The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) – Guyana Chapter on Monday December 7, 2020 held its Annual General Meeting. The main item discussed was the election of its Executive to man the Chapter’s operations for the year 2021 to 2022. Elected are persons that have contributed to the IIA immensely over the past years. All of whom are vastly experienced and possess a mix of skills. At the meeting, the following persons were elected to office: Chateram Ramdihal (President), Pavita Ramkissoon (Vice President), Sherry Kissoon (Secretary), Samantha Green (Treasurer), Joshua Hammichand (VP Programming), Rohan Sewnarine (VP Membership), Jaigopaul Ram (Governor), Ramesh Seebaran (Governor), Ramesh Dookhoo (Governor), Mandie Mickle (Immediate Past President) and Goorwantie Devi Kaladeen (Past President).
Chateram Ramdihal is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA), a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and a member of The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). Mr. Ramdihal held positions of Board Member and Vice President before being elected as President of the Chapter.
In a short speech via the zoom platform, he has informed the members that he will continue to further the work of the previous Executive which is set out in a three-year plan of which only one year is completed, and it was a year that was plagued by the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected a lot of the Chapter’s programme during 2020. He also made note of the gradual decline in the membership and vow to work on building back the membership of the Chapter.
He is also of the view that internal audit is not given the recognition that it deserves and has committed to work hard during his Presidency to ensure the importance of the profession is understood and embraced by all.
Being established in the year 1941, the Institute of Internal Auditors Global, is an international professional organisation set out to promote the value and standard of internal audit professionals. Its mission is to provide dynamic leadership for the global profession of internal auditing. The IIA Global provides inclusive professional educational and development opportunities, standards, and other professional practice guidance, and certificate programmes to internal auditors worldwide.
The IIA Global is proud to be the world leader in certification, education, research, and technological guidance for the profession globally. Headquartered in Altamonte Springs, Florida, USA, the IIA is obligated to meeting the needs and development of Internal Auditors worldwide.
This Global Institute is committed to:
• Providing on an international scale, comprehensive professional development activities, standards for the practice of internal auditing, a code of ethics, and certification of its examinations.
• Researching, disseminating, and promoting to its members and to the public throughout the world, knowledge and information concerning, among others, governance, risk management and controls.
• Having international conferences worldwide in order to educate members and others about the current 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 (Guyana), regional (Caribbean) and international meetings.
• Providing a Code of Ethics in order to promote an ethical culture in the profession of internal auditing. This Code is necessary and appropriate for this profession, founded as it is, on the trust placed in its objective assurance about governance, risk management, and control.
With members in just about 190 countries globally, the Institute of Internal Auditors – Guyana Chapter (IIAGC) was approved by the IIA Global on April 30, 2000. With the appointment of a new executive, the Guyana Chapter hopes to continue working together and maintain the concerted effort that has been shown over the past 20 years. This has led to the recognition of the IIAGC by the IIA global, for the continuing development and contribution it has provided to the internal auditing profession locally.
This Chapter attained a major landmark on July 11, 2019 when it became an International Chapter of IIA Global. Prior to July 11, it was a member of the North American Chapter which comprises the United States of America, Canada, and 11 Caribbean Countries which include Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, only to name a few.
The Chapters around the world are the building block of the IIA Global. This Chapter’s 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 this Chapter. Representatives from public accounting organizations, educators from the University of Guyana and students interested in the internal auditing field are welcomed to be members. This member diversification provides a real forum for a rich interchange of ideas and information.
Guyana is now a global partner of the IIA and is no longer under the ‘umbrella’ of IIA North America Chapter. In order to be an International Chapter (IC), this Chapter must maintain a minimum of 50 members. In effect, this is not a problem area.
Additionally, members will benefit in the following ways:
• Members can now renew their membership for a fee of US$100, as against the former fee of approximately US$265. With such a significant reduction (62 percent), it is expected that its membership should surpass 100 shortly.
• There will be on demand 24/7 a webinar playback. In so doing, its members will now have access to an extensive library of an archived webinar, which will include topics such as audit fundamentals and soft skills technology.
• Archived webinars will also be eligible for Continuing Professional Education Credits, which is a key annual requirement for holders and as well for other IIA Certifications.
Over the past 20 years, the Guyana Chapter has been recognised by the IIA Global for its continuing development and contribution to the internal auditing profession locally. In this context, this profession has been benefiting from:
• Training Seminars and Workshops which are presented by well qualified and experienced Facilitators with a focus on current global best practices.
• Maintaining a membership over its second decade of approximately 60-80 members, and actively conducting membership recruitment. In year 2000, this Chapter had started with a membership of 15.
• Providing a Chapter Website and other technology resources to serve its members as determined by the IIA Global.
• Developing and providing the services as it deems most appropriate to serve internal audit professionals.
• Ensuring that the International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF) is made available to all its members.
• Marketing and increasing the demand for IIA’s Certification Programmes. Worthy of mention, in 2005, Guyana had its first Certification-Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), in 2020 it now has 16 CIA’s.
• The strategic alignment of the activities of this Chapter since its existence with that of the IIA Global.
• Promoting outreach programmes in both the Private and Public Sectors’ entities on the current best practices of the internal auditing profession.
• Allowing members holding executive positions to be given the opportunity to attend IIA’s overseas conferences with a view to sharing their knowledge obtained with Chapter members.
Despite 20 years of existence, the role of the internal auditor has not yet been fully recognized although the Chapter has been promoting its mandate from the IIA Global.
Evidence of this, and this is not a full list, is that:
• Management in both the public and private sectors is yet to fully accept the important role the internal auditor is in an organisation.
• The internal audit profession is not fully receiving the recognition it deserves from its stakeholders.
• The auditing emphasis is yet to fully focus on, among others, governance, controls and risk management. Further, preference is still being given to appoint auditors with an accounting background; however, such a unit needs to be also staffed with non-accountants in order to add value and improve the organisation’s operations.
• There is still the view that the internal auditor and the external auditor are one and the same.
• The internal auditor is not being allowed to perform and act independently at all times. As an example, the reporting function is to a senior line staff and not to an Audit Committee of the Board of Directors in order to preserve the auditor’s independence.
• More funds should to be provided in the training budget for internal auditors in both sectors since the audit scope has been constantly expanding. That budget should also provide adequate funding for ongoing research and development of this profession.
Over the past years, the contributors to the successful growth path of the Guyana Chapter are:
• The Board of 10 Governors, which became operational in year 2017.
• The Executive Committee, which is headed by a President and supported by three to four members.
• Ad Hoc Committees to support the Executive Committee.
• Stakeholders in both the Private and Public Sectors who can be classified as partners with the Guyana Chapter.
The Guyana Chapter is fully aware of the areas where it needs to focus on. It is the hope that the internal audit profession will continue to receive the recognition it deserves from its stakeholders, and that the importance of the profession is understood and embraced by all. Today’s internal auditors must be seen as a partner, instead of a watchdog, assisting management to increase its organisation’s effectiveness as promoted by the IIA Global.
In 2021, IIAGC will continue to intensify its promotion of the profession and in partnership with the global body. It has to encourage all internal auditors to follow the IPPF. This IPPF is reviewed and updated every year, which is excellent. One of the major challenges being faced is that internal audit is still not well understood in some quarters, and one way to overcome this is for auditors to be guided by using the IPPF.
We in Guyana have to keep abreast with the developments of this profession and to focus on not only on risk-based auditing, but also on value-based auditing and performance improvement. Internal auditors need to keep advancing this profession within their respective organizations, so that they can be viewed as not only relevant, but also as an indispensable asset.
IIA Global is recognised for the sharing of knowledge and raising the level of the auditing profession worldwide over the past seven decades. This Chapter continues to follow the Global Institute’s motto, which is “Progress Through Sharing.”
To conclude, the members of the IIAGC take pride in the profession, and want to make a difference for the future. In so doing, this Chapter is forward thinking, takes a stand for professionalism and competency, and is committed to elevating the practice of internal auditing in Guyana to the required quality assurance standards.