Internal Auditors event on "Post pandemic: Is internal audit relevance at risk?."
The IIA chapter 321 has scheduled fortnightly knowledge sharing sessions as preparedness focusing on ensuing pandemic and the new reality that may emerge. The last session on 'Post pandemic: Is internal audit relevance at risk' was presented by Hal Garyn, Managing Director, Audit Executive Advisory Services from the USA. Hal's 30+ year professional career has been predominately on the disciplines of risk management, internal audit, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, and corporate governance.
Internal audit has historically struggled at times with making sure it is relevant at the moment, and adding value to the organization. Given global pandemics, increased levels of working remotely, economic pressures, and increased risk, internal audit is more challenged to ensuring its relevance. Hal started his presentation with the question "Is it a tag of war or collaborative partnership' between various business functions when it comes to survival since it is uncertain whether the changes during the last six months is temporary or permanent. The first concern is, has internal audits relevance been helped or hurt?
There were four aspects elucidated to define relevance for internal audit.
How prescient are you? –see around corners and anticipate what is coming and what is needed. How nimble are you? –flexibility, agility, responsiveness, change-readiness. How warm is your seat at the table? –are you in the heat of the battle and What direction is the phone ringing? –are you calling out –OR –are the calls coming?
"Hal dealt with very pertinent research on what every auditor should be familiar and consciously equip themselves. The virus will go away, but what does it mean if an optimistic scenario doesn't happen need to be pondered. The relevance related going-forward challenges such as relationship sustaining, culture audit, ways to enhance relevance footprint were very insightful that yielded substantial wisdom to auditors" said Sundaresan Rajeswar, The IIA Board member who coordinated the event.
Hal provided pointers to check internal audit's relevance during the crisis. Who wants to meet with you? How often did you react to critical information? Is there a gap between what you want to be involved, and what are you involved? Grayn asked, "Are you happy with audits relevance during the crisis?"
Adel al-Hashmi, President of the IIA Qatar, welcomed attendees from different parts of the world. "The Question-Answer session post the presentation was very pertinent that further brought clarity to many compelling doubts about the relevance or even existential crisis of the profession as a value-add to the business. The IIA Qatar chapter aims to get people of high calibre to share their expertise that will in turn help in for promoting internal audit profession," Adel stated.
Fahad al-Marri, Senior Vice President, thanked the presenter and audience. Chapter Board members Muralikrishnan hosted the event with Murtaza and Girish Jain. Rajeswar handled Q&A segment. The next event on 'Fraud risk' is scheduled on 30 Aug 2020 with two renowned academicians and practitioners