Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Dalitso Kabambe has challenged internal auditors to be on guard because they play a critical role in internal controls and governance issues in both the public and private sectors.
The governor said this on Friday in Mangochi during the opening of the 18th Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Annual Lakeshore Conference under the theme Gaining the Edge with Partners in Excellence.
Kabambe said time has come for internal auditors to take their rightful role and position in society, stressing that unless the country has an effective and efficient internal audit function, it will not address the challenges prevalent in the business environment.
“We can do everything in investigations and prosecution of cases, but if we do not address the challenge of an effective and efficient auditing function, we will continue to suffer losses.
“Effective and efficient internal audit function closes loopholes in the business systems and avoids losses from happening; hence, sorting out the internal audit function is equally important,” he said.
Kabambe implored internal auditors to convince the country that despite the past failures, internal audit function is still relevant, important and a game- changer in the business environment for both public and private sectors.
“The institute needs to do a lot more to change the mindset of many organisations that have not fully embraced the function of internal auditors and are still living in the past where internal auditors were viewed as nothing more than box tickers or checkers of last resort,” he said.
In an interview on the sidelines of the conference, IIA-Malawi president Thokozile Kuwali said their role is advisory and it is up to organisations to take the advice or not.
“We have the mandate to advise and bring insights where we see things are not going well. As internal auditors, it is our duty to alert management and people in authority to put controls where things are not right.
“The challenge and feedback will help us to appropriately align so that we positively impact and focus where there is a need,” she said.
Kuwali said after decades reacting to an already destroyed control environment, internal auditors are now ready to position themselves to an insightful mode and proactively advise stakeholders to be winners.
Apart from Kabambe who gave a keynote address, local and international experts made presentations on Impact and Effectiveness of Internal Auditors, Pensions Act mainly tackling employer obligations and employee rights and Enterprises Risk Management.
The conference started on August 30 and closed on September 2 2018.