Mailbox: KPMG has violated auditing profession; it must pay the ultimate price

JOHANNESBURG — As to how KPMG can continue to operate normally in South Africa is beyond anybody’s guess. Just yesterday, Wits University was the latest to ditch the troubled auditing firm in what is a growing list of fed-up clients. Without a doubt, more business will leave KPMG, just like it did with now-defunct PR firm Bell Pottinger. In this letter to BizNews, an old-time chartered accountant expresses his disgust at KPMG and explains why he thinks the auditing firm should pay the ultimate price. – Gareth van Zyl

The Gupta Effect…More magic available at www.zapiro.com.

By Brian Allison*

Hi Alec

I hear via your newsletter of some company representatives saying “give KPMG a chance”.

I am a white African at the wrong end of my seventies and a chartered accountant who was in the profession for twenty years and a partner in a firm for some of those years.

To me there can be no grey area. What this firm has done in harm to our country is unmeasurable and no explanation will convince me to alter from my view.

In my time in the profession ethics and honesty were paramount and teaching by actual example entrenched this into us. This firm has violated the very value they should have upheld and our noble profession has been harmed in such a way and to such an extent that I am not sure it can recover the trust expected of it.

There can be no other remedy other than the firm must go down – they must pay the ultimate price.

I agree with young Magda that we in South Africa have to stand up and show that we will not tolerate what has been happening and we want our country to focus on our economy and education and not have to spend wasted time dealing with these issues.

Yours in the struggle.

Read also: SA’s Gupta-cursed Chartered Accountants: Disgrace to global profession?