Singapore Government

Look back, look forward – The Singapore landscape for internal auditors

One of the key changes on the domestic front was the introduction of Rule 1207 (10) by the Singapore Exchange in late 2011.  Part of the ongoing series of reforms in Singapore’s corporate governance framework, the rule requires a company’s board to provide an opinion, with the agreement of its audit committee, on whether the company’s internal controls for financial, operational and compliance risks are adequate.

According to industry watchers, Rule 1207 (10) has boosted the demand for internal audit services offered by accounting firms and other advisory outfits. Given the latest review of Singapore’s Companies Act (announced by the Ministry of Finance in October 2012), this trend is likely to be sustained into 2013; as regulatory oversight increases and internal control processes become strengthened, companies will continue to seek the help of internal auditors.

Another recent change touches more directly on how internal auditors define their roles. Long a specialised field within the larger world of professional accounting, internal auditors have had to take on more complex responsibilities in recent years – this in response to the needs of board directors, senior executives and other corporate stakeholders (as participants of the inaugural CFO Connect Symposium in November 2012 noted, this trend has also led to the redrawing of roles for CFOs).

While the core competencies of internal audit – such as critical thinking, technical know-how and business sense – will continue to be essential, internal auditors will also need to demonstrate a solid grasp of issues related to corporate governance, ethics and risk management. In an increasingly globalised business environment, it is also crucial that internal auditors understand how internal audit functions can be affected by cultural context.

One thing’s for sure - Singapore’s internal auditors will have more on their plates, as well as an expanded slate of duties and even higher standards to meet for the Year 2013.

IVAS-IVSC Business Valuation Conference 2017

 

Click here to find out more!