Internal Audit Awareness Month

16 May 2024

Dear colleagues

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIASA) has designated May as Internal Audit Awareness month. As we, the Office of Internal Audit, celebrate this month, we would like to help you understand the Importance and Relevance of the Role of Internal Auditors at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Internal Audit plays an important role in UCT’s control environment and risk management. We provide an independent and objective assurance and consulting activity, designed to add value and improve the operations of UCT. The office was established by the UCT Council as a service to the university’s management and University Audit and Risk Committee (UARC). Our objective is to evaluate and recommend improvements and enhancements to the university’s internal control structure, prioritising its efforts by continuously facilitating an objective risk assessment.

We maintain our independence by reporting functionally to the UARC. Furthermore, we are governed by the IIASA along with the Internal Audit Code of Ethics.

Importance and Relevance of Internal Auditors

By large the importance and relevance of Internal Audit stretches far beyond identifying control gaps in business processes, policies and procedures. Our audits are designed in such a manner that we can help identify opportunities for improvements across all processes through our recommendations. This allows the university to continuously grow and adapt to changing conditions while at the same time optimising business processes.

As we navigate through changes in the operating environment, with constant changes in legislation and the industry within which we operate, we focus on ensuring compliance with policies, procedures and processes. This is crucial for avoiding legal issues and reputational damage that may arise.

No organisation can operate devoid of good corporate governance. As Internal Audit we assess the effectiveness of governance structures and processes, and identify means to create transparent rules and controls to guide management. In this way we encourage management to acknowledge that corporate governance plays an integral role in how they operate.

Continuous improvement and operational efficiency almost go hand in hand. We as internal audit assess the operational efficiency and effectiveness of business processes and through this identify and recommend improvements that can lead to costs savings and increased productivity.

What is the role of Internal Audit?

As mentioned above, Internal Audit plays a key role in providing assurance to management, Risk Management Committee, University Audit and Risk Committee and external stakeholders. In addition, we provide services that are consultative in nature, to the extent that we maintain our independence.

The objectives of our audits are centred around assessing the adequacy and effectiveness of controls, policies and procedures. In addition to providing objective and independent assurance, we also provide services to external stakeholders in the form of agreed upon procedure reviews and factual finding reviews.

As we celebrate this month, we would like to pause and take an opportunity to thank our team of professional internal auditors who have a wide range of skills, experience and expertise to fulfil their roles. The team is dynamic and forward thinking in their approach and engagements across the university. The team plays an important role in risk identification and opportunities for improvement. They are an extension of your office when it comes to understanding processes, policies and procedures, and through critical thinking and engagement they add value to UCT. 

Office of Internal Audit

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