Largest smart conference for internal auditors in Dubai calls for embracing technology to stay afloat

105 Emirati youth already graduated from the UAE IAA HASAAD program and targets to graduate 500 in the future

Humanoid robot Sophia to conduct interactive session on Artificial Intelligence on Wednesday

800 audit professionals familiarize themselves with the most prominent challenges of the profession

Three-day gathering discusses future of AI, digitization and cyber security, digital trends, emerging risks and risk monitoring

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 8, 2022: The 20th Annual Regional Audit Conference (ARAC), the largest smart conference for internal auditors, organized by the UAE Internal Auditors Association (UAE IAA) called for embracing technology and exhorted young Emiratis to choose internal audit as their profession.

Inaugurating the three-day conference, UAE IAA Chairman of the Board, Abdulqader Obaid Ali, said: “Technology is our biggest asset, we use it or we will not move forward. Today, it is fuelling the economy. Data is future oil. By embracing technology, we can give our customer much better report and by using Artificial Intelligence we will be able to become the trusted adviser.”

He added: “The role of internal auditors has not changed, but evolved and transformed. That’s why we chose the theme “The Revolution and Transformation in Internal Audit”.  The pandemic was in a way a catalyst for digitalising the profession. We, the internal auditors are the agents of change; and by embracing technology we can do our job more effectively and efficiently.”

Abdulqader also exhorted the Emirati youth to choose internal audit as their career.

“We, at the UAE IAA, have embarked on a special programme, the HASAAD Program, and graduated 105 youth. Now we are working to actually move ahead and our target is to graduate 500 youth and help them choose a career in internal auditing.”

Jordan Belfort, American author, The Real Wolf of Wall Street, motivational speaker and former stockbroker, talked on “Leveraging Risk to Elevate your Business and Life.” He enthralled the audience with his insights on effective sales and negotiations techniques in successfully closing deals.

Henrik Stein, Former President of European Confederation of the Institutes of Internal Auditing (ECIIA), addressed the participants on “Continuation and Innovation: A Challenge to evolve Internal Audit in a strongly regulated environment.”

He said: “Internal audit will evolve further and the profession is driven mainly by the challenges of the outside world and businesses. Internal audit has to follow that speed and be in line with the development in order to continue to create added value in terms of risk evaluation for the senior management.”

“More than technology, it is the mindset. I strongly believe that the majority of internal auditors have a way of looking at living alive and in this view the change and speed is not on a high priority. Internal audit is exciting as ever because it gives you access and insight into the entire operation of an organization.”

Terry Cutler, CEO, Cyology Labs Canada and Ethical Hacker, conducted a session on “Insider Secrets to How hackers are getting in, and why”. Participants got to learn a lot on Cybersecurity from Terry Cutler as he has been voted Top Influencer in Cybersecurity.

On the third day of the Conference, Wednesday March 9, the humanoid robot Sophia, the world’s first robot citizen, will conduct an interactive session on the future of artificial intelligence entitled “Artificial Intelligence in the Internal Audit Profession.”

The conference is sponsored by a number of major international companies such as KPMG, Bee’ah, Protiviti and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The conference provides an opportunity for attendees to receive more than 22 CPE credits, in order to enhance their professional development process. Participants have the opportunity to learn from over 40 international speakers, leaders and authors who will share their experiences, best practices, trends and case studies, through more than 44 sessions moderated by some of the biggest names in the field of internal auditing.

Panel discussions and workshops covered topics such as:  Digital, Cyber Security and Resilience Trends; Tech Talk: Reimagining Digitization of the Information Security World;  Building a Successful Competency Framework for Auditors; “Auditing the new world of AI & automation… and your place in it.”

The other major topics discussed at the conference include: Cracking the Code: Emerging Risks; Re-imagining Risk Management; Building a modern audit function: A Take-to-enterprise Road Map; Cracking the Code: Digital Risk / Cyber Security; Procurement fraud; Balancing product sustainability against business profitability: Sustainability reporting practices and corporate governance; Regulatory compliance; Robotics Risk Monitoring; Audit transformation with data analytics; Audit Department’s Road Map to Success.

UAE IAA, a non-profit organization, was set up in 1995 along the lines of its parent body, the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA Global) which has 200,000 members from more than 190 countries and organizations. The UAE accounts for about 45% of the total number of internal auditors working in the region, estimated at about 7,000 auditors, of which 22% are Emiratis.