Blantyre Print and Publishing managing director Leonard Chikadya has challenged internal auditors to play their rightful advisory roles in organisations and consider themselves as drivers of business sustainability in addition to their usual role of protecting corporate resources.
“As accountants and auditors either in leadership or as advisers, we have a responsibility to bring sanity to our organisations most of which do not have sustainable policies for business continuity,” said Chikadya last Friday (Sept 2) he opened the 2011 Internal Audit Annual Conference in Lakeshore district of Mangochi.
“Some recommendations you make result into termination of other people’s jobs or closure of business. But you have a major role to play to change the negative perception and improve the brand of internal auditors as constructive advisors to management and directors,” said Chikadya.
The conference which attracted over 150 internal auditors from across the country was under the theme ‘The Internal Audit profession: A claim to their rightful place’.
He said business sustainability demands business leaders to make business decisions that promote economic efficiency—innovation, prosperity and productivity.
“Where are accountants of wood processing companies when Mulanje Cedar is being depleted in Mulanje Mountain? Where are accountants when Chikangawa Forest is being depleted without any meaningful replacement of timber?
“Where are accountants when government continues to give fertiliser subsidy programme that does not empower rural farmers to increase their income through sale of maize at market price?
“Where are accountants when the economy can choose to adopt a fixed exchange rate that stifles availability of foreign currency? Where are accountants when companies in Malawi do not adopt recycling programmes to minimise wasteful use of resources? We should even import toilet tissues?
“ Where are accountants when policy makers think that the current shortage of fuel will be resolved by transferring role of fuel imports to a State-run company when all State enterprises are bleeding to death?” wondered Chikadya.
The conference members also elected Kingsley Mulewa as new president of Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), replacing Tionge Kaluwa who has retired from the position following the expiry of his term of office.