Balancing the regulation scales

 Shortly after receiving international recognition for its strength in financial auditing and reporting standards, the World Bank has recommended a motion that could change the face of the accountancy profession South Africa.

SA has approximately ten professional bodies recognised for providing professional accountants that are fit to act as accounting officers. Each professional body is responsible for setting up their own rules regarding educational and practical experience requirements, as well as how they deal with disciplinary processes and regulation. These bodies have operate independent of a regulator, with no one overseeing and monitoring the quality of accountants produced by these bodies.

The World Bank’s Report on the observance of Standards and Codes (Accounting and auditing), published in November 2013 recommends an extensive supervision of the accountancy profession in this country.

ACCA acknowledges that this has its advantages and disadvantages:

Appointing a ‘’super’’ regulator will hold the professional bodies accountable and set standards for producing professional accountants.

This might result in over-regulation.

However such regulation could improve the quality and calibre of our professional accountants.

This, allowing for objectivity as the regulator is set to be an independent custodian of the profession, which will ideally safeguard the public interest countrywide.

Although the act is yet to be tabled and implement by Ministry of Finance, we wait with anticipation to see how this new regulator will take shape and change the face of our profession.

Thuli Ntshele, Technical Manager

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