ACCA Canada

ACCA Canada

April 10, 2014 10:46 ET

Internal Audit Improvements Within the Government of Canada Prove to Be Both Effective and Transformative

Canada's best practices within governance has transformed its public finance landscape by making internal audit a trusted and valued function

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 10, 2014) - The introduction by the Government of Canada of a new internal audit policy in 2006 has proven both "efficient and transformative", says James Ralston the Comptroller General of Canada in an essay for a new report from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) called Breaking out: public audit's new role in a post-crash world.

In the report, Mr Ralston joins experts in public audit from around the world to examine how the changing role of the civil service has transformed over the last few decades, towards a much greater focus on delivery and away from policy advice and administration.

Mr Ralston explains that the Canadian government's strategy has led to tighter risk and control frameworks.

"Indeed, Chief Audit Executives (CAEs) are now seen as trusted strategic business advisors, not only because they understand their technical subject matter but because they understand their departments' business. This new policy, which also requires that deputy ministers create departmental audit committees with a majority of members outside the federal public administration, has fostered a greater level of transparency and trust for government."

Gillian Fawcett, ACCA's Head of Public Sector and a fellow contributor to the report, said: "As the boundaries of public audit widens, the role of the public sector will need to expand to play a more crucial role in correcting the way public money is spent and accounted for.

"Auditor Generals around the world need to remain vigilant in their roles as guardians of public confidence through greater transparency, being clearer about the long-term consequences of decisions, identifying opportunities for improvement and always being seen as being independent and representing the public interest."

Ms Fawcett concludes: "Auditors must intervene earlier in the processes by which money is allocated to departments. A strong argument has been made that it is only by doing this that problems can be nipped in the bud. Providing assurance in the early stage of a project can limit the administrative failures, preventing them from spiraling into significant value for money failures."

James Ralston concludes: "The requirement to create departmental audit committees with a majority of members from outside the federal public administration, including chief executives of major private sector enterprise, senior academics, and former senior executives from all levels of government, including former auditors general has elevated internal audit in government far above the old compliance officer mentality."

Notes to Editors

About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants with 162,000 members and 428,000 students in 173 countries worldwide. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

We work through a network of 91 offices and centres and more than 8,500 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development.

ACCA Canada has 2,500 members and 1,200 students in Canada.

ACCA is not affiliated with any chartered accountant (CA) organization.

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