The Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), Dr Eric Oduro Osae, has tasked internal auditors to monitor the accounting systems used to prepare financial statements of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to ensure accuracy.
According to him, the government had been questioning the amount of money paid by most SOEs as dividends over the suspicion that some SOEs might not be paying the precise dividends.
“Internal Auditors, you are within these institutions, you are expected to ensure that accurate profits are declared and dividends declared are duly paid to the government,” he said.
Dr Osae was speaking in Accra yesterday when he opened a two day training for internal auditors on the preparation of the 2023 Risk-Based Internal Audit (RBIA).
RBIA is an audit methodology that links internal audit to an institution’s overall risk management framework with focus on the institution’s limited resources, high risk and high probability of weak controls.
The Public Finance Management Act, 2016(Act921) mandates Internal Audit Units of covered entities to, within 30 days after the beginning of the financial year, submit an annual audit work plan to the principals spending officer and the audit committee of the entities as well as the IAA.
The workshop, held three months ahead of the next due date( January 30, 2023) for the submission of the plan, is aimed at equipping participants with the requisite skills and tools to enable them prepare and submit their RBIA work plans and reports as well as appreciate contemporary practices.
Dr Osae said amongst other key mandatory areas internal auditors should focus on its 2023 risk assessments as a follow up of recommendations from the Auditor-General Report.
He said they should also mainstream and conduct performance audits of operations of their institutions to get value for money, while they audit borrowing, outstanding recoverables and debts.
That, he said, was important because the Auditor-General had made several comments on that issue and it was critical for the internal auditors to get the exact figures before the Auditor-General’s next report.
Dr Osae said the participants would be guided to prepare their RBIA plans on areas such as protection of public assets, titling of assets, and ownership because the asset ownership of many institutions were questionable.
“We need you, internal auditors, to plan and make sure that you guide and support these institutions to be able to report on a fair basis. Let us work together to provide the advisory and assurance services our institutions need,” he said.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR