He said management of various institutions should also make efforts to support the internal audit, adding that the position occupied by the internal auditor and his or her important role in corporate governance required every entity to ensure that the function was appropriately resourced to enhance its delivery.
“Again, to enhance the role of internal audit in corporate governance, management should place emphasis on the capability of internal audit in providing assurance to management and the board on the integrity of information flows, including the monitoring of all internal systems such as internal control, risk management, the communication processes, and the provision of timely advice to management and the board,” Mr Quartey said.
Speaking at the opening of the Annual National Conference 2016 of the Institute of Internal Auditors Ghana (IIA) in Accra on Wednesday, Mr Quartey said the primary objective of an internal auditor was to provide independent, objective assurance and consulting services designed to add value and improve an organisation’s operations.
That, he said, helped boards and management to accomplish their objectives and comply with relevant legislation and applicable policies by assessing the adequacy and effectiveness of risk management, internal control, and governance processes.
The two-day conference, being attended by over 400 members of the IIA across the country, is on the theme: “Leveraging Internal Audit for Business Success”.
Delegates would discuss corruption and its related issues under topics like Information Technology Trends and Auditing Requirements; Fraud and Corruption in the Workplace; Adding Value to the Work of Public Accounts Committee-The Role of the Internal Auditor; and Accountability, Corporate Security and Protecting the Assets of the Institution-the Role of the Internal Auditor.
Mr Quartey advised the internal auditors to demonstrate their proficiency by obtaining appropriate professional certifications and qualifications as well as consider the use of technology-based audit and other data analysis techniques as a means to improving efficiency and audit quality.
Mr Richard Ntim, President of the Institute of Internal Auditors, Ghana, called on management in both public and private sectors to read and apply recommendations of internal auditors to help strengthen systems of internal control.
He said the work of internal auditors, especially in the public service, continued to be critical in the whole structure of helping manage fiscal risks in most institutions and, therefore, the need for management to assist auditors in discharging their roles more effectively.
Mr Ntim, who is also the Chief Internal Auditor of GridCo, said in spite of the important role internal auditors’ played, they were mostly misunderstood and denied the necessary tools that would aid their work.
He said aside the small number of internal auditors in the country to effectively audit internal systems, most auditors were denied the appropriate tools like computers to work.
Internal auditors carry out contract audits, performance audits, and system based audits among other things aside the financial audit that they are popularly known to undertake in most institutions.
Mr Kwabena Obese-Jecty, the Director-General of Internal Audit Agency (IAA), said internal auditors played unique role in “identifying things that might have been overlooked by management” as well as helping to review the operations of management.
He said while most management saw the internal auditor as a valuable member of management, others too, unfortunately, completely misunderstood their role and worked to undermine their effectiveness.
Mr Obese-Jecty said the mandate of internal auditors required that they were careful and exercised diligence in their work while they observe their code of ethics.
“Internal auditors need to be forward looking in their assessment of risks in the control environment and help management leverage its strengths to manage these risks in order to achieve the organisations objectives,” he said.
He said such conferences helped to educate the public and management on the work of the internal auditors and this year’s conference would not be an exception.
By Lydia Asamoah