Richard Ofosu Dwamena
Takoradi Technical University (TTU)
This study is interpretative qualitative research which adopted a case study approach. The instruments used were interviews and publicly available documents. The data is analyzed using thematic analysis. The study reveals that internal auditors play oversight responsibilities, improve internal controls, advise management on risk management policies, ensure the organization follows regulations and brings out quality financial report. However, internal auditors face many setbacks. Internal auditors are taken for granted and lack independence and cooperation from other staff. Again, they have defined scope of work with limited power and have inadequate career development to make them effective in performing their roles. The Internal Auditors basically forms an integral part of the internal control mechanism of the assembly. The internal audit unit provides reasonable assurance to the assembly that financial and non-financial controls are effectively in place, policies, regulations and laws are adequate, and are complied with through independent reviews of various activities (Internal Audit Act, 2003). To ensure effective financial administrations at the assembly, the Internal Audit unit is to review all payments to be made by the assembly, review all revenues receipted before and after they are paid into the bank. The unit also inspects and verifies all items received into stores as against specification and established standards and other personal related issues (Financial Administration Act, 2003). The internal audit unit is supposed to ensure strong control over collection and recording of Internally Generated Fund (IGF); regular banking of revenue daily; ensure correct statement of revenue; prepare bank reconciliation statements monthly; inspect payment vouchers adequately acquitted and properly filed, etc. (Financial Administrations Act, 2003). Unfortunately, these seem not happening; even the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) sitting in Volta Region in 2012 revealed that 48.4 million Ghana cedis was lost by the state from the statutory funds, including the district assemblies common fund, through the MDAs across the country during the 2010, 2011 and 2012 financial years. The increased demand for accountability and transparency from public sector entities has placed much emphasis on the work of internal auditors. However, the setting up of internal audit in public institutions has not achieved its main objectives as a result of pervasive corruption and financial irregularities that still exist in our public institutions. This may be as a result of lack of knowledge and wrong perceptions about the work of internal auditors by managers and other stakeholders. The study therefore seeks to examine the roles and status of internal auditors from the perspective of these stakeholders.
Keywords: Internal Audit, Credit Management Practices, Public Financial Administration, Economic management, Accounting, Accountability, Transparency