bring the auditing profession into line with the regulatory provisions of other professional bodies, such as the legal profession.
The NFP also welcomes the amendment to synchronise the auditing profession with the provisions contained in the Companies Act, Act 71 of 2008. We submit that uncertainty in law causes confusion and creates loopholes in terms of which legal provisions might be flaunted with impunity. By aligning the auditing profession with the provisions of the Companies Act, Act 71 of 2008, a greater degree of certainty will be introduced to give full effect to and support of the purpose the Companies Act.
In particular, the NFP is encouraged by the inclusion of the provisions that exclude a person who has applied for debt review from entering or practising in the auditing profession. It is a truism that one cannot rely on someone to pronounce and advise one on one's finances if that person cannot manage his or her own finances. This amendment can only be positive for commerce and accordingly ought to be welcomed.
In conclusion, the NFP supports the Auditing Profession Amendment Bill. I thank you.