Lack Of Skilled Staff Is A Challenge To Meeting The Needs Of Internal Control

The lack of appropriately skilled staff in Malaysia is a significant challenge to meeting the challenges of internal control within the organisation according to a survey carried out by three accounting bodies.

This is according to three professional bodies joined forces to poll some 2,000 of their global members to better understand what lies ahead for internal control that was published in a report

 They are  ACCA(Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), the Internal Audit Foundation and IMA (Institute of Management Accounts

The findings show that the continued effects of the pandemic, turbulent economic climate, evolving regulation, and increasing adoption of data and technology are all presenting organisations with unique challenges for their internal control activities.

Among Malaysian respondents, 62% highlighted the lack of appropriately skilled staff as a significant challenge, compared to 50% of global respondents.

On other touchpoints, perspectives were similar to global results, as 42% said technological advances are compromising existing internal controls and 37% said a lack of executive emphasis on internal controls was also impacting the management of internal control, compared to global findings at 41% and 32% respectively.

Respondents were also asked the purpose of internal control in an entity, and both Malaysian and global respondents agreed that minimising risks (87% locally, 88% globally) and preventing fraud (86% locally, 84% globally) are its top two functions.

The poll also shows that most respondents – 76% locally, and 80% globally – say they agree or strongly agree that they need to apply their internal control framework to non-financial and ESG reporting.

Helen Brand, chief executive of ACCA, says: ‘Internal control forms a core part of the activities of accountancy, finance and internal audit professionals, assisting them to ensure that entities operate effectively and efficiently. Yet the business model is changing for many because of various and interconnected external pressures. Given this ongoing turbulence, it’s therefore essential that organisations recruit and retain the skilled people who can ensure that internal controls are agile and future-ready to support business transformation and growth.’

The report also makes numerous recommendations and actions to improve internal control listed under headlines about the main drivers of change – such as strategic, transformation, people, processes, technology, and data.

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