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After the most testing four years of my life, I qualified as a CA(SA) and Registered Auditor at the age of 54. Now, many years later, I have resigned the auditor part. Why?

Well, firstly, engineers are not born to tick boxes and, by golly, that’s what auditing is all about. The modern standards focus so heavily on procedural issues and reporting that I found that they missed the point entirely. In an entrepreneurial environment, a true professional could sniff out malfeasance that no amount of box ticking would uncover.

Secondly, under the new Companies Act of 2008, very few companies need an audit. You’d need turnover of around R300 million a year to require one. Some of the smaller companies do need a review, but that can be done by a CA(SA).

Thirdly, all auditors have to endure a webinar, or lecture on ethics every year as part of the compulsory CPD. It is unbelievably boring and has no relevance to what I do on a day to day basis.

Fourthly, at my age, I’m exempted by SAICA (Chartered Accountants) and ECSA (Engineers) from having to undertake CPD (Continuing Professional Development). But oh no, no exemption as an auditor.

And finally, they want me to pay over R9 000 a year to belong to a professional body that has covered itself in shame. For years South Africans were rated the worlds best auditors and look at us now!

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