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Wed 19-04-2017 20:29 PM

Nahyan bin Mubarak inaugurates 18th Annual Regional Audit Conference

ABU DHABI, 19th April, 2017 (WAM) -- The UAE Internal Auditors Association plays a key role in facilitating the education of internal auditors by offering training and education to its almost 2,000 members, and working effectively to increasing the number of Emirati auditors, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, has said.

While inaugurating the 18th Annual Regional Conference, organised by the UAE Internal Auditors Association, IAA, in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, he said, "Our great leader President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has highlighted competence as a leading explanation of the success of the UAE and indeed, as we reflect on the nature of success in our country, we would agree that fulfilling the great potential of professionals such as yourself is a necessary condition."

Sheikh Nahyan said professional, competent and well-trained auditors are needed to serve the people. "Our companies, communities and societies expect professionals with high ethical standards, ones who are perceived as effective and who have specialised knowledge and expertise."

The two-day conference is the largest "Smart" conference and a premier internal audit event in the Middle East. Seven hundred attendees, including heads of organisations, experts and professionals from internal auditing and other industries from across the GCC and beyond, are participating in the event.

"Traditional way of auditing faces the biggest challenge of adapting itself to the rapid technological transformation. The challenge is not only at the level of organisations but also individuals and the speed at which technology is transforming global business scenario, human auditors could well be replaced by machines in the future," said Abdulqader Obaid Ali, President, UAE Internal Auditors Association, IAA, in his address.

Highlighting the changes being witnessed in the global business scenario, Obaid Ali, said, "Internet of Things, IoT, is revolutionising the way people live, work, travel and do business. By 2020, over 24 billion IoT devices will be installed, more than US$6 trillion will be invested by businesses and governments on IoT solutions."

"The UAE is a frontrunner when it comes to adopting technology. By 2021, Dubai government will see its last paper transaction. We can expect many more changes since technology gives numerous benefits including reduction in operating costs by almost 25 per cent, increased productivity and ease of expansion to new markets. We are clearly in an era of digital revolution and these changes point to only one thing – we must adapt to the change. The question is whether traditional auditing is ready to deal with this rapid IT transformation."

He said that technology would likely change auditors of the future as well. The key priority for internal auditing should be to deal with the risks of cyber threats and data privacy, Obaid Ali added.

"In today’s hyperloop era, CEOs expect alignment of the audit committee with management and internal audit and integration of compliance among different departments within an organisation. Data leakage and security is a very critical area and internal auditors need to build a culture of data security in their organisations," Obaid Ali said.

Sheikh Nahyan also honoured Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO Masdar and Hassan Al Mulla, President of IIA Qatar with the Lifetime Achievement Awards, at the conference.