Internal Audit profession to receive major boost from IIA Global investment

by 04/07/2018 11:52:00 0 comments 1 Views

By Belinda Ayamgha, GNA

Accra, July 4, GNA - The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Global is preparing to implement a three-year project aimed at building up the Internal Auditing profession in Ghana and Kenya, as part of its strategic focus.

The three-year project will be implemented in Ghana through the Institute of Internal Auditors Ghana, the local chapter of the global professional body, with funding released annually based on the success of the previous year’s activities.

Ms Mireille Harnois, an internal Auditor and member of the Institute Relations Committee of IIA Global, who made a presentation to members of IIA Ghana on Tuesday, said IIA Global had realised a potential for growth in the Internal Audit profession in Africa, following a study conducted by the World Bank for IIA Global.

Findings from the study, she said, indicated that while the Internal Audit profession was at a matured level in other parts of the world, such as the United States of America and Europe; it was at initial and emerging levels in Africa, thus the need to invest in developing the profession further.

The study, which covered 11 Anglophone African countries, also found that there was the need for effective Internal Audit in the public and private sector as well as awareness of the Internal Audit function and its contribution to governance.

There was limited resources for training in the profession, while efforts were poorly coordinated across the continent.

For Ghana, Ms. Harnois noted the need to focus on the public sector as the internal audit function was not practised fully as it should be in that sector, compared to the private sector.

The Internal Audit function in the public sector was practised more as an operations function in organisations, rather than as a third line of defence, as it should and was also narrowed down to only financial controls and compliance functions.

 “What we need to do is advocacy to change the culture and perception of what Internal Audit is and also do some awareness creation among stakeholders,” she said.

She said the IIA Global’s investment in Ghana would focus on Advocacy and Education, training and certifications as well as the establishment of a Centre of Excellence which would provide resources for Internal Auditors.

“The way we see the profession today and where we will see the profession in five to ten years will be totally different. The benefit will not only be for the Auditors themselves, but also for their organisations and at the end, the entire community and country will benefit from the work that is being done,” she stated.

Mrs Juliet Aboagye-Wiafe, President of IIA Ghana, said the three-year project to be implemented in Ghana was timely as the institute struggled with funds to undertake its activities in spite of the critical nature of Internal Auditing.

The investment from IIA Global would thus help to build the capacity of Auditors through education, training and advocacy and noted that it was particularly important to advocate its stakeholders, especially government and heads of organisations, to understand and appreciate the importance of Internal Auditing.

“The main challenge has been acceptance. Because people don’t really know it the value of Auditing, it is very difficult. Even in your own organisation, you may struggle. So we want to be recognised nationally,” she noted, adding “Auditors are not policemen or policewomen; we want to add value to the organisation.”

GNA

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