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President's message

June 2015

Why internal audit is integral to an organisation’s success

Adopting good governance, risk management and control practices are key to a company's success and internal audit has an integral role in keeping watch, evaluating that the procedures to these processes are observed and effective. Why? With the issuance of the Code of Corporate Governance in Singapore in 2001, followed by two revisions in 2005 and 2012 respectively, there is a continual emphasis under Principle 13 for internal auditors to carry out their function according to the standards set by national or internationally recognised professional bodies, including the Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, IIA. The IIA Standards cover the evaluation of the effectiveness of governance, risk management and control processes. With reference to this, internal auditors should therefore ensure to the best of their capability, that organisations are able to meet this standard, when performing their audit work. This takes on an increased importance when section 4 on internal audit in the revised Guidebook for Audit Committees in Singapore repeatedly reinforces the Code Guideline, especially reflecting the Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing set by IIA.

Yours Sincerely
Eric Lim
President

May 2015

May is International Internal Audit Awareness Month
Similar to how February is deemed Hollywood’s most important month because it’s when Oscars are presented to the most deserving of films, May is when IIA Singapore champions our most prized asset: You – our Internal Audit practitioner! This May, IIA Singapore will spare no effort in further championing the profession, from educating youth in considering a rewarding career in Internal Audit to charting lucrative career advancements for current practitioners as part of International Internal Audit Awareness Month.
 
Join us for a lunch and learn session on 15 May where IIA Singapore with KPMG will present the Audit Committee’s Challenges and The Changing Role of Internal Audit. If you’re an IIA member currently serving or considering to serve on the board or audit committees of a charity / non-profit organisation, sign up for the complimentary networking lunchtime talk on Balancing the Governance Triangle, hosted by Shared Services Charities (SSC), an event which IIA Singapore is proud to support. This month also earmarks the inaugural Asia Internal Audit Leadership Programme, an effort which IIA Singapore is proud to be a part of, together with esteemed partners, the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC) and TMS Academy.
 
Through efforts in advocacy, education and membership, you can now obtain a wealth of information in internal auditing at iia.org.sg. Find out how you can enjoy our events, sign up for our training programmes and obtain various certifications to embark upon or advance your career in internal audit now!
 
Yours Sincerely
Eric Lim
President

May 2015

Code of Corporate Governance/Guidebook for Audit Committees in Singapore & the Standards for Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, IIA

Practising good governance, risk management and controls are key to a company's success. Thus, internal audit has a role in keeping watch over these. Why is it so? With the issuance of Code of Corporate Governance in Singapore in 2001 and then following two revisions one in 2005 and another one in 2012, there is continual emphasis under Principle 13 for internal auditors to carry out their function according to the standards set by national or internationally recognised professional bodies, including the Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, IIA. The IIA Standards cover evaluating the effectiveness of governance, risk management and control processes. Taking reference from this, internal auditors thus should play its utmost part to help organisations to meet this standard when performing audit work. This is more so when section 4 on internal audit in the revised Guidebook for Audit Committees in Singapore repeatedly reinforces the Code Guideline, especially reflecting the Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing set by IIA.

Yours Sincerely
Eric Lim
President

April 2015

Why Integrity and Ethics are Inextricably Linked with Internal Audit
Between the 23rd and 29th of March, Singapore observed a period of national mourning for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first Prime Minister, a statesman pivotal to the founding of modern Singapore and the success she has enjoyed economically in the last 50 years.
 
Local media dedicated significant amounts of airtime televising Mr Lee’s past speeches and interviews. In a clip titled: “Lee Kuan Yew - In His Own Words: Governance”, Mr Lee underscored the importance of ensuring Singapore’s success through capable and competent leadership, in a corruption-free environment. He emphasized the need for meritocracy and spoke at length about the role that audits play in ensuring accountability and transparency, allowing the government and organisations alike to stay corruption-free and focus on the betterment for the people and stakeholders they serve.
 
Internal auditing being an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organisation's operations helps an organisation accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes. As an independent body, IA embraces the highest ethical code, to never yield to pressures to bend rules in order to achieve greater operational convenience. Integrity being one of the four principles that form IIA’s Code of Ethics; it is imperative that Internal Auditors possess a high level of trust and integrity to enable them to be strong advocates of ethical conduct and have the competence and capacity to evaluate the compliance of  ethical standards by the staff. To attain an anti- fraud and corrupt free environment to protect a company’s reputation, IA must evaluate whether an organisation’s policies and procedures support ethical operations and whether the existence of these processes mitigate any threats to the organisation’s integrity.  
 
Yours Sincerely
Eric Lim
President

 

March 2015

IIA Singapore is first strategic partner for the COSO Academy

The Institute of Internal Auditors Singapore (IIA Singapore) is proud to be the first strategic partner of the Protiviti-SAC COSO Academy, a collaboration that was inked at the start of the Lunar New Year in February, underscoring the significant role that internal auditors play in evaluating and monitoring corporate governance and risk frameworks.

The COSO Academy offers senior management and practitioners access to insights and tools to better understand how the COSO Frameworks can work for their organisations. These Frameworks are internationallyrecognized structure, integrating both internal control and risk management and are relevant for all businesses, including government agencies and charities. Internal auditors have always been involved in evaluating the effectiveness of control systems, working with all levels within their respective organizations including management and board. Through IIA Singapore’s strategic partnership with the COSO Academy, we hope to raise awareness of the COSO Frameworks as a best practice and help the internal audit function add even greater value to organizations.

IIA Singapore’s maiden effort as a COSO Academy strategic partner is the COSO Awareness Survey, launching this month, with the purpose of measuring awareness levels and the adoption of the COSO Frameworks among organisations in Singapore. We look forward to your support and participation as your views will give us important insight into how we can better promote COSO Frameworks to the public and private sectors in Singapore. With cyber risk and fraud becoming increasingly big concerns for organisations across the globe, a reliable infrastructure to support good corporate governance has never been more important. As Internal Audit practitioners, the  journey to educating oneself thoroughly on the COSO Frameworks and how to adopt them in your organisation would be the ideal place to start.

Also, look out for more courses and workshops that the IIA Academy will be incorporating in our training calendar on COSO Frameworks in the coming months!

Yours Sincerely
Eric Lim
President

February 2015

Continuous Professional Education
The Institute of Internal Auditors Singapore (IIA Singapore) is dedicated to the advancement and development of the internal audit profession and we continually seek to develop new seminars and conferences, addressing relevant, trending and updated topics.  For the first half of 2015, we have two important events lined up; the Public Sector Internal Audit Conference on 9, 10 April and the Asia Leadership Internal Audit Programme between 25 and 29 May.
 
As we transit into an era of greater complexity and volatility, it is imperative for Internal Auditors to raise the bar of  their capability and competency to contribute to organisational transformation towards high performance. The Asia Internal Audit Leadership Programme is specially tailored for aspiring and senior Internal Audit practitioners, keen on refining and enhancing their leadership skills to provide thought leadership. This intensive 5-day program is facilitated by two experts from the Wharton School and participants will also meet and hear from invited prominent practitioners to share their thoughts and experiences in the Programme. Jointly launched by IIA Singapore and the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC), it is positioned as the first programme in Asia to formally groom Internal Audit leaders. It is designed by TMS Academy the integrated leadership development arm of Temasek Management Services Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings.
 
The second important event on the calendar is the annual Public Sector Internal Audit Conference.  The theme this year is “Unlocking the value of internal audit – For an efficient and effective government”. Given the vital role played by internal audit in strengthening corporate governance, internal controls, risk management and value-for-money initiatives in the public sector, internal audit is also expected to be mindful of  external threats  and  internal weaknesses  facing the  organization. The conference will share  ways to unlock the IA value,  insights and market practices to overcome emerging issues and challenges that the organisations may face.
 
As we continuously strive to provide quality education, we welcome members’ inputs to help us in designing  programs that meet your requirements so that you can excel in your work and in your career!
 
Yours Sincerely
Eric Lim
President

January 2015

2014 Reflections For Internal Auditors
We had an eventful year in 2014! Major happenings involving changes in political leadership, international conflicts, epidemic outbreaks, natural disasters and cyber-attacks unfolded at relentless speed, presenting opportunities to some on the one hand and numerous threats to others on the other hand.
 
How did internal auditors fit into this puzzle? We may be special. Do we view threats as opportunities for our work? Opportunities for us to identify risks affecting the organisations we work with? Opportunities to identify processes for consideration and to incorporate them into our audit universe and the audit work plan?  The intent and priority is to always safeguard the interest of these organisations; to provide accountability, comfort and assurance to key stakeholders.
 
On this note, I wish you all a purposeful and fruitful year in 2015.
Thank you. 
 
Yours Sincerely
Eric Lim
President

December 2014

Taking Stock

As the calendar year 2014 is drawing to a close, many would start to take stock. What have I accomplished in my work and what else could I have done to make the year a fulfilling one? The answer could be there is no end to self challenge ourselves to do more; and do better to have a greater impact on our organisations.  

How could you do better? One way is to seek a path of continuous personal development and continuous training. We need to take stock of our skill set and identify gaps. We can raise the bar by enhancing and sharpening our skills and re-skilling to move in tandem or even ahead of the changing times and global environment. Doing so, we will keep ourselves effective and relevant to support our stakeholders responsibly; and according to what the market demands from IA.  

IIA Singapore in the coming year will be active in providing market driven training courses to cater the needs of our members. One important hall mark programme for leadership will be launched in 2015. Watch out for the news!

Yours Sincerely
Eric Lim
President

November 2014

Demonstrate IAs' Uniqueness

Internal Auditing is a unique profession. Hence, it should be viewed as a unique value adder. When do we demonstrate IAs’ uniqueness? One best time should be when we conduct auditing. IAs must be able to provide unique insights from our observations during auditing which are unfathomable to the process owners and management. Equally important, the solutions that come with it must be unique too. This may be easier said than done but this should be something IAs should strive for. Food for thought!

Yours Sincerely
Eric Lim
President

October 2014

Productivity is the key to competitiveness
From 2008 to 2013, Singapore’s GDP grew at an average annual rate of 6.8% whilst the labour workforce grew at 3.4% with a majority of negative productivity growth during the same period. 
 
Being an open economy and without natural resources, Singapore needs to be competitive otherwise it finds it difficult to export goods and services competitively as well as attract investments to grow its economy.  Hence, productivity is crucial to maintain our competiveness. Acknowledging its importance, the Singapore Budget 2010 set the target of 2% - 3% productivity growth over the next decade to drive 60% of future Gross Domestic Product growth.
 
Generally, productivity is a measure of how efficiently and effectively a business or an economy uses inputs such as labour and capital to produce goods and services. It is not only about controlling costs in the businesses but “doing things right” and “doing the right things” and doing them well to achieve maximum efficiency and value.
 
Where and what can the internal auditors offer in the organisations they work for. Let us re-examine our internal auditing definition, i.e. “…it is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organisations’ operations.” It is without much doubt that IAs do play a greater role in the organisations to help management enhance productivity. As a matter of fact, our Annual Work Plans would have include projects relating to operational auditing, value for money audit, performance audit or 3 Es. Of course, we should acknowledge that the business owners too play a role in enhancing productivity too. Should IAs re-think and think big, and work together with the key stakeholders on the things that matters to the organisations so as to be seen as a valued player to achieving the overall goal of the organisations?
 
Yours Sincerely
Eric Lim
President

 

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