IRBA Imposes Fine and Permanent Disqualification on Auditor for Breach of Ethical Standards

28 Apr 2024

Johannesburg, Sunday, April 28, 2024 – The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) has taken decisive action against a former registered auditor, Mr. Gareth Phillipe Ducler des Rauches, for serious breaches of professional conduct. Mr. Ducler des Rauches, formerly registered as an auditor with the IRBA, has been found guilty of improper conduct and permanently disqualified from practicing as a registered auditor.

Mr. Ducler des Rauches, a former partner at Finance Spec, was entrusted with assisting an executor in the administration of a deceased estate. However, an investigation by the IRBA revealed that he unlawfully misappropriated a total of R17.8 million from the estate's bank account. Evidence presented during a disciplinary hearing showed that these funds were transferred to Mr. Ducler des Rauches' personal and other linked accounts.

The Disciplinary Hearing Panel found Mr. Ducler des Rauches' conduct to have egregiously fallen short of the high ethical standards expected of registered auditors. Consequently, he has been found guilty of improper conduct and permanently disqualified from registering as an auditor with the IRBA. Additionally, the maximum allowable fine of R200,000 was imposed on him for the misappropriation charge and an additional R100,000 fine imposed for his failure to engage with the IRBA during the investigation process. Mr. Ducler des Rauches has also been ordered to pay R688,937 towards the IRBA’s legal costs.

In accordance with the Disciplinary Hearing Panel’s ruling, the IRBA has referred Mr. Ducler des Rauches to the Professional Conduct Committee of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) for an assessment of his fitness to continue practicing as a chartered accountant, given the finding against him in his capacity as a registered auditor.

The IRBA views the outcome of the disciplinary process as a positive step towards vindicating the ethical standards which are a tenet of the auditing profession, deterring similar improper conduct and restoring public trust in the auditing profession.


Notes to Editors:

Additional information can be found in Issue 64 October to December 2023.

More about the IRBA:

The IRBA is a public protection statutory body established to protect the financial interests of the public by ensuring registered auditors and their firms deliver services of the highest quality. It upholds audit firm independence to ensure that audit quality is such that it enhances the accuracy and credibility of financial performance reporting. In this way, the IRBA has an important role to play in building the reputation of South Africa as an investment market for both local and global investors and driving economic growth for the country.

The IRBA also registers suitably qualified accountants as auditors, who must adhere to the highest ethics standards, and promotes the auditing profession through the effective regulation of assurance conducted in accordance with internationally recognised standards and processes.

Issued by: Lorraine van Schalkwyk APR
Manager: Brand, Marketing and Media Relations
The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA)
Contact: +27 87 759 2693
WhatsApp: 083 626 3762
Mobile: 076 544 8705
On behalf of: Imre Nagy
Chief Executive Officer