‘How to enhance internal audit function for value creation’

Former Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Michael Ikpoki

Former Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Michael Ikpoki

For value creation in workplaces, internal audit functions need to be strongly aligned with leadership in order to be proactive in addressing emerging risks and other risk management practices, PwC’s 2016 State of Internal Audit Profession (SOTP) survey report has shown.

According to the report, while companies today face more risks than ever, they are looking to their internal audit functions to deliver value by educating stakeholders on emerging risks and leading risk management practices that would improve the business.

Associate Director Risk Assurance, PwC Nigeria, Femi Osinubi, while discussing findings of PwC’s 2016 State of Internal Audit Profession (SOTP) survey report: ‘Leadership matters: Advancing toward true north as stakeholders expect more’, in Lagos, recently, urged internal auditors in the country to focus on leadership as this will increase their value contribution and help the broader organisation address emerging risks, adding that internal audit functions with very effective leadership perform better and add greater value to the business.

Osinubi, in a statement made available to The Guardian, noted that more than half of the stakeholders who participated in the 2016 study believe internal audit is contributing significant value – up six points from 2015.

The study also highlighted that 62 percent of stakeholders expect more value from internal audit with 55 percent expecting internal audit to be a more proactive trusted advisor within the next five years.

“We are seeing a close correlation between strong leadership and internal audit’s ability to add value and deliver high performance. To continue fostering internal audit functions to become trusted advisors within their organizations, stakeholders should promote strong internal audit leadership, while audit executives work to elevate the performance and perceptions of their respective functions.

“It is through close alignment with various stakeholders and owning internal audit’s role as a leadership function within the organisation that can allow internal audit to help their companies keep up with the changing business and risk landscape. But all this cannot be said and done without a clear vision, supported by a strategic plan and enabled with top talent,” Osinubi said.

Former Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Michael Ikpoki examined internal audit in the context of the current business environment with regulatory uncertainty, shrinking GDP, technological disruption.

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