The dti recently provided assurance to companies by stating that they don’t plan to take B-BBEE verification in-house. This means that SANAS and IRBA will still act as accreditation and assurance bodies for verification agencies, RAs and BARs, and that the verification agencies are here to stay. It also implies that verifications and assurances will continue the same as before, although verification agencies must be accredited to do verifications and issue certificates under the Amended B-BBEE Codes, which will come into effect on the 1st of May 2015.
IRBA is the Independent Regulatory Body for Auditors. IRBA approves individuals, called RAs, as B-BBEE Approved Registered Auditors (BARs), thus allowing them to conduct assurance engagements on B-BBEE verification certificates. IRBA adheres to the International Standards for Assurance Engagements and has drafted SASE 3502, which is the new South African Standards for Assurance Engagements. This Standard is aligned with international best practice. The IRBA doesn’t issue or validate B-BBEE certificates issued by BARs or the RA issued EME certificates.
RAs are qualified as accounting officers and are thus approved to issue EME certificates and SANAS accredited verification agencies, such as Veri-Com, may issue EME certificates. Specific information about the RA and RA audit firm must be present on the EME certificate, including signature of the RA, full name of the RA, and the name or logo of the audit firm, as well as the audit firm’s IRBA practice number and the RA’s registration number. The certificate must display the words “Registered Auditor” clearly under the RA’s name and the certificate must contain the contact details of the RA. The RA must indicate the specific signing capacity, such as whether signing as director, RA or partner.
Note that only BARs may sign B-BBEE verification certificates in compliance with the requirements of SASAE 3502 and may not display the IRBA logo on any type of B-BBEE certificate. The BAR must provide specific details on the certificate.
BARs may not make any statement on the certificate of being IRBA accredited or that they are a verification agency. They furthermore may not state that they’re B-BBEE verification analysts. Entities to be measured have the choice to select limited assurance or reasonable assurance, and only approved auditors may issue B-BBEE certificates.
SANAS is a government established and recognised body that handles accreditation of verification agencies. SANAS accredited verification agencies may coach or facilitate the B-BBEE process on behalf of the entity to be measured, if such is done towards the end of implementing activities that will ensure B-BBEE compliance. Such verification agencies may also prepare and draft manuals and procedures and take part in the decision-making processes relevant to the management system, as well as provide relevant advice on the implementation of the management system that will be verified.
* Deon Oberholzer is Group CEO of Gestalt, a leading BEE Consultancy. Gestalt offers unique legitimate solutions for maximum BEE compliance, using cost effective solutions while ensuring maximum business benefit to their clients.