KPMG and other recent auditing scandals warrants more vigilance: IIASA

May is International Internal Audit Month and the The Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa (IIASA) calls on corporate South Africa to speak out on corporate wrongdoing and corruption as well as actively work toward building an ethical culture in their organisations.

The call comes after the auditing industry was hit by different scandals that saw companies such as KPMG's public image being shattered.

This lead to both the internal and external audit professions coming under the spotlight in recent times following a litany of revelations relating to both the public and private sectors.

With over 8 000 members, the IIASA has also implored its members to speak out against unethical business practices as the country seeks to bolster its economic outlook during this period of optimism and renewal.

May represents a time when we in the profession reflect on the internal audit mandate and matters affecting the IIA membership in over 160 countries.

Dr Claudelle von Eck, IIA SA CEO

Von Eck adds that given the current climate of optimism and renewal in South Africa, they see this international campaign as key to building awareness about the role internal audit can play in the workplace and broader community to effect positive societal and economic change.

International Internal Audit Month provides an ideal opportunity to educate South Africans about a complex but vital profession.

Dr Claudelle von Eck, IIA SA CEO

For example, many still conflate internal and external audit and do not realise they are two very different auditing functions.

Dr Claudelle von Eck, IIA SA CEO

Von Eck also says that Internal auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity critical to improving and enhancing an organisations operation.

It is a risk-based discipline. In many cases it plays a major role in combating unethical behaviour and ensuring good corporate governance principles are applied through risk identification and mitigation.

Dr Claudelle von Eck, IIA SA CEO

The chairman of the board of the IIA SA Vonani Chauke says the current business climate in the country necessitated serious reflection and contemplation for the profession.

Thus, as we enter this period of renewal and revitalisation, we must ask ourselves some critical questions such as how we can improve on our mandate, how can we make the profession critical to the functioning of our country and what policy, legislative and regulatory changes should be made, if any, to improving how we work.

Vonani Chauke, IIA SA Board Chairman

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