Nov 21, 2019

CEF Events Bring Theory to Practice

Ms Božidarka Jelić-Stanić , senior advisor at the Federal Ministry of Finance in Bosnia and Herzegovina, shares her experience of attending the workshop on Collaboration of Internal and External Auditors that was held in Ljubljana in October last year. This learning initiative provided a platform for the exchange of ideas on how to increase cooperation between external auditors working in Supreme Audit institutions and public sector internal auditors. Participants discussed role and responsibilities of both audit forms, clarify basis for cooperation and identify possible ways of cooperation.

I really appreciate the opportunity to have participated at this CEF learning event because this topic is of major significance for my work and the event provided plenty of useful information of practical relevance for the central harmonization Unit ( CHU).

The most exciting activity was the group work session on the topic of cooperation and coordination of internal and external auditors. During this group exercise, I was convinced that almost all representatives face similar challenges in their work, and this workshop gave us a great chance to exchange experiences as well as to arrive at potential solutions that we can apply in our future work. As a result, we came up with a common proposal on how to enhance collaboration: to arrange meetings at least on semi-annual basis, exchange annual plans, organize joint trainings, and formalize these modalities in some kind of a memorandum of cooperation.

Moreover, the workshop provided a very constructive idea that the CHU should analyze the strategic and annual plans of internal auditors and refer them to problems (systemic issues) reported by external auditors, so that internal auditors could include them in their own plans, while external auditors could reinforce the implementation of recommendations and joint trainings.

In my country, in less than two months after this workshop, there was an opportunity to put the idea of closer collaboration of internal and external auditors in practice. Namely, the CHUs in Bosnia and Herzegovina organized an annual conference on Financial Management and Control (FMC ) with more than two hundred participants from the public sector (ministries, public institutions and public companies). The keynote speakers included experienced external auditors.

The most rewarding aspect was that one of the lecturers from the Federation Supreme Audit Institutions spoke about risk management and in this regard presented the risk management guidelines that were recently adopted by the Federal Ministry of Finance, thus directly supporting the methodology developed by the CHU. Another lecturer talked about the relevance of the COSO Framework, and both of them got really good feedback from the audience.

Attending the CEF Workshop is an added value to my experience and a reminder of how important the role of the CHU is in this collaboration."