Following a recent release regarding the submission of estate agents’ yearly audits, Annette Evans, regional general manager of the Institute of Estate Agents SA, Western Cape, has said that it is crucial to remember the dates by which their yearly audits must be submitted, which is within four months of that agent or agency’s financial year end.
There is nothing new about the EAAB requiring audits to be done of agents’ financial records, said Evans, and it has to be remembered that an independent review cannot be submitted instead of an audit if the company is private company (as has been asked by some). The Estate Agency Affairs Act stipulates that audits are a legal requirement and the Companies Act does not apply here.
All audits are to be submitted online by the appointed auditor via www.eaab.org.za/myaudit and can no longer be posted, hand-delivered or emailed. This ensures direct dealing with the EAAB and eliminates reports going missing. The EAAB has said that they will not accept mailed, hand-delivered or emailed audit reports and will only accept those submitted via the portal.
While full financial records might be requested later, it is not necessary to submit all of these, but only the auditor’s report, said Evans, and the EAAB have supplied the format in which this should be done, and the auditor’s opinion is a critical part of the submission requirement.
“It is the estate agent’s responsibility to ensure that his auditor submits the report as it is not only the agent’s FFC that will be withdrawn but if he is a principal, then his agency’s certificate and those of his agents will be affected as well,” she said.
There are no exemptions from submitting audit reports and, considering the penalty is the lack of a FFC for the following year, warned Evans, agents must get bear dates in mind of when they need to get their books to their auditors in order to get the report out on time. The auditor would need at least a month or two to go through the books and certify all is correct, so agents must plan accordingly, she said.