Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (PressExposure) February 27, 2012 -- Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Skye Bank Plc, Mr. Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti has canvassed for the independence of the internal audit function in banks by ensuring that the head of the department report to the chairman with a dotted reporting line to the chief executive officer.
According to him, this would embolden the internal auditors to carry out their jobs without fear of persecution and free them from becoming an appendage of the chief executive.
Durosinmi-Etti expressed this view in a paper titled "Preventing Another Banking Crisis: What Role for the Internal Auditor" which he presented at the monthly meeting of the Committee of Chief Inspectors of Banks in Nigeria (CCIBN) hosted by Skye Bank Plc.
The bank chief maintained that faithful implementation of this reporting line would would help ensure strict independence of the auditors in the discharge of their responsibilities.
In addition, he advised that the audit committee of banks, comprising mainly non executive directors, should be responsible for reviewing and approving the internal audit work plans, as well as for ensuring that appropriate actions are taken by management on issues raised.
In order to prevent another crisis in the financial sector, Durosinmi-Etti stressed the need for aligning the audit function with stakeholders expectations by assuring the Board and the Audit Committee on the effectiveness of risk management practices and on the adequacy of financial and operational controls as well as serving as their 'ears and eyes'.
The Skye Bank boss wants auditors to provide independent and objective feedback on areas of interest as well as point out company-wide potential risks as well as providing insights on cost saving opportunities and identify key risks.
"Owing to the significance of evolving issues in risk management, technology, operations etc, practitioners should improve on the platforms for shared experiences among banks. This will enable faster diffusion of latest developments and thus provide internal auditors with relevant tools to manage such emerging risks", he said.
He also called for skill development, competence and professionalism in all ares as experience in audit work gained either in an external accounting or internal audit environment and other relevant environments.