Choosing a certified internal auditor for your company is something that most business owners or organisations overlook with ease. Of the many factors that influence this decision, for most companies in a highly competitive market like the UAE, it eventually boils down to the cost. It is in this context that we would like to shed light on the various other facets that companies can evaluate before zeroing in on the right internal auditor for their business.
But before we get into that, it’s also important to define what a certified internal auditor does and how his/her involvement can be beneficial for your business. For starters, an auditor is someone who has the expertise as well as the legal authorization to fully verify and review your business financials. Auditing as a process is primarily done to ensure complete compliance with the laws of the land, but this is just the beginning. We have put together a list of factors that you should consider while finalising your auditor and be on the path of complete compliance.
Objective feedback & insight
An auditor by definition should be a qualified third party that can evaluate your business financials. They should be in a position to give you clear, objective and unbiased insights into your business and how to address its challenges. Experienced auditors have the right skill sets to look at your books and give you a snapshot of how well it is running and what needs to be fixed.
Identify & evaluate risks
A certified internal auditor will also have the capability to help you mitigate risk and financial fraud. They will also be able to pinpoint the wastage and/or mismanagement of funds to help your business set up internal controls and best governance practices that ensure compliance as well as transparency. The auditing team should also be able to help you identify redundancies that might be leaking money, time and other resources.
Understand compliances in and out
UAE is perhaps the most vibrant and dynamic market in the region. This also means that the UAE has a robust system of compliances and best practices that quickly evolve with time. A relevant example is the recently issued decision by The Ministry of Finance regarding the determination of tax residency for individuals residing in the Emirates. The right auditing firm should be aware of each such change and be able to help your organisation navigate these compliances with ease and without incurring any avoidable penalties.
Relevant domain expertise
It is perfectly reasonable to expect your auditor to have the right domain expertise. As they are getting an in-depth look into your business financials, it is helpful in many cases for your auditors to have experience with companies in the same domain. This makes the process easier and also helps you connect with the auditing team on a deeper level to get the right results.
Now that the basics are out of the way, here are a series of 5 simple steps you can take to arrive at the right certified internal auditor for your business in the UAE.
1. Set up an internal team
Identifying the right auditor for your company can be a time consuming and tedious process. It is always advisable to put together an internal team to make recommendations, shortlist names and then finalise the right auditing firm.
2. Prepare scope of work
Depending on the nature of your business you can always prepare a detailed scope of work for the certified internal auditor. The scope can go well beyond auditing your books and can even include a thorough review of your business along with relevant suggestions to keep your company on track for better compliance.
3. Make a list of firms
Preparing a list of firms can be a tough one, but you can always rely on the personal networks of your employees as well as your business contacts to provide relevant references. Businesses can also talk to their peers to get a set of names that have a good reputation in the market. In addition, companies can also leverage the power of social media to invite applications from the various firms out there.
4. Shortlist & vet
Now that you have a long list of potential firms that can offer the right auditing services, the team can divide up the names and start the vetting process. This is the stage where your team can look at the auditing firm’s track record, years of experience, relevant domain expertise, market references etc. to put together a shorter list of possible candidates.
5. Review & finalise proposals
The shortlist can include 2 to 3 firms and your internal team can then narrow this down to the final auditing firm by looking at the fee, staffing allocation, timelines etc. It is also advisable to have a brief discussion with the firm initially to further understand their capabilities and build a rapport before beginning the auditing process.
Identifying the right certified internal auditor shouldn’t just be a matter of looking at the cost and proceeding with the lowest bidder. A competent auditor adds a tremendous amount of value to your business’ past as well as future. As an experienced Chartered Accountancy & Accounting Firm in the UAE, we are very much aware of the challenges our clients face while identifying auditing firms. The points given above are based on our vast experience in the local market and we hope it has helped you get a clearer perspective. Please feel free to reach out to us in case you have any additional queries.
If you are looking for a certified internal auditor in the UAE, you can always contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +97143577678 to learn more about our services and how we can help you grow your business.