THE Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) says amendments to the Public Accountants and Auditors Act will see auditors being held accountable instead of auditing firms in a bid to enforce accountability.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
The Bill now awaits President Robert Mugabe’s assent to become law.
“Once that one (Amendment Bill) becomes law every person (auditor) in Zimbabwe must be registered with PAAB so that we can follow on their conduct whenever they do any information which goes to the public,” PAAB chairman Wesley Sibanda said at the launch of the audit committee in Harare yesterday.
“The idea is that we must protect the public as much as possible and that is the aim of the PAAB.”
The Bill will make it compulsory for every auditor and auditing company to be registered with the PAAB. It will take disciplinary action against the auditor who conducted the audit on the firm, a move which will see a shift from taking action against the auditing firm.
Sibanda said the international accounting standard proposed an effective date for financial statements to be produced on or after December 15, 2016, but local regulators were saying the report must be implemented on or before December 31 2015.
“Auditors were hiding behind their big firms or the name of the firm, now we are saying that instead we want the auditor who has done the work to sign his or her name,” he said.
Sibanda said the one preparing the financial statements of the firm during the audit will be required to state his or her name with their qualifications and PAAB registration number.
“We are going to meet with auditors and explain to them what is expected of them. We are also going to meet chief executive officers and chief financial officers of companies to explain to them the importance of accepting the implementation of the new audit report,” Sibanda said.
There are concerns that auditors have failed to pick anomalies in companies. In the banking sector, banks folded after auditors had certified them fit.