Quality Assurance, Continuous Improvement and Management of the Internal Audit Function

Workshop: February 20 – 22, 2018ILjubljana, SloveniaIAccounting and Auditing

As the public sector internal audit (IA) functions in the region mature, it is important to underpin the initial gains through strengthened quality assurance and management of the IA function to remain relevant and continue providing value added to the organization. At the workshop the participants looked at different management tools that heads of internal audit units can employ to ensure that their unit provides value added to the organization. In this context, they explored the standards to be met for effective management of IA function, and ensuring continuous improvement through quality assurance and improvement programs. The workshop welcomed senior internal auditors from public sector organizations in SEE countries. It provided an overview of relevant theory and implications for practice, case studies and practical examples from the faculty. The overall objective of the learning event was to strengthen the capacity for effective management of the internal audit function in SEE countries.

What it was about

International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing of the IIA require heads of IA functions to “effectively manage the internal audit activity to ensure it adds value to the organization.” In discharging this responsibility, heads of IA unit are required to prepare and implement Quality Assurance and Improvement Programs (QAIP), including efficiency and effectiveness of the IA function, internal and external assessments as well as assessment of the IA function’s conformance with the Standards. Accordingly, heads of IA function play a critical role in responding to these demands and need to develop a broad toolkit of technical and managerial skills.   

To help the heads of IA function address these requirements, the workshop covered the following topics:

  • Requirements of the international audit standards pertaining to management of the internal audit function, importance of the Audit Charter and maturity models
  • Requirements of the standards on QAIP
  • Practical experience with developing and implementing quality assurance and improvement programs and communicating their results

What were the benefits

Experienced IA practitioners interpreted the requirements of the relevant Standards and shared their insights into how to translate them into practice. In addition, the learning event provided a venue for a dialogue among heads of IA units about the requirements and approaches for improving the management of IA functions in the public sector, and in particular assuring quality through QAIPs.

By the end of the workshop, the participants were able to:

  • Understand the requirements of the international standards on quality assurance and improvement programs and managing the IA function
  • Learn how to apply maturity models
  • Learn about best practices in developing QAIPs and identify areas for improvement
  • Understand best practices in managing the IA function 

Who was it for

The workshop brought together senior internal auditors or heads of IA function of ministries, agencies and other public sector organizations in the SEE countries.

The workshop was delivered in ENGLISH only. No translation was provided. 

Lead experts

Tina Toman Pfajfar, Head of the On Site Inspection Section, Insurance Supervision Agency, Slovenia

Tina Toman Pfajfar is  Head of the On Site Inspection Section at the Insurance Supervision Agency. In the past, she was the Director of the Internal Audit Service at the Slovenian KD Life Insurance Company. She also worked for the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Slovenia as the Head of Internal Audit Service. Her main responsibilities included risk-based internal auditing, providing assurance to the Minister (or Board) about the risk management and internal control system, preparing a Manual for the Internal Audit Service, PIFC, and others.

She is the president of the Qualified Internal Auditors Committee at the Slovenian Institute of Auditors, and former Vice President of the Slovenian Chapter of the IIA – Institute of the Internal Auditors. She is Certified Internal Auditor at the Slovenian Institute of Auditors, State Internal Auditor at the Ministry of Finance, and State Auditor at the Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia. She has a Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) from the Institute of Internal Auditors.

Nino Karazanashvili, Head of Internal Audit Department​, Ministry of Defense of Georgia

Nino Karazanashvili has 15 years of working experience in private and public sector, with roles in banking, corporate finance, and project management. Currently she is the Head of the Internal Audit Department of the Ministry of Defense of Georgia. 

When she joined the Ministry of Defense, her primary objective was to build an efficient and effective internal audit function from scratch. Within three years her team has been able to provide assurance to the Minister on the internal control system, assist in the process of implementing Financial Management and Control and increase awareness on the importance of internal control and internal audit across the organization. She has helped provide a lead both in her Ministry and wider across the central government sector in Georgia by delivering seminars for high ranking officials in the Armed Forces of Georgia and leading the session on internal control within the NATO Building Integrity program.

She works closely with a CHU and participates in the development of methodology for internal auditors, organizes high level training in internal audit by an international expert for the Georgian public sector, and also delivers training for internal auditors. In 2018 the Internal Audit Department of the Ministry of Defense of Georgia is organizing the International Conference for Internal Audit functions in the Defense and Security Sector, with delegates including heads of the function from different countries including the United Kingdom, Ukraine, and Norway.

Ljerka Crnković, Coordinator, Ministry of Finance of Croatia

Ljerka Crnković is a member of a PEM PAL Internal Audit Community of Practice (IACOP) and was Leader of the Quality Assurance Working Group and Former Acting Chair, PEMPAL IACOP. She works as a coordinator in the Croatian Ministry of Finance, Central Harmonization Unit.

Ms. Crnković has long working experience in the public sector, working as chief accountant, external auditor in State Audit Office, external auditor for EU funds in the Ministry of Finance and now as a coordinator for the methodology and development of internal audit in the Central Harmonization Unit of the Ministry of Finance. She is a certified external and internal auditor for public sector. Ms Crnković is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Croatian Institute of Internal Auditors and a member of a Working group on the cooperation between European Confederation of Institutes of Internal Auditing (ECIIA) and European Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (EUROSAI).

In the last few years one of her main tasks in the Central Harmonization Unit is developing methodology for quality assessment of internal audit units and performing the quality assessment (desk preparation and on the spot).

Partners

This learning initiative is supported by:

Slovenia's Development Cooperation Ministry of Finance Slovenia