IS&T Fosters Ties with IT and Auditing Professionals
UKZN’s Discipline of Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) hosted a dialogue with the Information System Audit and Control Association (ISACA), an international professional association focused on information technology (IT) governance.
Aimed at maintaining strong links with industry, it aptly coincided with Internal Audit Awareness Month.
Titled: Value Adding Combined Assurance, the dialogue’s goal was to share information that will empower IT professionals to advance digital trust, skills and expertise in IT governance, risk management and cybersecurity and expand knowledge in the fields of auditing and quality assurance.
In his welcome address, Mr Dumisani Gumbi, IT Governance and Compliance Manager at Sanlam and ISACA SA Western Cape Regional Director shared insights on the topic and emphasised the importance of combined assurance in aligning processes between internal audit and risk assurance providers. This will ensure that these stakeholders enhance corporate governance, and risk and control management.
Deputy Head of Corporate Entities and Transversal Auditing at eThekwini Municipality Mr Amith Sukhnandan delivered the keynote address. He highlighted the importance of combined assurance in optimising all assurance services to enable an effective controlled environment: ‘Technology and data analytics play a crucial role in enabling effective combined assurance, as they facilitate the capture of key performance indicators and data for reporting and monitoring purposes.’
Sukhnandan informed IS&T students about internship opportunities in IT auditing and encouraged them to visit the municipality’s website for details.
Associate Director at KPMG Mr Gordon Roberts spoke on the value of open communication between stakeholders when implementing combined assurance.
Manager in Information Systems Audit at the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) Mr Siphumle Ntsokolo played a crucial role in establishing the concept of combined assurance within the public sector. His presentation highlighted the significance of the updated Public Audit Act that holds auditors accountable for any incompetence in fulfilling their duties. The AGSA has the authority to issue certificates of debt to auditors who fail to perform adequately.
Expert in IS&T at UKZN Professor Manoj Maharaj noted that combined assurance is not only about combining assurances but is about taking people through the process together. He believes that compliance will be achieved if policies are designed in a way that makes it easy for people to adhere to them.
The dialogue was well received by members of the profession, academics and students.
YouTube video link of the event: https://smitg.ukzn.ac.za/webinars.
Words: Mbuthuma Ongeziwe