Julia Irvine 4 Jun 2018 11:29am

KPMG resigns as SAICA's auditor

KPMG South Africa has resigned as auditor to the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) over concerns about potential conflicts of interest

The decision follows the announcement that the independent Ntsebeza inquiry, established by SAICA to look into the professional behaviour of a number of its members who worked at the Big Four firm, should be finished by the end of the month.

As a result, KPMG SA felt that any adverse findings might raise questions over its independence if it were to perform the 2018 audit.

In a statement, SAICA commented that all the parties involved “believe this is in the best interests of SAICA, its members and KPMG”.

The institute said it would immediately begin the process of finding a replacement firm of auditors and would inform its membership of the progress at its agm on 26 June. It will also call a special meeting to approve the appointment of the new auditors once the tender process has been completed.

The Ntsebeza inquiry is investigating the involvement of the SAICA members in the audit of the disgraced Gupta family businesses and the report on the South African Revenue Service’s “rogue unit”.

It is a further blow to the firm which yesterday announced the “reshaping” of its business after a scandal-hit year in which it has lost number of major clients and been investigated for its work with the controversial Gupta family.

The firm revealed that up to 400 staff will lose their jobs and that some of its regional offices will be shut.

It is also going to embed additional senior international partners into the South African leadership team “to further strengthen the leadership capacity available to the South African firm as it navigates the current challenges it faces”.