Finance Indaba: IIA SA's Claudelle von Eck encourages members to learn and network

"Internal audit is a very exciting career and a nice stepping stone to leadership positions."  

The Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa (IIA SA) is once again backing the Finance Indaba Africa, the biggest annual expo and conference for finance professionals. Over 5,000 visitors tap into a wealth of resources, know-how and inspiration during 100+ free CPD seminars, unparalleled networking and an exhibition that showcases 100s of new solutions for finance teams. We spoke to IIA SA CEO Claudelle von Eck about this year’s event.

What does the ethics crisis in the audit profession mean for internal auditors?
“I think that the silver lining is that it gives us the opportunity to reflect a little deeper and to self-correct. South Africa has the tendency to being very internally focussed, but it is good to realise that similar things are happening elsewhere in the world.  In a lot of cases where things look clean, like for example in Sweden, things get swept under the carpet. Here we bring it out in the open. The only one way to heal a wound is to open it up and clean it.”

  • Claudelle von Eck is also chair of the recently formed Anti-Intimidation and Ethical Practices Forum (AEPF). Read more about that here.

What is the IIA SA at the Finance Indaba?
“From the perspective of advocacy and stakeholder education, we want people to understand the mandate of internal audit and for it to be taken seriously. What we are starting to see more and more are leaders who are waking up to the fact that their liability is increasing – along with complexity. That is where internal audit plays its role.”

Why is the Finance Indaba important?
“The most important from an internal auditor’s perspective is the visibility for internal audit as a whole. It is an opportunity where internal audit can be positioned as exciting career. Internal audit gives you so much greater scope than many other finance roles, because it gives you access to all aspects of your organisation. It is a very exciting career and a nice stepping stone to leadership positions.”

Why should IIA SA members attend the Finance Indaba?
“I always encourage our members to network across the borders of our profession. Business acumen is a very important skills set that internal auditors should have, but also insight and being able to connect dots within and outside industries. When you network, you get a broader understanding of where things are moving. That puts you in a better position to provide insight in your own organisation.”