Chair: Derek Jamieson - Director of Regions, Chartered IIA
Institute: Liz Sandwith - Chief Professional Practices Advisor, Chartered IIA
Chair's opening comments
By now we are all acutely aware that there has been a sequence of events which have created what many believe to be a much less stable and therefore more uncertain world. Many of you will never have experienced a time where inflation was so high and none of us had experienced a truly global and still ongoing pandemic until 2020. None of us would have predicted that we would be experiencing a 100 day plus war within Europe just now. All this brings added uncertainty to a world which was already changing apace.
Navigating through such times requires resilience of both management and staff and the organisation itself. But is being sufficiently resilient to “get by” enough? How do you deliver your strategy in these times and where is the role for Internal Audit?
Today’s session is going to be a bit different. We have an academic in our presence, Dr Rodrigo Silva Di Souza, Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Risk Management at the University of Roehampton in London. He is also Co-Chair of the IRM Innovation SIG.
Rodrigo is going to discuss resilience and pose some questions for us.
Slides attached from the session. Notes below are supplementary.
Dr Rodrigo Silva Di Souza, Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Risk Management at the University of Roehampton in London:
There are lots of challenges facing organisations and facing internal audit, but those challenges give us the opportunity to contribute to our organisation’s operational resilience. It will also give us an opportunity to think outside the box so there are opportunities for internal audit to provide real time assurance when organisations are going through significant change and constant change due to the volatility of the environment. It gives us the opportunity to contribute to resilience and sustainability through the identification of inefficiencies and missed opportunities. Sometimes as internal auditors we see risk as something that must be stopped, but in this new world we find ourselves in, in this very challenging environment, there is an opportunity to see risks as opportunity. What opportunities do some of these risks present to our organisations that will sustain us for the future, that senior management haven’t yet understood because they are busy fighting challenges. And sometimes internal audit being able to stand back and look to the future, look at where we are now and the lessons that we’ve learned, we can help our organisation to build a strong resilience framework and be more sustainable - this is a huge opportunity for IA.
It is also interesting that the response to the consultation comments from the BEIS white paper has indicated that organisations viability statement is going to be replaced by a resilience statement and there is an opportunity there for internal audit to contribute to the resilience statement that the organisation is going to submit that will go into annual report and accounts and will be reviewed by external audit colleagues to look to the future of the organisation and to build on all of these risks.
We tend to see risks in silos – some risks exacerbate other risks within our organisations, and we need to look at the interwoven risks. There is an obligation and a duty to highlight some of this to our organisations.
Chair's closing comments
Thank you for all for your participation in a very productive session.
As usual, notes, chat comments will be placed on our web pages in the next couple of days.
Our next session on 13 July will be on Sanctions and we hope to see you then.
We have a number of events scheduled for the coming months, including our Leaders Summit and our Internal Audit Conference. Please visit our Events section for further details.