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.
President Message - February 2014
2020: The Future Belongs To Us
2020 is used as a milestone by countries and organisations to set a vision and measure progress. The Singapore accountancy sector aims to transform into the leading global hub for Asia-Pacific by 2020; and where we are concerned - to develop into a Centre of Excellence in Internal Audit, a platform for leading professional development and certification that will attract professionals from the region. As the profession’s standard-setter and chief advocate, IIA Singapore is working closely with the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC) to achieve this vision. 2020 may seem far away, but in reality there are only six years to go. We welcome members’ inputs on how we can further raise the bar for the profession.
Leading to 2020, how will the expectations of our stakeholders evolve? During one of our recent events, a member wryly reminisced to me that at the start of her IA career in the 1980s, the function required traditional financial and operational assurance skills. Almost two decades later, her role has inevitably blossomed to include a rainbow of skill sets which include strong business acumen, relationship management and change management. Acknowledging this, I could not help but imagine the possibilities which could surface in the next six years. Will more and more countries, including Singapore, make IA a necessary function? Will IA’s voice and “seat at the table” be secured, maintained and strengthened? What will make up the DNA of a “high-performing” IA team in year 2020?
2020 will naturally be the year we gauge where IA stands in the Asia-Pacific region as Singapore moves steadily towards its quest to be a global accountancy hub and a Centre of Excellence in Internal Audit. Some risks which could derail the profession's resolute march towards this vision - for example: not meeting stakeholder expectations, lagging behind other assurance functions, and failure to focus on high-risk areas which can lead to corporate failure and the oft-repeated question, “Where were the Internal Auditors?” It is important that we manage these risks well, so that when 2020 comes round, the internal audit profession as a whole can acknowledge with confidence that they are well-positioned to serve their stakeholders.
I wish you all a Blessed Lunar New Year,
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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