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Holding ourselves accountable

Deloitte reaches significant milestones in its audit quality and transformation journey

“We have prioritised fostering a culture of quality at all levels within Deloitte for some time now. This priority will not change, and further efforts will be made to ensure that our focus is intensified, and our quality practices are deeply embedded in our way of working,” Ruwayda Redfearn, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Deloitte Africa on releasing the 2022 Deloitte Africa Transparency Report.

Johannesburg, South Africa - 17 October 2022: Deloitte Africa today launched its Transparency Report for 2022 in which it outlined the strides the firm has made as a result of its investment in strengthening audit quality and furthering transformation. Deloitte Africa maintained a Level 1 Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment rating for the fifth consecutive year and is now 48.5% black-owned in South Africa.

Deloitte Africa has invested in enhancing its technological capabilities as well as developing and retaining talent to improve quality across the firm.

“We recognise that Deloitte has an important role to play in upholding trust in the economy. This report aims to provide an update on how our business operates, the green shoots of our quality journey and how we’ve embedded quality in everything we do.

It also looks at how we create value through our services, how we put our people at the heart of the business and how we’re making a measurable impact on the broader profession, economies and communities we serve,” Redfearn says.

Appointed on 1st June 2022, Ruwayda Redfearn is the first female CEO of Deloitte Africa.

In the report released today, Deloitte Africa reported that, while continuing to advance transformation; the outcomes of entrenching quality measurements across its various businesses are becoming more evident.

Our quality journey
“Our quality journey has been the focal point for our firm for several years. As such, we have made significant investments and took tough decisions aimed at ensuring that we regain our status as a firm that delivers reliable and uncompromising quality in everything we do,” Redfearn says.

Deloitte’s quality measurement metrics span across all its service lines - audit & assurance, risk advisory, consulting, tax & legal and financial advisory. Taking into consideration the firm’s multidisciplinary model, the metrics for measuring quality differ across its businesses with one common factor - root causes for inadequate quality are identified, and measures are implemented to mitigate these causes.

The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) performed an inspection in the audit & assurance business. The inspection was aimed at monitoring the firm and its engagement partners’ compliance with the International Standards on Auditing, codes of conduct and legislation in performing assurance work of a consistent, sustainable high quality.

Deloitte South Africa has seen a pleasing improvement in its IRBA results on the selected and inspected audit engagement files, culminating in a 100% score in 2022. These results reflect the percentage of good or acceptable audit quality outcomes on the sample of engagement files selected by IRBA.

“Even though we use the Transparency report as an important tool with which we hold ourselves accountable, we also recognise that Audit quality is multi-dimensional. As such, external inspection outcomes are an important lens for us as Deloitte Africa. The IRBA and other regulator inspection processes serve an important role in the achievement of our shared objectives of improving audit quality and serving the public interest,” Redfearn adds.

Putting people at the heart of our business
In South Africa, black ownership of the firm increased from 43% in the previous year to 48.5%, with female ownership in Africa also increasing from 34% in 2021 to 37%. Deloitte remains a Level 1 B-BBEE contributor, achieving the overall score with 105.68 points.

In addition, Deloitte has identified 20 high performing women for their ALL IN Sponsorship Wave, a programme aimed at accelerating women into senior leadership roles.

“The demand for professional skills has increased globally, with African professionals in high demand. This requires a refreshed approach to our talent attraction and retention strategies, development of our people and focus on transformation, culture, diversity and inclusion.

We are creating opportunities to be part of a vibrant and diverse organisation for graduates and experienced professionals alike. Opportunities to work with people who are forward thinking, collaborative and committed to making a difference,” says Redfearn.

Deloitte has established the NextGen Advisory Council, an advisory Council of young leaders from across markets and businesses. They provide input into strategic executive decisions such as retention of talent. Furthermore, the firm launched Africa Talent in partnership with Deloitte Netherlands. The programme is aimed at recruiting African graduates and young professionals to work on Deloitte clients based in Europe – an innovative use of Deloitte’s global network to solve African challenges, this to the benefit of both.

Purpose-led multidisciplinary professional firm
“Our multidisciplinary model is essential in helping our clients address the complexities of their business issues, not only in the challenges they face today but also to help them remain relevant and competitive in the future.

It stands to reason that stakeholders, more than ever before; require greater transparency on how we are managing governance and independence between audit and non-audit services. This also applies to how we go about delivering quality and managing risk in our firm,” Redfearn concludes.

With 6% of Deloitte’s revenue from the Top 200 audit clients being from non-audit related services, Deloitte says, it is confident that independence and objectivity haven’t been impaired by delivering these essential services to select client.

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