The Controller of Budget during her presentation at the conference.
The Institute of Internal Auditors Kenya held their 18th Annual Conference bringing together about 200 Auditors and Accountants. The theme of the Conference was ‘Agility and Resilience- Scaling the Heights.’ The Controller of Budget Dr. Margaret Nyakang’o, a discussant at the conference, spoke to the theme of the conference delving into; Leveraging Internal Audit to Accelerate Accountability- Key Stakeholder Perspective.
The Controller of Budget as a key stakeholder elucidated to the caucus the mandate of her office touching on the core mandate being overseeing the implementation of budgets of both national and county governments.
She extensively discussed the role of auditors in an organization where she said that auditors are the first line of defense since they are usually the first people to grasp what is happening in an organization.
“Auditors provide assurance that appropriate institutional policies, procedures and sound business practices are followed by the entity”, she said.
She highlighted the role of the Office of the Controller of Budget Audit department which entails financial audits, compliance audits, information systems, special investigations and follow up audits among other roles.
She mentioned that in any line of duty, it is not always a walk in the park. People from different walks of lives face different challenges and it is not any different from Auditors and Accountants.
“Auditors face challenges like digital disruption brought by mobile money and the likes of social media, the internet of things which have been disrupting business models and making it difficult to audit such platforms,” she reiterated.
She continued to list other challenges as business and technology transformation where the use of ICT and the massive transformation of applications and infrastructure have put some businesses on unfamiliar footings. Other challenges like big data where there is too much information being processed at the same time and other challenges like cyber security, privacy risks, regulatory pressure and insufficient resources.
She spoke to strategies of leveraging internal audit where she encouraged the caucus to learn to diversify the scope and nature of audit activities by conducting issue based reviews. She also mentioned that auditors should build, train and retain staff with specialized technical skills. Also, auditors should enhance strategic partnerships by collaborating with IT functions to help manage risk and help solve business problems.
“Also, the use of change agents by recommending automation to take care of repetitive manual tasks can be undertaken so that auditors can free up time to perform more value-adding activities,” she added.
Moving forward, she said that resilience and agility determine the chance of success in an interconnected, constantly evolving world. She reiterated that resilience cannot be achieved overnight but overtime. She encouraged leadership teams to strike a balance between mitigating risk and sustaining growth in their organizations.
She concluded by challenging the board members of the Institute of Internal Auditors to analyze their roles and those of her office then come up with a proposal on how the two institutions can partner together to ensure stakeholders like county governments appreciate the role of auditors at the county level.