President Message - April 2014
Oversight, Insight, Foresight
An effective internal audit is the cornerstone of good governance. From what I understand, Internal Auditors who make things happen are characterised by a trilogy of sights: Oversight, Insight and Foresight. When these oversight, insight and foresight elements are inherent in internal auditing, IA effectiveness would become visibly versatile. Its effectiveness comprises two parts, namely, internal auditor effectiveness and internal audit function effectiveness.
On oversight, it assures that the implemented policies and overall performance are met as planned and within the governance framework. Through insight, it provides independent assessment on the effectiveness, efficiency and economy of the processes. And lastly, foresight requires identifying trends, threats and emerging challenges etc so as to pre-empt serious harm from affecting the organisation.
As an effective internal auditor, he/she must demonstrate competency, independence and objectivity without compromising integrity and confidentiality. More importantly, Internal Auditors must continuously upgrade and keep abreast with new and changing developments in the market to enable effective auditing.
For the internal audit function to be effective in executing activities, it has to be sufficiently resourced with tools and competent staff to evaluate significant risks, appropriately positioned with sufficient organisational authority, and have a close link with management and the board to understand their business concerns and issues in order to be effective. It has to develop skills and capabilities such as risk management, forensic fraud, IT etc to respond to crises.
Effective Internal Auditors who have Oversight, Insight and Foresight, as well as Internal Audit functions which are run effectively, will be ready to contribute fruitfully to the organisation and assist management and the board to discharge their responsibilities well.
President Message - March 2014
Budget 2014 - How Does Internal Audit Add Value?
The highlights of Budget 2014 reflect the government’s continued focus on increasing productivity through upgrading of skills, automation and innovation across businesses. Economic restructuring and business transformation are important in order to maintain Singapore’s competitiveness. While businesses undergo a journey of transformation with the government's financial packages, the importance of having effective controls over the use of funds to invest in technology and CAPEX is one vital aspect of governance that senior management should pay attention to.
In this respect, Internal Audit has a crucial role to play. IA provides independent assurance to senior management that the CAPEX planning process in the organisation is operating effectively. IA can help to review that the projects identif ied and prioritised are aligned with business strategy. IA can also add value by providing independent advice on whether the business has maximised all available tax deductions and subsidies by the government. While being involved, Internal Audit must retain a bird’s eye view and maintain their independence at all times.
To be effective and value-adding in this dynamic and evolving business landscape, Internal Auditors together with other assurance professionals in the organisation must equip themselves with the right capabilities, skills and expertise to be a valuable resource to senior management and the Board. In turn, senior management and the Board must also ensure that these internal assurance providers are adequately staffed, resourced and developed professionally so that they can effectively support business growth.
THE 21ST CENTURY INTERNAL AUDITOR
An IIA Singapore and Robert Half Video Collaboration
Driven by accelerating change, the role of the 21st Century Internal Auditor has evolved. The ingredients that lead to success involve a skilful blend of effective relationship-building and integrity with technical competence, among other key attributes.
The Institute of Internal Auditors Singapore and Robert Half spoke recently with four industry professionals for their local insights on how the role has evolved and what it takes to be a 21st Century Internal Auditor.
The Evolving Role of The Internal Auditor
In the wake of rapid globalisation and regulatory changes over the past decade, the role of Internal Audit has evolved to maintain its relevance. Globally, relationship--building and integrity are being strongly identified as most-wanted attributes in the 21st Century Internal Auditor. Technical skills alone will no longer suffice.
To attract and groom the next generation of internal auditors with creative-thinking and communication skills, career development & progression, recognition and rewards need to be addressed holistically.
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Attributes of The 21st Century Internal Auditor
Acquiring effective soft skills are essential for all successful Internal Auditors. The 21st Century Internal Auditor has to be seen as an effective communicator, creative-thinker and problem-solver. As most organisations today increasingly use social media widely for its businesses, internal auditors should leverage this great tool for their work.
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