Proposals contained in the Auditing Profession Amendment Bill are designed to enhance auditing competency levels in South Africa.
The accountant-general, Michael Sass, stressed this during a briefing on the bill to the standing committee on finance.
The bill was tabled in parliament last week.
The proposed legislation is designed to allow for the regulation of candidate auditors by the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) as well as align the Auditing Profession Act to the Companies Act of 2008.
The process to become a registered auditor has changed with the ending of the public practice examination.
Going forward, candidates seeking to become chartered accountants (CA) will have to write an assessment of professional competence.
This, however, will not provide an assessment of auditing ability hence the introduction of the Audit Development Programme by IRBA, set to get underway in March 2015.
The regulation of candidate auditors, who have acquired their CA qualification, will occur during the development programme phase. Presently candidate auditors are not regulated.
According to treasury, the audit development programme will provide a more complex learning environment for candidates and facilitate participation in an audit. Capabilities will be consolidated and refined at this stage.
Registered candidate auditors would be regulated by IRBA in the same way that registered auditors are.
The alignment with the Companies Act relates to the definition of “company”.
The bill was approved by cabinet in October 2014.
In an earlier statement, cabinet emphasised that the proposed amendments would help to “protect the public in the work done by a candidate auditor”.
No draft bill was previously released for comment prior to tabling.
The finance committee will call for comment on the bill soon.