Emerging Technology and Role of the Internal Auditor in UAE

Kikubye John, BA. Economics, ISO 22301, CPA (U)

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HLB HAMT - Accounting Firm in UAE

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    Technology is evolving at an unprecedented pace. Corporate entities strive to improve service delivery and consequently customer satisfaction through heavily investing in modern technology and reliance on automation like smart automatic teller machines, point of sale devices, contactless debit and credit cards, mobile phone applications etc. Resultantly, the same has opened computer networks to unprecedented levels of vulnerabilities and risks including cyber-attacks.

    Albert Einstein said; “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change” -This implies that internal audit and quality assurance functions need to identify and focus on emerging risks. Internal audit should ensure that the risk assessment and audit planning process adequately incorporate emerging technology risks, understand the impact on the audit plan and update the plan as appropriate, but most importantly recognizes where internal audit can add value.

    Moreover, internal auditors must step away from the traditional reactive role and embrace a more proactive role if they are to give reasonable assurance that the Governance, Risk and Control aspects are effective in risk mitigation and adequately safeguard company assets.  They should not be functioning solely; but rather collaborate with different departments within an organization. Even though majority of the internal audit teams have transformed themselves, there are still a few that need to adopt these changes. Working closely with various departments within an entity will help in addressing the emerging threats arising from the technological advancements throughout the organization.

    How can internal auditors help in tackling technological risks?

    • Make use of technology-enabled auditing and continuous auditing techniques to monitor controls over areas that are more susceptible to fraudulent actions.
    • Collaborate with department heads and business owners to ensure organizational standards and the relevant laws and regulations are taken care of while establishing vendor relationships.
    • With mobile applications, bring your own devices (BYOD) and cloud computing creating novel risks, internal auditors have the responsibility to identify, assess and monitor these risks appropriately, with the assistance of executive management and business owners. Clear IT access and security policies and controls must be developed and communicated to all stakeholders. With this, security and privacy risks can be avoided to a certain extent.
    • Also, Internal Audit professionals are expected to be equipped with sufficient knowledge and skills to perform audits in line with these technology disruptions and recommend feasible and cost effective controls for improving the risk posture, putting in mind that these changes can either be positive or negative: Positive in a sense that business are reaping the benefits of these technologies through increased efficiencies, and negative in a sense that they may be implemented in a manner that imperils profitability, data protection and security.

    Conclusion

    Emerging technologies bring opportunities to organizations, but they also expose the enterprise to new risk. Auditors are expected to identify the right balance between cost and benefit of internal controls for mitigating these risk factors. This includes understanding how technology integrates with business, how it is governed, which activities are automated and how they are controlled, what the business impacts are because of this automation, and how negative impacts are controlled and monitored. I personally believe that Internal Audit professionals will continue to be in demand due to their strategic position in organizations’ lines of defence.

     

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    Varun R Chandra
    Varun R Chandra
    07:38 25 Apr 21
    HLB Hamt is highly recommended! They have the quality of services that would satisfy your needs. I'm glad I found them.
    Giuseppe Assi
    Giuseppe Assi
    06:20 31 Jan 21
    I HAD A GOOD EXPERIENCE WITH HLB HAMT DUBAI. THEY HAVE A VERY PROFESSIONAL TEAM, GOOD QUALITY OF SERVICES, GOOD VALUE... FOR PRICE.I RECOMMEND THIS COMPANY.read more
    Mohamed Sheriff
    Mohamed Sheriff
    16:16 28 Jun 20
    Experience with HLB Hamt in audit experience is great pleasure. They deploy well qualified accounts team for audits.... And the amount of checking they perform give the management of the company confidence that internal controls are well in place. We are glad to see they have high standard of audit practices.read more
    218141 JOSEPH THOMAS
    218141 JOSEPH THOMAS
    16:20 23 Jun 20
    Professionally managed firm with commitment to the engagements taken. My company and its group are assigning our... requirements for last 12 years to HLB and we don’t have any negative remarks on any assignments.read more
    PMI
    PMI
    07:14 23 Jun 20
    In my opinion, HLB Hamt is one of the best professional firms in UAE after big4. Excellent client service, professional... and competent staff and timely delivery are their strength. Over the years they have developed the infrastructure and skill set to handle multiple verticals ie, audit, tax services, consulting, IT support etc.Wishing HLB Hamt team all the very best.read more
    RAVI CHOKSI
    RAVI CHOKSI
    08:28 21 Jun 20
    Thank you Team HLB hamt...Your internal auditing team put the good amount of time and inputs in helping the... organisation making considerable improvements throughout the organisational working structure and helps in building the better business.Thanks.read more
    Maharajan Subramaniam
    Maharajan Subramaniam
    18:17 06 Jun 20
    High-Performing IT Teams, I'm impressed with the knowledge level of their deputed staff, audit procedures, and... checklist adopted. Mr. Vimal especially understand the requirement and provide solution not only technical feasibility and also considered budgeting. We’re confident in their abilities.read more
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    We have been working closely with them on payroll services for quite sometime.They provide very professional... services,experts in domain and excellent support. Would recommend them.Cheers.read more
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    ROY ROSHAN VIVIAN
    06:32 04 Jun 20
    Very professional team. Vimal has always given us good solution advice for various Software and IT Infra projects. We... are very Extremely satisfied working with him and his team. Wishing them success.read more
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    I have worked with HLB as a partner of Sage for about 2 years, they were dedicated to the success of the partnership... and kept aligned with the business plan that was agreed between our two companies. They are always ready to go the extra mile for a customer and don’t shy away from challenging circumstances. Keep up the good work and wish you all the success in the future.read more
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    Team of well qualified and organised professionals. Their reports are not based on numbers first they will understand... their client and their business. They are highly recommended and trust worthy.read more
    Radz de Jesus
    Radz de Jesus
    16:03 02 Jun 20
    We're glad to have found HLB Hamt to conduct the IT audit and risk assessment for our organization. We have learned a... lot from their team during that first project. And since then, we've continued to be in touch with them. Mr. Vimal especially is very good at presenting technical concepts in simple yet interesting ways that non-IT and business people alike would easily catch. We are very happy with the professionalism and quality of service they provide. They leave their clients nothing short of satisfied. Highly recommended.read more
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