Unaccountable Special: The Auditors
16 August 2021 | Mamello Mosiana
The ‘Big Four’ audit firms – Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC – all play a systemic role in economic crimes and State Capture. The evidence suggests that these firms have prioritised profit over professional duties and the law. Accountability and reform of the industry are thus essential. In July 2020, Open Secrets released the latest Corporations and Economic Crime Report (CECR). Volume 2 — The Auditors — draws on information from Open Secrets’ investigations and publicly available information to illustrate the crisis faced by the auditing industry and how this impacts the public.
Since the launch of the report, Open Secrets has continued to advocate for accountability for audit failure and to ensure that the work of the industry and the regulator serves the public interest.
On the 12th of October 2020, Open Secrets made a submission to the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance regarding the Auditing Profession Amendment Bill. Some of our recommendations are reflected in the final Auditing Profession Amendment Act.
We translated the findings of The Auditors into Afrikaans, Sesotho and isiXhosa in a downloadable pamphlet. This is to ensure that our work is accessible and to increase public awareness on the costs of audit failure and the need to advocate for greater accountability.
Open Secrets is now a member of an international consortium of civil society organisations working on strengthening audit for the benefit of stakeholders, the environment, and society. Alongside the Centre for Research into Accounting and Finance in Context (CRAFiC) we are developing an economic case for audit reform, focusing on the financial and social costs of audit failure.
Open Secrets’ work has been extensively featured in the media and our investigators have contributed to public conversations on audit reform. This, in particular the Unaccountable profile series, has helped us gain momentum in achieving accountability.
We will continue to work to hold the Big Four and the industry at large accountable. We have not forgotten!
If you think this work is important please consider becoming an Open Secrets Supporter. For as little as R50 you can help us continue holding the powerful accountable.