Equip internal auditors to curb corruption - IIA
The President of the Institute of Internal Auditors Ghana (IIA), Harriet Akua Karikari, has called on the government and organisations to resource internal auditors to perform their duties effectively to help curb corruption.
She said equipping them with the right training, modern software such as data analytics tools, relevant equipment and a conducive working environment would help them improve their work.
"If you have not resourced your internal auditors well they may not be effective. Some of them come in and don't even have a chair to sit on; some of them are one man or one woman internal auditors. They can't see everything in the organisation but if more people are employed into that unit they will be more effective," Mrs Karikari said.
The IIA President was speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra last Saturday when the IIA embarked on a health walk to create awareness of Internal Auditing and educate the public about the value of internal auditors to an organisation.
The health walk was part of activities slated to mark the Internal Auditors Month, held globally in May.
Mrs Karikari said the health walk was also to help the institute to clear some misconceptions about the profession and position it as an essential prerequisite in the structure of every organisation.
No need for accounting
For instance, she said, many people thought that internal auditors must be people with an accounting background but the profession had very little to do with accounting.
"With every operation of the organisation, from start to finish you will need the internal auditor to provide the needed assurance, to assure management that the controls are good, risk is managed and also governance is good.
"So you could see that some of the placards read: “We are not police officers, but we are trusted advisors”, so if you resource us we will be effective," Mrs Karikari said.
The IIA president added that although a few infractions may slip through an organisation’s work, a chunk of them were averted by the internal auditors before the external auditors came in to conduct their checks.
Mrs Karikari said that informed the need to provide the required assurance for internal auditors to perform their duties effectively.
"I think that the value of internal auditors in an organisation cannot be quantified because most of the infractions are averted by internal auditors before the external auditors arrive,” she added.
Mrs Karikari said the walk brought together internal auditors from across the country to share innovative ideas and insights to elevate the profession.
The president stated that the institute had adopted digitalisation and technological solutions in its operations and governance structures to promote efficiency.
"The use of artificial intelligence, data mining and data analytics are norms with significant impact on how organisations operate and we would, therefore, take advantage to enhance public fiscal management and accountability," she said.