Internal Auditors Told to Assume Role of Trusted Advisors to Top Management
- UAE to host GAM Conference first time outside the US
- 21st Global meet of auditors discusses ESG, Sustainability, fraud and risk reporting
- 1,500 audit professionals from across the world attend Dubai meet
- Abdulqader: “Internal auditors must become trusted advisors to top management”
- UAE IAA join hands with Sharia Professionals Association to train auditors
Internal auditors have been advised to go beyond the current responsibility and be trusted advisors as internal audit has moved beyond the regular audit mainstream and the boards, Audit & Risk committee and management look up to internal audit as the first point for reliable information.
Delivering the keynote address at the 21st Annual Regional Audit Conference (ARAC) hosted by the UAE Internal Auditors Association (UAE IAA), Abdulqader Obaid Ali, Chairman of the Board of UAE IAA, said, “Internal auditors can add value to the sustainability and ESG realm by providing assurance on reporting, assessing the adequacy of systems and controls, offering advice on how organisations can improve their sustainability and ESG practices.”
More than 1,500 internal audit professionals are attending the three-day event with the theme “ESG – Embracing Sustainability in Audit” showcasing the best the profession has to offer and providing participants from around the world with an understanding of the latest developments in internal auditing.
The conference is held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Economy.
Abdulqader revealed that the UAE Internal Auditors Association will be hosting the next General Audit Management (GAM) Conference in Abu Dhabi in October 2023 with a new name “Great Audit Minds“, the first time outside the US.
“We are fortunate to have the GAM, catering to the chief audit executives. We have been working with them and trying to convince them what we really can do. We are raising the bar for the internal auditors, and if they do not measure up, they will be left behind the world lost.”
“For the first time sustainability is being given prime importance as it is the new mission, as climate change is a phenomenon affecting the whole mankind.”
“The UAE is committed to adopt global standards, we have to start from home to community and to the world,” he said.
Abdulqader said, for the UAE it is very important that this year is the Year of Sustainability, and in line with hosting Cop28. He said the HASAAD Program has been successful that it graduated 20 batches involving 166 nationals. IAA also conducted 72 quality assurances, out of which 17 were outside the UAE, in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Jordan and Pakistan.
Benito Ybarra, Chairman of the Global Board of Directors of The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and past chair of The IIA’s North American Board, said in his inaugural address that IIA’s global footprint offers an incredible opportunity to network, collaborate and share best practice.
“We support and encourage networking within the Middle East region and beyond, because IIA Global is committed to supporting the exchange of best practices.”
“GAM conference caters for the chief audit executives, who are the leaders of the profession from around the world. For it to come for the first time from the US to the UAE, it means that they have seen that this region is practising good governance and maintaining global standards.”
Benito said, “GAM is geared up for chief audit executives. The leadership they have shown is great. It is a higher level of networking that has been happening in North America for years and we are able to see this region’s potential for everyone to come together. We are contemplating to change the role of internal auditors for so many years, and now we are redefining their role as trusted advisers to the top management.”
“GAM has evolved into the premier event for internal audit leaders, offering a unique opportunity to connect with thought leaders and peers to share strategic insights and innovative ideas that boost and invigorate the profession.”
Abdulqader said the UAE IAA is joining hands with Sharia Professionals Association (SPA) to develop standards and best practices for Shariah-based departments in the UAE.
“The project is to establish a guidebook and certification programme for internal Shariah auditors to upskill them from an internal audit best practice perspective,” said Moosa Khoory, Chairman of Sharia Professionals Association.
Abdulqader listed the benefits of ESG and sustainable practices as improved financial performance, enhanced brand reputation and reduced risk.
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.