The Government’s 2010 Accountants Act governing Accountants and Auditors under the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning (MFDP) is designed to improve professionalism among Internal Auditors, Gaborone West-North Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Chairman on Governance, Robert Masitara, has said.
Masitara said, in addition to the Act, the Government also created a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Governance to show that it treasures the crucial role Internal Auditors play.
Giving a keynote address at the Internal Audit Symposium held in Gaborone on Friday in honour of the visiting Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Global Chairman Phillip Tarling, Masitara said: “My Committee will work in conjunction with IIA Botswana, Directors’ Institute of Botswana, MFDP and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the profession of Internal Audit (IA) is taken to the level it ought to be.
“IAs are expected to perform in accordance with their Standards of Practice (SoP), possess appropriate technical skills and have interpersonal skills. But very critical are the IA values as stipulated in the Code of Practice (CoP). More often than not, IAs find themselves faced with compromising and intimidating situations and as such, end up sacrificing their values.
“This Symposium is meant for you to openly and honestly raise and discuss issues. Allow me to wish you a very fruitful symposium that will prove to be a turnaround for the IIA profession in Botswana.”
Masitara said based on the theme: “The State of Internal Audit after the Global Economic Crisis; emphasizing on relevance, recognition and status”, the choices, actions and behaviours of IAs determine how they are viewed by their organizations, they, without exception, should strive to acquire the necessary skills to ensure quality of work adding value in line with the definition of this function.
He said although IIA Botswana has been existence since 1996, the Institute still ‘crawling and not soaring like an eagle’, had failed to take opportunity of several growth opportunities. This demeaning outlook is a reflection and perception of IAs profession in Botswana, especially of the leadership.
He urged on IAs to be visionary and change the poor perception about themselves and the profession, reflecting you expect from employers, partners and other stakeholders. “You need to put your plans in place that will ensure a fully-fledged office that is adequately resources to function in a manner that will assist the whole country drive its governance agenda.”
The MP said corporate scandals dating back to the Bubble Cards of the South Sea Company in 1711 to the most recent Barclays Bank Libor Rate Fixing have been instrumental in the establishment and prominence of good governance and the IA profession. Following the 2007 Global Economic Crisis, the profession has emerged more formidable. In line with these controls, the Institute of Financial Accountants (IFAC) in conjunction with IIA Global is reviewing the International Standard on Auditing (ISA) 610 which uses the work of the Internal Auditor (IA) by the External Auditor (EA). The intention lies in ensuring the latter has considered the former’s work with more far-fetching implications.
“This demonstrates IA’s relevance and importance, though our governance structures might be considered to be at the developmental stage. Despite these shortcomings, Botswana’s good governance has received global recognition,” he said.