On 3rd March 2023, Kian Soon (“KS”), the IAE’s CEO, participated in a dialogue session with 120 students from UTAR Sg. Long Campus. This dialogue was organised by the Faculty of Accountancy and Management and aimed to provide an opportunity for the students to engage with internal audit professionals and relate their studies to the real world. Those who participated in this dialogue are the final-year students taking the internal auditing elective paper introduced for the first time under the UTAR accountancy degree program.
The followings are the subject discussed and the salient points of explanation provided by KS during the one-and-a-half-hour dialogue.
How can Internal Auditors add value to their organisations?
In a nutshell, I add value by understanding and identifying what the stakeholders want to know, ought to know and do not know.
Based on this premise, I will perform risk assessment, data gathering and analysis to evaluate and confirm the underlying issues of the stakeholders’ concerns and their real root causes. Before reporting and satisfying the stakeholders’ desire to “Know”, my team and I will challenge our findings and answers and ensure they are factual, holistic, workable and conclusive.
Based on your explanation, could you provide an example of how you had value added to your client?
In one of the recent assignments, we addressed the Audit Committee’s concern about the uncertainty in the current global and domestic market sentiment on the company’s financial performance.
In this case, we conducted a stress test based on the financial performance forecast issued by the CFO. Under this assessment, we evaluated the worst and best-case scenarios should the interest rate rise and the commodity price drop further. These are the two main variables not within their control.
The test result showed the targeted range of annual sales and profit margins the company must achieve to weather this challenging time in the next twelve months. This analysis gave comfort and confidence to the Audit Committee and management as the worst-case scenario is not beyond their risk tolerance and management capability.