Auditors protest requirments for IFRS specialists

Auditors in South Africa are up in arms over new requirements by the stock
exchange for firms to have registered IFRS specialists if they are to audit
listed companies.

The firms – which include the Big Four names – say this ought to be a
requirement imposed on listed companies, who report results in IFRS.

‘We really fail to see why it must be auditors who must be IFRS specialists
and not listed companies themselves,’ Ernst & Young audit partner Garth
Coppin said.

According to rules of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, an auditor must be
able to prove 800 hours of working knowledge of IFRS to be able to register.

The alternative route would be for members of an audit team to be able to
collectively show working knowledge equivalent to that of a single individual.

However Coppin said that listed companies should employ a specialist since
they were responsible for complying with IFRS,

Ernst & Young has also made representations to the JSE over its concerns
about the requirements.

Deloitte’s head of audit, Geoff Pinnock, said the requirements would also be
onerous for the large firms and even more difficult for smaller firms to
demonstrate that they have a working knowledge of IFRS.

Grant Thornton’s head of audit, Clifford Amoils, said the requirements could
lead to smaller firms choosing not to audit listed companies.

Related reading