PRESS RELEASE – Twenty eight internal auditors, accountants and other social security professionals from 11 countries met in Saint Lucia this week, to enhance their skills and learn more about international best practice in internal auditing.
The October 23 to 24, 2014 Regional Internal Auditors Social Security Workshop was hosted by the National Insurance Corporation (NIC) and was held at the Bay Gardens Hotel.
The NIC’s Head of Group Internal Audit, Sue-Ann Charlery-Payne says this workshop is in keeping with the need to strengthen auditing systems, as the heads of regional social security bodies identified internal auditing as a key priority area for ongoing training.
“The internal audit function serves to assist the board in oversight and this is critical. It spans risk management, evaluating controls, and is an assurance-based function which is important to the efficient running of the establishments. Ensuring that the persons who are entrusted with the responsibility of carrying out that function are proficient enough, makes this training important,” she said.
The two-day training included presentations and lectures, role play, case studies and group work. The presentation by Andrea Gaillard-St. Rose, one of two training facilitators focused on the changing role of the internal audit function.
Mrs. St. Rose says that while many internal auditors are concentrating on traditional job requirements such as auditing financial statements, the focus of internal auditing is rapidly evolving into other areas and auditors must be prepared to meet the challenges head on.
“In previous times the internal auditors were seen as people who came in to do ticking and checking, to ensure that things are functioning. In today’s session, I will communicate to them the fact that the internal auditors now have to be a lot more strategic.”
“They have to be placed in a position where they can anticipate changes taking place in the local and global environment and assist management in putting the controls in place to minimize the risk of losses for the organization and in so doing, protect contributors’ funds,” she said.
Workshop participants included auditors, financial controllers, officers from compliance departments, investment managers and social security directors.
NIC officials are confident that following this regional training, internal auditors will be better equipped to meet the challenges of their increasingly complex work environment.