By John Seeram
This article is being published by the Stabroek Business as a service to the Guyana Chapter of the Institute of International Auditors to mark Audit Awareness Month, May 2015
The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Global has declared the month of May, Audit Awareness Month. Accordingly, this article seeks to enhance public awareness regarding the local Chapter, and its relationship with IIA Global.
As an aside I have been associated with the IIA since 1990, being a member of the Rochester, New York, USA Chapter. In 1994 I attempted to create a Chapter in Guyana. A second effort was made to do so in August 1999 with the support of Lal Balkaran of the Toronto Chapter of the IIA.
In January 2000 Mr Balkaran travelled to Guyana to assist with establishing the local Chapter. A meeting was convened at the former Park Hotel with local Internal Auditors, who thereafter agreed to the formation of a Chapter. Mr Balkaran’s role included providing support for meeting the requirements associated with membership. The Guyana Chapter was approved at the Leadership Conference in Orlando, USA on 30 April 2000.
The IIA Global was established in 1941 in New York City by a small group of dedicated Internal Auditors an organization to represent them and provide educational activities and standards for the professional practice of internal auditing. Since then, the IIA has become a dynamic international organization that meets the needs of a worldwide body of internal auditors.
The IIA’s Mission is to be the primary international professional association, organized on a worldwide basis, and dedicated to the promotion and development of the practice of internal auditing.
With over 180,000 members in approximately 180 Chapters globally, the IIA is proud to be the world leader in certification, education, research, and technological guidance for the profession worldwide. In North America and the Caribbean there are approximately 72,000 members. Headquartered in Altamonte Springs, Florida, the IIA seeks to meet the developmental needs of Internal Auditors worldwide. The Global Institute is committed to:
* providing on an international scale, comprehensive professional development activities, standards for the practice of internal auditing, and certification of its examinations;
* researching, disseminating, and promoting to its members and to the public throughout the world, knowledge and information concerning internal auditing, internal controls, and related subjects;
* establishing meetings worldwide in order to educate members and others about the practice of internal auditing as it exists in various countries throughout the world;
* bringing together internal auditors from all countries to share information and experiences in internal auditing and promoting education in the field of auditing through local, regional and international meetings.
The Guyana Chapter
The Guyana Chapter is part of the Caribbean Eastern District of the IIA. Other countries in this group are Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda and Trinidad and Tobago. There is also the Caribbean Western District which comprises 5 countries. They are the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The Chapters are the building blocks of the IIA. They aim is to serve the IIA membership as well as commercial, industrial and governmental organizations. Auditors from both the private and public sectors make up the membership of the Chapters. Here in Guyana, representatives from public accounting organizations, educators from the University of Guyana and students interested in the internal auditing field are welcome to join the organization. It provides a forum for a rich interchange of ideas and information. It also offers an opportunity for members to share in the latest techniques and approaches to internal auditing through contact with persons in similar positions of responsibility. It also provides in-depth reports on professional issues, a dynamic education programme that includes seminars and conferences and access to modern auditing publications. The major publications are the International Professional Practice Framework and the Internal Auditor which feature articles on the practices and development of internal auditing. The body also publishes a monthly newsletter. Another publication, Tone At The Top, focuses on governance issues. Collectively, these publications also provide information on international conferences and seminars and encourages attendance.
In 2000, the Guyana Chapter started with 15 members. As of May 2015 it has grown to 57 members. The organization has encouraged group affiliation. The Ministry of Finance’s Internal Audit Unit is one such member.
The Guyana Chapter has been actively involved in hosting seminars/ workshops and doing on-the-job training for internal auditors. The first of these was held on 9 June 2000, and it is the standard practice to hold at least 3 seminars a year. The most recent one was held in April 2015. The seminars relate to current issues in the profession. The April 2015 seminar dealt with a range of topics including “Audit Report Writing” and “Key Performance Indicators for Auditors to Address.”
The Chapter’s seminars are usually well attended by public and private sectors auditors and representatives of cooperative.
Presenters/facilitators for these seminars are required to meet the IIA Global standards. If a qualified presenter is not available locally the Chapter recruits presenters from overseas. Previous overseas presenters include Claire Gomez and Larry Kowlessar of Trinidad and Tobago, the late Barry Robinson of Jamaica and Guyanese born, Canada-based Lal Balkkarran. Locally based presenters have included Deodat Indar and John Seeram.
The Guyana Chapter has also been engaged in on-the-job training at the Ministry of Finance and the Guyana Revenue Authority.
The IIA Global provides certification for the examinations which it offers. These include the Certified Internal Auditors (CIA), the Certified Government Auditor Professional (CGAP), and the Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA). Lindsay Bascom was the first Guyanese to do the CIA examination locally. In 2005 he was appropriately designated.
Leadership of the Guyana
Over the years the Presidents of the Guyana Chapter have been John Seeram, Deodat Indar and Jaigopaul Ram. The structure includes a Board of Governors and an Executive Committee.
The way forward
After 15 years, the IIA Guyana Chapter is now well established. It plays an important role in the development of the internal auditing profession in Guyana under the guidance of the global body. It continues to disseminate auditing information through IIA publications, seminars and on-the-job training. Auditors are encouraged to seek certification by sitting the professional examinations.