Institute of Internal Auditors holds seminar

 19 Apr 2016 - 18:35

Institute of Internal Auditors holds seminar
Amit Ray


The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Qatar in association with Qatar Member Firm of Protiviti recently held a seminar titled “Strategic Transformation of Internal Audit through Data Analytics” at Oryx Rotana Hotel. In the context of disruptive digitization and information tsunami that risk management and internal audit professionals are faced with, the session addressed how data analytics can be an effective tool to bridge the expectation gap.
The presenter, Amit Ray, is Managing Director at Protiviti and is the solution leader for Data Analytics across Middle East and India. Amit specializes in data science, business intelligence and decision analytics. His team has led many complex audit analytics and data visualization deployments across various industries, utilities, airlines, retail and banking in the GCC.
The presentation started off by describing the explosive growth of data in businesses and how it presents a very interesting opportunity for risk professionals, who with the right people, tools and techniques can leverage this information to increase efficiencies, coverage, response times and most importantly, discover ‘unknown-unknowns’.
“Audit Committee and Boards require Internal Auditors to shift gears - from manual to automated, from reactive to preventive, from tactical to strategic, from assurance driven to business improvement focused. Analytics is clearly an important component of this journey” Amit emphasized.
The presentation touched upon how data analytics can be applied throughout the lifecycle of an audit – including audit planning, risk assessment, sampling, test data creation, simulation and quantification of risks. Practical examples identified applications of analytics through a ‘Yes Test’ – a series of questions that will help an auditor to know which audits lend themselves well to the use of analytics.

A section of the audience.

“The global internal audit community has been stressing on the need to adopt data analytical tools for a while now as is evident from the 2016 IA Capability and Needs Survey released by Protiviti. This session has not only given practical tips as to how to make a beginning but also given confidence hearing the success stories in the region. Beyond increasing efficiency and effectiveness, data analytics will help build credibility thus elevating the profile of Internal Audit within the organization”, stated Sundaresan Rajeswar IIA Qatar Board Member.
“If you want to wrestle with an elephant, get help” Amit said, stressing on the importance of the right partnership strategy that can complement the in-house skills. He also cautioned against the ‘Big-Bang’ approach describing it as the ‘recipe for failure’. “Collaboration and Communication is the key to the success of a continuous audit initiative, not technology”, he stressed.
While the right use of data analytics can have a transformational impact on Internal Audit, it is by no means an easy undertaking. Availability of reliable and complete data is still a big challenge in the region, especially for some industries, and addressing data quality issues is a pre-requisite for a successful analytics implementation. Also, returns often times are visible over a period of time, while the expectation of the stakeholders being immediate payoffs. Despite all of this, a positive wave of change is clearly visible in the region.
Hassan Al Mulla President addressed the gathering and stressed the need for internal auditors to acquire in-depth knowledge and experience in using data analytics. Girish Jain, Seminar Chair introduced the speaker.

The Peninsula