Auditors should be seen as a ‘driver for change not a luxury’

24 Sep 18

Auditors need to be a driver for positive change and not seen as “merely a luxury” by governments around the world, the head of an umbrella group has said.

 

Harib Saeed Al Amimi [pictured above], chair of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions, said, in his welcome address at CIPFA’s international conference in Abu Dhabi yesterday, that during this time of “austerity and uncertainty” governments were forced to do more with less resources.

Delegates at CIPFA international conference“This can often mean areas such as monitoring and review, including audit, can be cut,” Al Amimi, who is also the president of the State Audit Institution, UAE, told delegates.

“I believe we need to demonstrate our value to ensure that we are not just seen as merely a luxury, but as an important driver for positive change.”

He added that those working in public finance are facing common challenges, such as working towards the Sustainable Development Goals, fighting corruption and adapting to emerging technology.

Public sector accountants and auditors must therefore be innovative and look beyond their own professions to respond to the challenges that public financial management is facing.

He told the conference [picture of delegates above right] that professionals should “seek imaginative ways to reach out to broader communities, such as the UN and other professions, such as statistical offices”.

“Financial management professionals must be constantly skilling and updating themselves to stay relevant,” he said.

Andrew Burns, CIPFA’s immediate past president, also told the conference in his opening remarks that innovative public financial management can help provide the “global response” to the world’s challenges.

He said whether you look at the challenges caused by trade, technology, corruption or cybercrime, “they are global and require a global response”.

The global community is “part of the solution to these issues and it will help drive dissemination of innovation in PFM and accounting,” he added.

The UAE’s SAI has been hosting the CIPFA conference ‘Making a difference – public money improving lives’ in its Abu Dhabi building yesterday and today.

 

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