local internal auditors have been challenged to align the profession with the changing business environment and emerging trends besides upholding professionalism.
Stephen Ineget, the KPMG country director, said internal auditors ought to understand that the world of business today is changing and, “therefore think critically on how to offer advice that will help companies improve accountability and performance to ensure sustainable growth and governance.”
According to Ineget, internal auditors must constantly acquire information and skills to become relevant in the economy particularly as competition continues to grow and trends change. “There is need to enhance practitioners’ ability to analyse and breakdown company problems and opportunities and then make recommendations that are in line with the company strategy,” he said during an internal auditors meeting in Kigali last week.
He added that the internal audit function should give insight to organisations to enable them achieve higher value.
Ineget, however, said the profession still faces huge challenges, including the skills gap and competencies to handle emerging issues like online fraud, that affect internal auditors’ performance.
He challenged local auditors to adopt new approaches in planning, execution, and reporting of results.
“Internal auditors must have the ability to assess and analyse the problem to the factually supported components if they are to provide a deeper understanding and clarity of the challenges of any given organisation or business entity,” he added. Gerald Nyangezi, the president of the Institute of Internal Auditors Rwanda, said that it is imperative for the auditors to work as a team, share information and expertise to help strengthen the profession.
He observed that in most other careers there are platforms where people come together to learn and evaluate themselves.
“We want to see how we can work together as internal auditors to be able to leverage collective knowledge and share our experiences.
“This way we will be able to enhance our competencies, as well as create awareness among the various stakeholders about the institute and its role in supporting businesses,” he noted.
The institute has 80 members and, according to Nyangezi, it is working hard to attract more members and build its capacity and that of auditors.
Currently, the government facilitates public accountants and internal auditors to study and obtain certification in professional courses, such as Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Certified Public Accountants (CPA), and Chartered Internal Auditors (CIA), in the medium-term. There are also other courses, like the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Diploma (IPSAS), and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) certificate, they can benefit from.