Accountant’s’ perceptions of

Slabbert, Valerie-Joan
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During the past decade there have been a number of high-profile corporate failures, both locally and internationally. This has led to numerous legislative and regulatory changes, both locally and internationally. In South Africa, the Auditing Profession Act was released for comment in October 2004 and this led to the Auditing Profession Act, Act No.26 of 2005, which was signed into legislation on 16 January 2006; this took effect on 1 April 2006, as did the Corporate Laws Amendment Act of 2006. The draft Companies Bill of 2007 was released for comment in February 2007 and will replace the Companies Act of 1973. The purpose of this study was to research accountants’ perceptions regarding the effectiveness of legislative changes to the audit profession in South Africa with regard to the prevention of audit failure. Quantitative, non-experimental research was conducted to test the propositions developed from the literature review through a questionnaire that was sent to chartered accountants within South Africa. The majority of chartered accountants surveyed agreed that the reputation of the audit profession in South Africa had been affected adversely by high-profile business failures internationally and nationally, and that this necessitated the legislative changes to the audit profession in this country. There are certain aspects of these legislative changes that will be efficient in the prevention of audit failure and in ensuring greater independence of the external auditor; this was the opinion of the chartered accountants surveyed, and included the functioning of the independent audit committee, legal backing to accounting standards and increased liability for directors and parties involved in the preparation of financial statements. Legislative changes that were not perceived to be efficient included increased liability for the external auditor, practice reviews and the mandatory rotation of audit partners
Accounting, Auditing, Accounting regulation, Auditing regulation