Professional Development to Build Capacity
by Abdallah Amiri (CPA, CIA, CFE), International Advisor to the Auditor General, Afghanistan Supreme Audit Office (SAO)
Capacity building and training are at the heart of all Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) and SAI member strategic plans (having a well-trained and well-equipped workforce) is the only way a SAI can ably fulfill its mandate.
With the audit profession constantly evolving (as evidenced by the continual introduction of new guidelines and standards from the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions), auditors need to incorporate continuous learning into daily routines to remain competitive.
However, auditors should NOT wait for SAI senior management to organize training. Instead, auditors should, on a daily basis, take the initiative to make continuous professional development a priority and seek self-education.
This article provides resources and techniques anyone can use to improve professional development skills in a wide array of interests.
- Research on areas and competencies for job effectiveness. No matter what level within the organizational hierarchy, each member of the team should be conversant with personal job descriptions, roles and functions commensurate with that position. The job description highlights expected duties and responsibilities and provides a way to assess the areas on which the necessary competencies and proficiencies can be improved. This assessment is a good gauge and can steer team members toward best actions to strengthen capabilities.
- Take advantage of FREE online training. The internet possesses an abundance of sites offering no-cost training in a multitude of disciplines from some of the world’s leading universities, including Harvard and Wharton. Some sites require online registration; however, registration provides unlimited access to training on such topics as accounting, finance and management. Email Abbeyamir@yahoo.co.uk for more information about some recommended online training and suggested sites.
- Allocate 30 minutes a day to read. It has been said that all leaders are readers. Reading offers opportunities to learn about a variety of topics from a variety of sources. Each day, allocate 30 minutes to read—there are many sites that provide access to interesting and informative works, including the INTOSAI Journal’s website!
The amount of knowledge that can be gained in just a short period of time is surprising. If 30 minutes seems too long, split it up. Read for 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the evening…whatever works!
Take control of professional development and aim for continuous improvement. The reputation of our SAIs depends on our technical ability in executing our work. Let’s make our SAIs (and ourselves) proud by taking steps, each and every day, to ensure we are better than the day before!