Criminals make use of accountants to assist them, knowingly or unknowingly, with complex money laundering schemes. The nature of the accounting profession places accountants in an ideal position to identify possibly money laundering activities. The purpose of this research is to consider whether the reporting obligations of South African accountants in terms of section 29 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, No 38 of 2001, as amended, corresponds sufficiently with the services they provide so as to constitute an effective anti-money laundering measure. In order to evaluate the relevance of section 29, the reporting requirements of accountants practising in South Africa are compared with those of the European Union and the United Kingdom, as well as the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force. The research study will also analyse the money laundering process and the nature of the accounting profession and consider some of the methods used to perpetrate money laundering applicable to accountants. The research found that accountants in South Africa have a duty to report suspicious transactions only when they are party to such transactions or when they are going either to receive the proceeds of crime or be used for money laundering purposes. Accordingly, in view of the fact that accountants are more likely to be in a position to observe money laundering than to be party to such a transaction, the requirements of section 29 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, No 38 of 2001, as amended, are not effective when applied to accountants. Copyright
Dissertation (MPhil)--University of Pretoria, 2012.