The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Ghana has the process of developing a policy document to enable auditors to perform their duties effectively.
When completed, the document is expected to be tabled before Parliament for its consideration.
The IIA is seeking legal support to regulate activities of internal auditors in the country.
The President of the IIA, Mrs Juliet Aboagye-Wiafe, who made this known at the opening of the 2019 Annual National Internal Audit and Governance Conference last Wednesday in Accra, observed that plans were far advanced for the document to be forwarded to Parliament.
“We have already registered it under Professional Bodies Registration Act.
We are also in the process of completing our registration under the Companies Act and from there we will move to Parliament,” she said.
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She stated that good corporate governance and compliance were the lifeblood of every organisation.
“They provide strong inputs for organisational or business sustainability and prevent corporate scandals, fraud and failures.”
“Similarly, when organisations effectively manage risks, they are able to take advantage of new opportunities and guard against actions or inactions that draw back the organisation’s success,” she said.
According to her, the role of internal auditors in enhancing the success of their organisations reflects in authority and power vested in the profession by the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).
“The act among other things mandates internal auditors to appraise and report on soundness and application of the system of controls operating in the covered entity.”
“It also provides penal measures including fines and prison terms for internal auditors who fail to effectively carry out their responsibilities. I entreat us all to remain forthright and professional in our works to avoid falling on the wrong side of the law,” she added.
Her views were however corroborated by the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, who observed that key among the challenges facing the IIA was a lack of an act to formally give legal backing to the operations of the institute.
“I share your views that an Act of Parliament will, and can, strengthen your institute as a professional body. I will always lend my fullest support to your agenda,” she added.
She added that IIA should adopt the needed measures to stop the wrongful placement of internal auditors in organisations.
The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Dr James Klutse Avedzi, asked the institute to expedite actions on the document in order to get the legal support from Parliament.
He indicated that internal auditing reflected a wide spectrum of organisational activities such as the review of the effectiveness and efficiency of operations, compliance with laws, regulations, policies and procedures, safeguard of assets and reliability of information.
In most situations, where internal auditing is properly practised, the internal auditing group has moved to very high levels in all operational areas and has established itself as a valued and respected part of top management effort.
“Despite this progress, in some situations, internal auditing is still functioning to a large extent at the routine compliance level and still suffers from being integrated with regular accounting activities.”