Audit & Risk

Highlights of the IIA conference 2015

The IIA’s annual conference is approaching. So who is speaking and why do you need to be there?

in News.

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The IIA’s annual conference will take place at No 1 Wimpole Street, London W1 from
30 September to 1 October. The conference is an opportunity to learn from best practice examples from leading organisations, pick up practical ideas and techniques that you can implement right away and hear the most current thinking from high quality speakers. Meet, network and share ideas with other professionals in your field and create a programme to suit your needs by choosing sessions from seven streams over two days. 

Keynote speakers will include Sir Gerry Grimstone, chairman of Standard Life, Sir Win Bischoff, chairman of the Financial Reporting Council, Chris Gibson, director of the National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT UK), and Carol Sergeant, non-executive director and chair of Public Concern at Work. They will be sharing their expertise and insights across the two days.

Sir Gerry Grimstone’s message will be about the opportunities and challenges that increased board regulation is creating for internal audit. Directors are becoming ever more aware that they can be held accountable for their organisation’s actions – and are turning to internal audit for assurance.

“It used to be ok for a board member to say ‘how could I know what was going on three levels below me?’,” he says. “Today, that’s not a satisfactory response – and the best way for the board to ensure that it is aware of what’s going on is to use internal audit.”
Grimstone intends to focus on the ways in which internal auditors now have to demonstrate a host of new skills and abilities. “Where boards used to look for qualities such as technical skills and integrity in their internal auditors, we’re now hearing words such as passion and commitment as well,” he says. “When we assess our internal audit teams we look at their involvement in the business, the impact they have and their ability to influence.”

At the same time, the underlying aims of internal audit’s work have also shifted, he says. Instead of reviewing issues that have already occurred, internal audit is now expected to stop things from happening and to highlight what might happen in the future. This has created a larger role for data analytics and demands more sophisticated internal auditing skills.

These new opportunities come with a risk, however. Grimstone will warn delegates that if something goes wrong under this new regime, internal audit will have to take some responsibility for failings. “This is not just true of financial services firms,” he adds. “The same changes are becoming obvious in organisations of all sizes and in all sectors. Internal auditors need to ask themselves how their work helps board members to sleep soundly at night – and if their company is not asking them to do this, they should be telling their boards why internal audit is now integral to the whole system.”

Other conference highlights will include:

  • “How internal audit can demonstrate value”, Mike Taylor, head of global internal audit, Experian.
  • “Beginning the journey – how to audit culture”, Scott Strachan, global head of internal audit, Aberdeen Asset Management.
  • “Cyber security – the business-critical issues facing organisations”, Peter Jopling, public sector security business leader, IBM UK.
  • “How and why do projects go wrong?”, Dr Neil Turner, director: executive MSc in programme and project management, Cranfield University.
  • “Developing enterprise risk management for competitive advantage”, Julia Graham, technical director, AIRMIC.
  • “Strategic change programmes ­– the audit contribution”, Aidan Allcock, head of internal audit, Equitable Life.
  • “Risk management and the audit profession – two sides of the same coin?”, Mike Wilson, partner, and Sameena Arshad, director, KPMG Governance Risk ERM Services.
  • "Agile auditing – what it means and how to do it”, Tony Darlison, audit director, IT and shared services, Aviva.

Attendance at the whole conference for members is £670 + VAT (non-members £870 + VAT). This early-bird price is valid until 31 July. 

Attendance on one day only is £380 + VAT for members (non-members £490 + VAT). 

Visit www.iia.org.uk/conference

The IIA: find out more

Visit the main IIA site

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The Chartered IIA is keen to work with organisations that want to ensure all their internal auditors have the right skills to succeed in today’s industry. One of these is Citigroup, which recently launched a training scheme accredited by the institute and put 20 senior internal auditors through the Chartered by Experience route to achieve CMIIA. So what does this look like in practice?
Words: Ruth Prickett

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Being chartered demonstrates your skills and competence and gives you influence within both your organisation and the wider profession. All dedicated internal auditors should aspire to it, writes Ian Peters, chief executive of the IIA.

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