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United Arab Emirates Internal Audit Association 4th Annual Chief Audit Executive ConferenceCAEs Connect, Exchange Ideas in Abu Dhabi

Last month, United Arab Emirates Internal Audit Association (UAE IAA) hosted its 4th Annual Chief Audit Executive Conference designed as a fully interactive round table to provide CAEs an opportunity to share individual expertise with the entire audience. Themed “Change or Be Changed,” nearly 190 delegates enjoyed several sessions over a two-day period in Abu Dhabi.

In his inaugural speech, His Excellency Engineer Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, stated “It is not an exaggeration to say that for a country to grow and develop organically, its auditing practices and systems must be developed as a core priority.” He also added “the work of auditors is of immense value in accelerating the growth of their organizations and eventually strengthening national capabilities to ensure the UAE’s position as a leading and credible 21st century financial and economic hub.”

His Excellency Engineer Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy

Following this, Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) Chairman Robert Hirth delivered a keynote address updating the audience on COSO including how utilizing thought leadership can improve their organizations. Hirth then presented the first-ever Arabic version of COSO 2013 to HE Eng. Sultan Al Mansouri. “COSO is very pleased that our 2013 Internal Control Framework is now translated into Arabic, allowing over 20 countries to take advantage of this material that helps organizations improve their governance and operational performance through enhanced internal control,” said Hirth.

After a panel discussion on the latest trends in the internal audit profession, delegates chose among three concurrent sessions on risk management, corporate governance, smart and continuous auditing, and top priorities for internal audit in addressing emerging technology.

A major event at the conference was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UAE IAA president Abdulqader Obaid Ali with the Higher Colleges of Technology Chancellor Mohamed Omran Al Shamsi, in the presence of HE Eng. Sultan Al Mansouri, regarding a program designed “to integrate more UAE nationals in the labor workforce in the challenging and fulfilling internal audit roles.”

Ending day one of the conference, sessions included providing insight through internal audit, GRC solutions, and contemporary and innovative solutions to support CAE strategies and change. Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) Chairman Robert Hirth

Day two gave delegates an opportunity to learn more about The IIA’s new Qualification in Internal Audit Leadership™ (QIAL™) as well as The IIA’s Audit Executive Center, specifically developed to support CAEs in their ever-changing and growing roles. Later in the day, Farah Araj, CAE of National Holding and one of the champions for the 2015 Common Body of Knowledge project, updated delegates on the significance of CBOK.

The day came to a close with three concurrent plenary sessions on challenges faced with audit committees, 4 E’s of the internal audit profession, and fraud insights.

Of the conference, Hirth stated “I came away extremely impressed by the conference structure, the key topics presented and the sheer size of the event. In addition, the collaboration, discussions, and cooperation between the private sector and government is outstanding. They share a common vision that will benefit and add value to all.”

For full program details, visit IIA-United Arab Emirates website. To view conference photos, visit our Flickr and Facebook pages.