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President's message

April 2013

Message 9

Dear Member,

Effective communication has been a perennial challenge for internal auditors.

A recent paper by IIA and Robert Half in 2013 on “Succeeding as a 21st Century Internal Auditor” listed Communications as being one of the seven prized attributes of highly effective internal auditors.

Technical skills are of vital importance but need to be complemented with  effective communication skills to render internal auditors valuable.

Larry Harrington, CAE of Raytheon, quoted aptly in this paper, that “Soft skills are the new hard skills”. The internal auditor of the future must be able to build highly collaborative relationships with all levels of business, communicate effectively and inspire trust to raise the bar of internal auditors.    

To provide our internal auditors with new mindset and progressive thinking, the theme for this year’s IIA Singapore Annual Conference is: “Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges”. This theme captures a key essence of our profession's evolving needs and we are crafting a conference programme that will prepare our internal auditors for the road ahead.

We are honoured to welcome our first illustrious keynote speaker Professor Mervyn King to the conference. Professor King is Chairman of the King Committee on Corporate Governance, the committee that issued a ground-breaking code of corporate governance in South Africa. Since our first announcement, I am pleased to observe that many in the profession express keen interest to participate. This is a strong demonstration of your commitment as internal auditors to stay relevant and meaningful to the stakeholders we serve.

On a separate note, I take this opportunity to congratulate our collaborator, the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC), on their official launch on 1 April 2013. The formation of the SAC is a significant milestone in the development of the accountancy sector in Singapore. The development of specialisation pathways in internal audit was highlighted in one of the key recommendations in the CDAS final report and we will continue to work closely with the SAC to bring heightened visibility to our internal auditing profession.

Yours Sincerely
Eric Lim

President, IIA Singapore

May 2013

Message 8

Dear Member,

The month of May is Internal Audit Awareness Month. It is a special opportunity to honour the profession by building awareness and elevating its visibility in the business community on Internal Audit’s role in organisational governance, internal control, and effective risk management. Throughout this month, IIA Singapore is collaborating with its key partner, the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC) to highlight contributions of five Internal Audit professionals through featured interviews. Look out for these special interviews on our LinkedIn and Facebook pages, featured each Friday until the end of this month.
 

As an internal audit professional, you can play the role of an ambassador in promoting awareness of the value you contribute to the organisation. As part of an audit team, or even as a sole practitioner, you too can help to spread internal audit's value-adding role and its special position in the organization. The IIA has launched a Building Awareness Toolkit which internal auditors like yourself can refer to for ideas on how to promote and elevate the awareness of the role of Internal Audit here in Singapore.

As part of our Institute’s objective to enhance the professional status of internal auditing in the region, we organised our very first Public Sector Internal Audit Conference last April. During the event, Minister of State Josephine Teo called on public sector agencies in Singapore to make better use of internal audit to strengthen their governance and decision-making processes, where “As internal auditors, you have the duty of helping your organisations stay vigilant. You must ensure that internal controls evolve in tandem, remain robust and yet at the same time, avoid becoming unnecessarily onerous.”
 

I would also like to add that it is essential for the internal audit activity to remain effective in providing assurance on the process in preventing and detecting fraud relating to resources, as IPPF’s Implementation Standard 2120.A2 states: The internal audit activity must evaluate the potential for the occurrence of fraud and how the organisation manages fraud risk. Additionally, the standards call for internal auditors to exercise due professional care by considering the probability of significant errors, fraud, or non-compliance (Implementation Standard 1220.A1). For us to stay relevant, it is vital that we demonstrate the value we bring to the organisation through our knowledge of fraud risk.

On a separate note, the Institute has recently arrived at two major milestones: we have, for the first time, reached SGD1 million in revenue this financial year, and as such, IIAS has become a GST-Registered entity. Secondly, we completed an office move to 6 Shenton Way, Tower One, #41-04 where our Secretariat team is now based to serve you better. We hope to see many of you visiting our Institute regularly.

Our advocacy efforts to raise the visibility of the internal audit profession is ongoing. In June, IIAS and the Singapore Institute of Directors will be holding a joint event for its members and the public on Using Control Self-Assessment in creating a Self-Accountable Organisation Culture. The speaker, Don Espersen, will also have a session on what the Audit Committee should expect from its Chief Audit Executive. It is part of our goal to educate the Audit Committee on the benefits of Control Self-Assessment as well as the CAE's role and I look forward to meeting you and your AC members at the session on 5 June.

Yours Sincerely

Eric Lim

President IIAS

June 2013

Message 7

Dear Member,

IIA Singapore’s Financial Year 2012/13 just ended. We have done a review of our activities and outputs over the year and look forward to providing a report card to our members in the coming AGM scheduled for 22 August 2013.

Meanwhile, excitement is building around our Annual Conference and Leadership Forum at Marina Bay Sands this year. I look forward to all of you joining us from Sept 4 to 6 for the event. We are now trawling the globe from East to West for thought leaders and practitioners to bring them to the profession’s doorstep as speakers for the conference, further reaffirming the Institute’s commitment to its motto, “Progress through Sharing”.

The conference theme this year, “Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges”, stresses the growing importance of breaking our traditional mind-set and practices to prepare us to add value to the organizations we work for. Apart from technical skills, this conference will feature the importance of equipping IA with soft skills. Look out for our weekly updates on confirmed speakers and sessions where the Conference team is bringing you topics such as “How to Detect a Liar, Strategies for Effective Communication in Internal Auditing, How to Sell Your Audit Findings, and The Future of Internal Auditing: Imagine the Possibilities”.

During the International Internal Audit Awareness month of May, we worked with our key partner, Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC) to interview our members on the profession and the role of IA. Our intention was to bring greater awareness to the business community on the independent role of IA in organisations. Read the interviews here. This also garnered us publicity on the IIA Global website where there was a special mention of IIA Singapore and SAC’s initiatives for the month.

Overall, advocacy is an important tool in driving stakeholders to see IA as a source of value and the Institute will continue to invest in these efforts. As part of IIAS’ advocacy activities to raise the visibility of the internal audit profession, we collaborated with the Singapore Institute of Directors (SID) to hold a joint event for its members and the public on Using Control Self-Assessment (CSA) in creating a Self-Accountable Organisation Culture. The session concluded successfully with speaker, Donald Espersen, leading the participants to have an insight of how CSA program can be a tool to support Audit Committee’s opinion on the adequacy of internal controls. He also shared about the Audit Committee’s expectations of Chief Audit Executives. We will be organising more of these joint events with collaborators in the coming year and I look forward to your continuous support.

As we move into a new financial year for the Institute, I am also proud to share that over the past year we welcomed more than 400 new members to IIA Singapore.  We now have the strength of more than 2100 members and the Institute is growing every day. Thank you for supporting the team!

Yours Sincerely
Eric Lim
President

June 2013

Message 6

Dear Member,

Many of our long-standing members may recollect that we turn 37 this year. It has been a privilege for me to serve all of you in the past year and nurture the growth of the Institute in membership, staff strength and the number of activities we run. As the Institute commences a new financial year, the Board and Secretariat team will continue our hard work to actively serve the needs of the profession.  

Over the next 60 days, we will be showcasing several activities with our collaborators. This month, we have organised an evening networking event at the Mint Museum of Toys on 31 July which will feature a talk by The Prodigy Group. We look forward to see many of you there. We are also actively involved in working with one of our partners, Singapore Management University, to launch their very first Internal Audit elective next month.  

Exactly 2 months from today, our signature annual conference and leadership forum will take place. Our Guest of Honour is David Gerald, President and CEO of Securities Investors Association (Singapore); and we have an international line-up of speakers from South Africa, Canada, Belgium, USA and Singapore to share their professional expertise on 4-6 September at Marina Bay Sands. I observe that the theme “Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges” strikes a chord within many of us in the profession. As internal auditors, we are always looking for ways to enhance our internal and external relationships with stakeholders, and this conference will explore several themes on this subject.     

As always, I heartily appreciate the support of members in contributing their time and efforts to participate in our Institute training and advocacy activities. Your engagement and commitment is a critical success factor in elevating the stature of the internal audit profession. I hope to see many of you come together at the Institute’s Annual General Meeting next month on 22 August where we will share our results and success stories with you and gather your feedback for the way forward. 

Yours Sincerely
Eric Lim
President

August 2013

Message 5

Dear Member

In recent years, the internal auditing activity has undergone transformation to keep abreast with changes in business landscape. Whether the impetus to transform is driven by internal or external forces, the reality is that internal auditors have to be productive to do more with less resources, and to continuously enhance their competency to be a source of value to management to deserve that 'seat at the table'. 

In the next 30 days, IIA Singapore will be hosting two major annual events: Our IIA Annual General Meeting and our signature yearly conference. Many members have come to regard both as significant events of the year. Both are major milestones where the former will provide a report on our achievements and a platform to elect a new board to serve our members; while the latter provides a continuous platform for professional development and sharing by speakers/practitioners in the region. I look forward to see a paradigm shift in our thinking following your coming participation in the conference themed "Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges" that has been specially arranged for the profession's future good.   

Finally, our Prime Minister in his National Day Message said, "Our road ahead will be different from the road we have traveled  So we must reassess our position, review our direction, and refresh our strategies to thrive in this new world." Likewise, the internal audit profession needs to also reassess and refresh itself in order to 'stay ahead of the curve'. 

Happy National Day

Yours Sincerely

Eric Lim

September 2013

Message 4

Dear Member,

It was a pleasure to meet so many of you during our conference, “Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges”. Based on the feedback submitted, many shared that the most meaningful part of the conference was the opportunity to network and hear interesting and different viewpoints from diverse speakers that will enable them to perform better. Conferences are a part of IIA Singapore's sustained efforts to build awareness and enhance the profile of internal auditing in this region. We look forward to your continual support for this hallmark event.

Important CPE reporting changes have been announced. From this year onwards, annual CPE reporting fees will be implemented for all IIA-certified professionals globally. CPE reporting by certificants will have to be done annually instead of bi-annually as done in the past. According to The IIA Global Professional Certification Board (PCB), more frequent contact with certificants through a re-certification process would reduce the potential of losing contact. The annual reporting professional development activities to the certifying body would ensure the certificants continue to maintain the minimum required knowledge.

At IIA Global and local institutes, there also are a number of expenses related to CPE reporting, most notably the technology related expenses for a system to maintain and manage certificants throughout the certification process as well as the expenses related to staff to assist with the CPE reporting and audit processes. In addition, there are the associated overhead and governance expenses related to any process which include expenses for the PCB to monitor the programme.

Over the past few weeks, besides the conference, The Institute has also been actively promoting the profession through joint events with Thomson Reuters, Prodigy and Singapore Management University. We saw resounding support for these events where more than 120 members attended the Lunch & Learn session at Thomson Reuters on the evolving role of internal audit. At SMU, we shared with more than 30 students about the Institute and one of our members, Eileen Tay from CPF Board shared with them about internal audit practices and passion for IA. This is part of our advocacy efforts to raise IA awareness to the students.

I wish all of you a good month ahead!

Yours Sincerely

Eric Lim

President

October 2013

Message 3

Dear Members,

At the recent IIA International Conference in Orlando, Tom Peters, management guru and best-selling author’s keynote address dwelt on Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age. In his presentation, he declared that Internal Audit “has got to be the coolest profession in the world.” As a job, it is intellectually stimulating as it is diverse, and I could not agree with him more.

One of the key takeaways from his address was his call for IA professionals to break out of their routines and expand their circle of influence. Internal Auditors can easily fall into a comfortable job routine and keep to their own kind. In doing so, you become more like the people you associate with and you take on habits of the company you keep. In contrast, we should be out there forging relationships with clients, keeping an open line of communication with management, and positioning ourselves as internal control experts, instead of remaining complacently in our silo and choosing to embrace the safe tick-box approach.    

There has never been a better time for us to consider reshaping perceptions so that the stakeholders view Internal Audit as value-adding; more so when regulatory changes around the world are propelling internal audit to the forefront, leading to increasing recognition and awareness of our profession. This gives us numerous opportunities to showcase our business acumen to the stakeholders.

Next month, the Internal Audit Excellence Award 2013 will be announced at the SIAS Corporate Governance Week. The objective of the award is to promote awareness of Internal Audit in public-listed companies. Public-listed companies which have put in place an effective Internal Audit function to enhance corporate governance, risk management and internal controls will be vying for the award. One company will emerge overall winner on 8 November at the 14th Investors’ Choice Awards, followed by two runner-ups and one merit award. A further Special Recognition award may be awarded to an outstanding professional, who among other criteria, has forged a strong partnership with the Board and senior management, and enhanced the reputation of Internal Audit within his organisation. I look forward to see more participants in the future vying for these awards and I wish all candidates the very best.

Yours Sincerely

Eric Lim

President

October 2013

Message 3

Dear Members,

At the recent IIA International Conference in Orlando, Tom Peters, management guru and best-selling author’s keynote address dwelt on Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age. In his presentation, he declared that Internal Audit “has got to be the coolest profession in the world.” As a job, it is intellectually stimulating as it is diverse, and I could not agree with him more.

One of the key takeaways from his address was his call for IA professionals to break out of their routines and expand their circle of influence. Internal Auditors can easily fall into a comfortable job routine and keep to their own kind. In doing so, you become more like the people you associate with and you take on habits of the company you keep. In contrast, we should be out there forging relationships with clients, keeping an open line of communication with management, and positioning ourselves as internal control experts, instead of remaining complacently in our silo and choosing to embrace the safe tick-box approach.    

There has never been a better time for us to consider reshaping perceptions so that the stakeholders view Internal Audit as value-adding; more so when regulatory changes around the world are propelling internal audit to the forefront, leading to increasing recognition and awareness of our profession. This gives us numerous opportunities to showcase our business acumen to the stakeholders.

Next month, the Internal Audit Excellence Award 2013 will be announced at the SIAS Corporate Governance Week. The objective of the award is to promote awareness of Internal Audit in public-listed companies. Public-listed companies which have put in place an effective Internal Audit function to enhance corporate governance, risk management and internal controls will be vying for the award. One company will emerge overall winner on 8 November at the 14th Investors’ Choice Awards, followed by two runner-ups and one merit award. A further Special Recognition award may be awarded to an outstanding professional, who among other criteria, has forged a strong partnership with the Board and senior management, and enhanced the reputation of Internal Audit within his organisation. I look forward to see more participants in the future vying for these awards and I wish all candidates the very best.

Yours Sincerely

Eric Lim

President

November 2013

Message 2

Dear Members,

It is that time of the year again where public-listed companies who won the IA Excellence Award will be feted at the 14th Investors’ Choice Awards tonight, as part of the Singapore Corporate Governance Week. The Internal Audit Excellence Award, better known as the IAEA, is awarded yearly by IIAS, SIAS and SMU to Singapore public-listed companies that have put in place an effective Internal Audit function to enhance corporate governance, risk management and internal controls. I am pleased to say that we experienced a record-breaking number of award submissions this year by public-listed companies, and I am confident that IAEA’s journey to becoming a household name is well on its way.

Besides the IAEA, yearly conferences have always featured as a key aspect of our advocacy initiatives. As part of our recent September conference, we were very proud to have the IIA Global Chairman, Paul Sobel visit Singapore. During his visit, he met with key stakeholders in the profession and we were honoured to receive the Chairman's feedback subsequently that, “IIA Singapore is an active and engaged Institute with a strong board and many productive ideas. Their initiatives with organizations such as the SIAS, SAC, and AGO, will improve the practice of internal auditing in Asia while elevating the Institute to new heights in 2013 and beyond.”

We recently unveiled the theme for our next Public Sector Internal Audit Conference (PSIA 2014), “Taking the Lead in Effective Governance”. Taking place at the Marina Mandarin on April 8-9, I strongly urge all IA, governance and risk management professionals involved with the public sector to attend and learn from thought leaders from all over the world. We will be revealing more details on the programme in the coming month.

This week, I travelled to Taipei to represent IIA Singapore at the 2013 ACIIA conference where more than 1000 delegates gathered from around the region. IIA Singapore is one of 18 IIA affiliates in the Asian Confederation of Institute of Internal Auditors (ACIIA). I am also pleased to announce that it will be Singapore's turn to host the ACIIA conference in year 2015 and we look forward to having members volunteer their support at this regional event.

Yours Sincerely,
Eric Lim
President

December 2013

Message 1

Dear Member,

As 2013 comes to a close, we have witnessed a number of significant milestone activities by IIA Singapore that have contributed to raising the profile and visibility of the internal audit profession.

Through our three main activity drivers: advocacy, professional development and corporate/administrative support activities, we have seen our stakeholders, regulatory bodies, members and the public become more aware of and feel the value-adding pulse of the IA profession.

The members’ aspiration of making the IA profession credible and amongst the top sought-after professions has inspired our IIA Governors & Secretariat team to work for better educational programs during the year. Our objective has been to sharpen members’ professional skills and competencies to gain confidence and trust of Boards, C-suites and stakeholders of the IA’s unique role and independent position in the organisation in adding value and protecting organizational interest.

Keeping ourselves professionally relevant is the key in bringing collective success to our organization. Constantly upgrading ourselves in tandem with the evolving business landscape, changing regulations, stakeholders’ demand for better governance, IT revolution, and cultural complexity in the workforce are daunting but are a must to survive in this age.

For these reasons, IIA Academy drummed up an unprecedented number of professional development activities for members to enable them to review corporate processes effectively relating to the risks and opportunities confronting their organisations’ businesses in these complex regional and global economies. A well-equipped unit thus reflects its capability and capacity to handle the larger risk-based annual workplan and the “Black Swans” that will harm ill-prepared organisations. The coming educational professional activities are available in the IIAS Academy Website.

Our advocacy activities for the year have also been stepped up on a high note on several fronts. IIAS established ties with Singapore academia to raise awareness among students of the IA profession and the important role it plays in the organisation. We worked with SMU to introduce the inaugural Internal Audit elective, where attendance by third and fourth year students was overwhelming. The unique feature of this program is that the eight modules were delivered by our governors/members who were senior practitioners in the industry! The program successfully ended recently and was well-received by the students. We sponsored a scholarship and prizes for a case competition on internal audit which were won by 3 deserving teams. SMU will be running the IA elective again in January 2014. We welcome IIAS members to register their interest to participate as guest lecturers in this elective that helps to promote the profession among students.

Last month, we also hosted a forum at UNISIM where two IIA members who were senior practitioners in the industry shared their passion for IA with the students and advised them about how to begin a career in IA. Read more about it here. We will continue maintaining a presence at universities as part of our long-term vision of growing internal auditors from the ground up.

We have good news for you regarding improvements in our secretariat services. Members who are certified with the CIA, CCSA, CFSA, CGAP and CRMA have to fulfil annual CPE reporting with IIA Singapore all these years. Starting from Dec 2013, IIAS worked with IIA Global to allow direct filing of CPE hours electronically through IIA Global’s Certification Candidate Management System (CCMS). With this development, members have another option to do their CPE filing. This initiative is part of our efforts to increase the convenience to our members for CPE reporting. I want to also take this opportunity to remind IIA Singapore's members that with this option, members have up until 31 Dec 2013 to file their CPE.

Last but not least, a hallmark event that took place is the inaugural Public Sector Internal Audit Conference. We were very enlightened by the high turnout by the auditors from the public sector last April, and we look forward to another successful PSIA conference on 8-9 April 2014! Save your dates!

I hope you are as excited and proud of the IIA Singapore Chapter as much as I am and I look forward to serving you with results. I take this opportunity to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year in advance.

Yours Sincerely,
Eric Lim
President

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