By: AYOUB Abdullah AL MARZOUQI, Director of Internal Audit Department-Emirates Transport

Edited by: ASEM AL NASER


Internal audit is one of the most important organizational units in the Organization. Because of its resulting responsibilities toward organization, which most important one is its objectivity in offering, touching the most important areas that need to be developed, and its duty to seek to identify the expectations of stakeholders of the Internal Audit Department. Therefore, it is a part of organization’s strategy and an important factor in achieving the organization’s vision and strategic objectives.

Effectiveness of internal audit is one of the most important factors that affect positively on achieving the above mentioned, and making internal audit an added value to organization.

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To ensure the effectiveness of the internal audit activity you must have indicators to measure the effectiveness. However, by reference to the reality of the internal audit, its activity recommended for the development, improvement, and take appropriate decisions by the department concerned to address gaps, develop procedures and systems. Therefore the quantitative indicators such as commitment to the internal audit plan, and days of completion of the report in accordance with the targeted days, extent of closure of observations in the reports, and the acceptance of the recommendations or not, are important indicators, but are it actually sufficient indicators to measure the effectiveness of the audit activity?

The internal audit team is minimal compared to the organization; therefore, the audit team may not be able to cover all activities throughout year or two years. So, a medium-term strategy for the audit must be developed be mostly for three years, gives priority to high-risk activities, and audit low risk activities can only done after a long period of time. Although, how low-risk activities’ impact tiny is as individuals on the organization, but being combined with a negative effect on the organization. From here, the importance of increasing audit sense stems among all organizations’ staff.

Spreading of internal audit sense culture of staff in respect of not to exercise daily procedures without following the systems used, procedures, and policies adopted leads thus to not to make decisions haphazardly, but rather through the study of its risks and its dimensions and the surrounding circumstances. In this case, awareness and recognition of importance of internal audit increases not only as an independent department follows board of directors, but as an authentic and important part of employees’ lives. Thus, practical and homogeneous teamwork can be consist ensuring spreading the culture of the audit in the organization.

From here stems the importance of creating tools to measure and disseminate the culture of audit sense. Internal Audit Department plays an important role in compiling details include quality indicators and not just quantity linked to the culture of internal audit and audit sense among staff. From which management decisions and their compatibility with the thought of the internal audit and the size of the discovered remarks and this and it is possible to compile this data through a questionnaire is adopted by management and distributed on a regular basis, including the following:

  1. Measuring to what extent staff aware of the importance of internal audit, the scope of work, and its mechanism.
  2. Identify strengths and opportunities to develop staff performance in order to be observed by the audit departments.
  3. Measuring the level of staff awareness of internal controls related to their everyday work and its importance. This can be done through stating number of controls, and taking the opinion of the staff.

Themes raised could include some of the following questions:

  1. I am aware of the importance of internal audit and its objectives.
  2. What are the preventive and corrective measures?
  3. Procedures of audit are clear and understandable.
  4. Effectiveness and efficiency of internal controls are taken into account in my daily practices.
  5. What is the responsibility of management and staff toward audit remarks?
  6. Internal audit activity in line with the strategic objectives of the organization.
  7. What are the three lines of defense and its importance?

We have mentioned above a few questions that can be used to measure the culture and sense of audit of the staff. Spreading and awareness of the same is the responsibility of Internal Audit Department. As, communication with the organizational units will be necessary to discuss, clarify, and deliver the same in the right way.

Will you measure today culture and sense of internal audit in your organization?