IAA to bring humanoid Sophia to Dubai next year

10th Chief Audit Executive Conference ends with greater participation

IAA to bring humanoid Sophia to Dubai next year
  • Sophia to grace 20th Regional Audit Conference in March 2022 in Dubai
  • Internal auditors exhorted to be agents of change by upscaling skills
  • US attorney Ben David says white collar crimes cost $3.5 trillion wordwide

Dubai: For the first time Dubai will get to meet Sophia, the humanoid robot, when the UAE Internal Auditors Association (UAE IAA) bring her to talk on the future of artificial intelligence at the 20th Regional Audit Conference to be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre in March 2022.

This was announced by UAE IAA Chairman Abdulqader Obaid Ali on the conclusion of the three-day Chief Audit Executive Conference held at Atlantis Hotel in Dubai on 16,17,18 November 2021.

Organised by the UAE Internal Auditors Association (UAE IAA) the conference held live and face-to-face after a gap of two years was attended by more than 300 Chief Audit Executives and Senior Audit Executives from across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region with the theme ‘Beyond All Barriers’ to give an insight on what the internal audit profession could look like in 20-30 years.

Abdulqader exhorted internal auditors to come out of their traditional role, take a proactive approach and be the agents of change to improve their organisations.

He said the HASAAD programme will be expanded to train more nationals to join the profession by introducing a diploma in internal audit and will tie up with educational institutions and universities in the UAE.

Strategic partners are Bee’ah, KPMG, Protiviti and PwC, gold sponsors are ANB, BEINEX and MBG. Emirates is the official airline.

Experts and senior executives deliberated on the new trends in internal audit practice the world over and the participants could get insights on new global standards.

The participating Chief Audit Executives and internal auditors said the conference was a great occasion to network and learn from experts the latest trend in the industry and challenges posed by technology disruption, new standards and global practice that will enable the auditors to upscale their skill sets.

Muneer Almughairy, President of IIA Oman, said the conference was beneficial for the participants to broaden their thinking on Artificial Intelligence, sustainability and new technologies.

Laila Abdullah Al Hadhrami, Smart City Development Manager with National Energy Centre, Oman, said the conference was an occasion to update knowledge for various topics, particularly new technologies and projects.

Soud Ahmed Suleiman Al Ghaithy, Chief Internal Auditor, Oman LNG from Oman, said it was a great event to network and learn from experts the latest global standards and practice.

Tejas Jobanputra, Associate Director, ANB, said his team could hear from the experts and could get connected to many peers. “We will now prioritise automation in internal audit and will partner with the IT teams to identify the automation scope. Any way this conference has given us a new direction in developing our products.”

Theyab Al Rashidi, Director of Internal Audit at Saudi Payments, said the conference enabled him to know the future direction of internal audit practice in view of the  challenges posed by technology disruption and automation. In fact, I am looking forward to attending future conferences organized by IAA.”

Ben David, District Attorney, New Hanover and Pender Counties in North Carolina, US, said in his presentation ‘Auditor to Prosecutor: Learning to speak a common language to get maximum justice for your clients’ that white collar crimes cost over $3.5 trillion worldwide and most  businesses lose 5 per cent of annual revenue to employee fraud.

He said white collar crimes is one of the biggest problems in 2020. As high as 75% of companies worldwide experienced fraud in the past 12 months, but only 56% of businesses investigated their worst fraud incident. It is estimated that nearly 90% of fraud is not reported. In white collar crimes, customers are vulnerable.

He highlighted the role of internal auditors in detecting fraud by ‘career criminals’  in their organisations.

Rashid Khursheed, ESG Reporting Assurance Leader, PwC Middle East; and Azzah Fawzi, Middle East Risk Assurance Partner, Energy and ESG Reporting Lead, spoke on the ‘Rising Role of Audit in ESG Reporting’.

Mohammed Tarik, Head of Quality, Services & Performance Department with Emirates NBD, addressed the session on Digital Transformation in Banking Sector.

Dr. Anuraag Guglaani, Partner, Strategy, Transformation Technology, Cyber Security with   UHY James Chartered Accountants and Management Consultancy, discussed "Disruption in Internal Audit function because of Intelligent Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning."

Ramakrishnan Viswanathan, Managing Director & FS Tech Leader, Middle East Member Firm, Protiviti, made a presentation  on ‘Emerging Trends in Supply Chain Finance’.


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