Internal auditors told to be ‘agile’ or being left behind

  • Two-day Chief Audit Executive Conference in Abu Dhabi attract 350 executives from all over the world
  • Abdulqader says said the industry should invest in talent and enhance quality assurance, align with global standards
  • Conference will add value to the UAE’s reputation as a center of global best practices
  • Richard Chambers says risk velocity rises, volatility fuels chaos

Dubai: The 11th Chief Audit Executive Conference (CAE) organized by the UAE Internal Auditors Association (UAE IAA) at Conrad Hotel, Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi on November 2, 2022 has called upon the internal auditors to be agile as agility is the new norm and without adapting technology they will become obsolete.

Health Magazine

Inaugurating the two-day innovative and fully interactive conference attended by more than 350 audit executives from across the world, Abdulqader Obaid Ali, UAE IAA Chairman, said: “The internal auditors should be agile to stay afloat in an ever changing technology world. With the transformation and technology you cannot but be agile, adapt technology, and be role model.”

“We are auditors, we audit every one. But who audit us? IIA standards say that we have to be audited at least every five years. If we do that some of the audit departments are not able to do that. So, we as IAA UAE provide the service, we have done almost 65 audits locally and outside the UAE. We can provide the service, but it is essential that when we say something we actually walk the talk. It helps us align with IIA standards,” he said.

Health Magazine

Abdulqader also said the industry should invest in talent. “One of the pillars we are looking for is talent. We have to invest in talent, and that’s what something we are looking at as IAA we have now 16 batches of UAE nationals who have completed the HASAAD Programme.

“Talent is the biggest asset for any organization going forward. We as auditors audit everyone, but who is auditing us? Yet we see the statistics about the quality assurance that it is not up to the standard that we aim for.”

More than 350 Chief Audit Executives and Senior Audit Executives from across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region are attending the conference.

Richard Chambers, Senior Internal Audit Advisor, AuditBoard, made a presentation: “Focusing on the Future: 5 Key Priorities for 2023”. He described the 2022 risk landscape as ‘bedlam’ when he said the risk velocity has impaired planning and risk volatility is fuelling chaos. He said since January 2020 the world has seen the worst global pandemic in 100 years; The highest unemployment rate in 90 years; The most significant war in Europe in 80 years; the highest rate of inflation in 40 years and the most aggressive monetary policies in decades.”

“The agenda with the theme ‘Agility the New Norm’ is thoughtfully structured to ensure that our auditors, CAEs, CFOs and CEOs are ready for the future and become digitally savvy to face the challenges brought out by technology disruption, Cybersecurity and digitization. Further, the Conference will add value to the UAE’s reputation as a center of global best practices and good governance as envisioned by our leadership,” said Abdulqader Obaid Ali, UAE IAA Chairman.

Jenitha John, Audit, Governance, Risk Management Professional, Seasoned Executive and Consultant, made a presentation “Enhancing the Agility Quotient of Internal Audit.”

She said the internal audit professionals should tune to new realities as the velocity of risk is increasing. The new realities are: Public-Private partnership and the role of government; Blended value proposition, Investor activism, Corporate scandals, and Consumer spending and behaviour. The other realities are: the Pandemic, Business model rethink against technology disruption, changing global economic and policy conditions, Cyber threats, increased regulatory burden and competition for talent and workforce demographies.

The strategic partners are Beeah, KPMG, Protiviti, PwC and Etihad as official carrier.

UAE IAA, a non-profit organization, was set up in 1995 along the lines of its parent body, the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA Global) which has 200,000 members from more than 190 countries and organizations. The UAE accounts for about 45% of the total number of internal auditors working in the region, estimated at about 7,000 auditors, of which 22% are Emiratis.

**Please note, Thumbay Group, Gulf Medical University, and HEALTH magazine are not liable nor responsible for the facts, figures, and overall content of the press releases on our portal.

Related Articles