Be vigilant to avoid corporate failure – internal auditors told


By Emmanuel AKOMEA

The Vice-Chancellor of Methodist University Ghana, Prof. Philip Ebo Bonzi-Simpson, has charged Internal Auditors to heighten vigilance in their profession to prevent corporate failure.

According to him, being more vigilant and diligent in their oversight responsibilities can reduce the cases of corporate failure and malpractice. He indicated that the need for proactive measures and thorough scrutiny in audit processes is a key strategy to mitigate risks and enhance organisational resilience that cannot be undermined.

“If our audit committees and internal auditors had been as vigilant and diligent as expected, 90 percent of the cases that we see involving corporate failure, wastages and leakages and graft in our corporate bodies and public sector would not have happened,” he noted.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2024 National Internal Audit and Governance Conference in Accra on the theme ‘Beyond Boundaries: Navigating New Frontiers’, the Vice-Chancellor mentioned that it is crucial to assess whether audit committees and internal auditors have been as vigilant and diligent as required as they explore new frontiers.

He emphasised orientation and continuous training as key components in keeping internal auditors and audit committee members up-to-date with evolving standards and technologies. He added that organisations should allocate sufficient resources for training and development to enhance the capabilities of these individuals.

In terms of selecting individuals for audit committees, he said by having qualified individuals, providing adequate training and conducting regular performance assessments, organisations can strengthen their internal audit functions and improve overall governance practices.

Prof. Bonzi-Simpson added: “Competency, not just representation, should be prioritised when appointing people to perform governance functions.  It is crucial to emphasise the importance of aligning skill sets with the role’s demands to avoid potential challenges. When appointing individuals to boards or audit committees, it is essential to consider their qualifications and expertise to ensure they can contribute meaningfully to discussions and decision-making processes”.

The president of IIA Ghana, Joseph Dakora Zumasigee, in his remarks indicated that adapting to changing times and embracing new technologies is crucial for internal auditors. He acknowledged the challenges faced by Internal Auditors due to the reluctance of individuals benefitting from outdated processes and systems.

He mentioned that artificial intelligence is changing the landscape of many things, therefore Ghana needs to see itself as a potential creator or active player in directing the progress of technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) rather than just being a consumer.

Mr. Zumasigee added that collaboration across different fields is essential to drive progress and overcome cultural barriers.

He emphasised the importance of breaking down silos and leveraging each other’s knowledge, perspectives and support to address complexities of the modern business environment. Delegates were encouraged to uphold professional codes of conduct and work together across disciplines to establish a strong ethical foundation for positive advancement despite shared limitations.

This conference focused on challenging auditors to do more by exploring trends, innovative strategies and leading practices reshaping organisational governance and internal auditing.

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