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SAB Kuwait – Training in raising the New Auditors Efficiency Field Study on the Newly Employed Auditors For 2015


Prepared by : Nadia Abdulrahman Al-Himemeedi- Comptroller, First Sub- Department for Companies Audit.

 

SAIs should develop different skills of their auditors to enable them to perform the audit processes efficiently and effectively. The audit quality practiced by the SAIs depends on continuous development of their professional aspects, keeping pace with the incidental changes in the accounting systems, developing the financial audit profession, mechanisms and methods, and training the auditors continuously.

  • Brief on SAB Training

The State Audit Bureau of Kuwait (SAB) spares no effort in developing the skills and capabilities of all staff through good selection of the employees suitably qualified to perform their tasks by providing them with the requisite training by SAB expert employees and through required financial support.
SAB Training Department while setting out the annual training plan takes into consideration the actual needs of SAB staff through the suggestions and the identified needs of different programs and seminars. Every plan /program is selected according to the priorities and the training needs of the employees.
SAB Training Department activities focus on the following three major areas: developing the personal efficiency, enhancing the technical skills, and rapidly developing the professional path. In this regard, all SAB staff participate in extensive training courses to develop the audit skills, to learn how to deal with entities, professional code of ethics, standards, information technology, and to recognize the latest development in the audit profession.
There are two types of training at SAB: The training during the service (field training) and the official training outside the work place at an independent Training Center. The annual training plans aim at achieving the following:

  • Develop knowledge, skills, and professional capabilities for the newly employed auditors, and provide a suitable work environment for them.
  • Establish an audit staff capable of achieving SAB goals; face all the challenges under the rapid changes in the audit areas.
  • Increase the staff technical and administrative level within the assistant sectors.
  • Develop the supervisors’ skills and capabilities to achieve efficiency in handling and developing their tasks.
  • The Role of Field Training in Raising the Auditors Efficiency.

Field training plays an important role in raising the auditors’ efficiency during their performance of the audit work. The most prominent aspects are as follows:

  • The auditor gains experience in the actual work environment.
  • The auditor is allowed to apply the skills acquired in the training environment, which allows him to avoid differences with the actual work environment.
  • The said training helps to identify the auditors training needs precisely.
  • It contributes to the auditors participation in training without being absent from work for long time.
  • Field training is characterized by its rapidness in training the auditors on their professional work updates and the entities subject to audit.
  • It is characterized by the continuous communication between the new auditor (the trainee) and the experienced auditor (the trainer) after the end of the program and during the audit of the entity subject to audit.
  • Field Training for SAB New Auditors in External Audit Offices.

Over years, SAB have trained groups of new auditors at specialized training offices known for their distinguished reputation and high efficiency. The most important advantages of this type of training are as follows:

  • Audit methodology offered for the auditors.
  • Implementing the internal and external audit tasks practically on various entities.
  • The use of audit and inspection tools to help the trainees during their audit task implementation.
  • The trainees acquire code of ethics and morals and the ability to interact with the clients.
  • The auditors get trained in indexing and documentation of review papers.

Work System No.(2012/3) Regarding SAB Mechanism for Field Training.
The Committee responsible for following up the implementation of SAB Third Strategic Plan (2011-2015) drafted Work System No. (2012/3) regarding the mechanism of applying field training within SAB. The said system includes the definition of field training, its advantages on the audit process, its implementation steps represented by the following phases:
First Phase: Work Tasks Analysis: This phase aims to identify the auditor skills to be acquired through field training, which is performed by the support of expert auditors.
Second Phase: Establish the Training Program: It is represented in the goal identification, the training theme and methods, and time schedules.
Third Phase: Training the Trainees: Prepare and provide the trainees with the required expertise to ensure the best results of field training.
Fourth Phase: Field Follow -up: It aims to ensure the program accomplishment of the identified goals through the following points:

  • Assess the utility of the field training in terms of the work style and the knowledge required.
  • Identify the training process obstacles.
  • Set out recommendations and suggestions to develop the environment and level of work.
  • Ensure the trainee approval to perform the training procedures, ascertain his satisfaction level and career development of trainee.

Fifth Phase: The Preparation of the Program Report: The report aims at ensuring the effectiveness of the field training process, and is used in the suggestions of the suitable evaluations to be applied in the future. The report contents focus on the following points:

  • The program goals and the extent of its achievement.
  • The facilities, the training means and their availability.
  • The training material and its coverage for the setout goals.
  • The trainer qualification, his knowledge of the material aspects, and his ability to cover its elements and attract the attention of the trainee, the variety in using the training methods, the extent of the trainee interaction with the trainer, and his ability to handle the problems.
  • The trainees in terms of their scientific and practical capabilities, the application, perseverance, innovation, self-dependency, behavior, cooperation and regularity.

Sixths phase: The Complementary Administration Procedures for the Field Training Process.

  • Chief Auditor, Principle Auditor, Senior Auditor, and the qualified trainees from the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI), performs field training process on audit functions.
  • Formation of a committee of experts and professionals in every sector to manage the field training process.
  • The announcement of the field-training program plan in every sector, the time schedules, the executers, and inform the Training Department about it for follow-up.
  • The Training Department is responsible for the nomination of field training trainees ahead of the plan implementation.
  • The Training Department follows up the implementation of field training plans in cooperation with the related sector; an efficiency measurement sample is used for the field training attached to the work system.

Activation of Work System No.(2012/3) within Audit Sectors.
SAB audit sectors have identified the field training areas and plan for the new employees, with emphasis on providing those employees with theoretical training linked to reality. In addition, it aims to provide the newly appointed employees with the basic skills during the identified period within the plan. The audit sectors shall present the Training Department periodical reports related to the plan implementation. The following are the most important general training plan for the Oil and Companies Sector Audit, which fall as an example for one of the said audit sectors:

Accountants and  Legal Persons
  • Understand the work nature of the entities subject to the sector audit.
  • Acknowledge the rules, resolutions, and circulars that control the entities work subject to the sector audit, and identify how to prepare and update the permanent file.
  • Understand the different activities of the internal audit systems and the organizational structure, identify the functions, specializations, and the documentary cycle for the entities subject to the sector audit.
  • Comprehend the relation between the entities subject to the sector audit with other entities.

Accountants

Legal Persons

  • Identify the accounting rules and systems, the applied accounts guideline within the entities subject to the sector audit.

 

  • View the financial bylaw, the financial authorities’ bylaw, and ensure the compliance of the entities that are subject to audit with the said bylaws.

 

  • View the administration bylaws and personnel affairs.

 

  • Examine the employment mechanism within the entities, the issued resolutions, the job description requirements, the extent of their compliance with the announcement mechanism related to admission results according to the rules and the related resolutions.
  • View the rules and standards regulating the final financial statements issuance included in the sector audit.
  • Examine and review the promotions, the bonuses, and the related systems within the entity, and ensure their issuance by a specialized entity.
  • Identify the method of the work papers and the preparation of the documents supporting the findings.
  • Examine the bonuses systems issued by the entity to ensure its correspondence with the law either from the specialized issuing authority or through approval, or application.
  • Inspection and audit according to the General Audit Guidelines, Oil & Gas Guidelines, other guidelines, and audit program. Some of the inspection issues are mandated to the trainees according to their job title.
  • Inspect a sample of the resolutions forwarded to SAB according to Articles (10-11-12) of SAB Establishment Law and the employment procedures to view the soundness of the said applied resolutions according to the laws, bylaws, and resolutions.
  • Recognize the method to form the preliminary notices and strengthen them with the right documents.
  • Recognize the way to form the preliminary notices related to employment affairs and support them with the right documents.
  • Identify the periodical and annual report preparation phases for the entities subject to the sector audit.

 

With regard to the tasks required by the supervisor on field training, the trainer, and the trainee, the following points should be taken into consideration:

  • The training process plan is implemented through a monthly professional evaluation of the Audit Tasks implemented by the new employee.
  • The trainee is mandated with Audit Tasks within team audit program in a way corresponding to his job title (the new employee), and the training process monthly report is presented to the competent comptroller. The report is later approved by the department director with a copy sent to the Training Department.
  • A time schedule of four months is set to implement the training plan starting after the introduction program according to the nature of the issues subject to inspection and review included in the annual operation plan and the adopted audit program.
  • The distribution of the trainees (the new employers) on the entities subject to audit and the identification of their positions in each entity, then a suitable audit function is assigned to the trainee within specific timing for the single audit function.

Field Study
A questionnaire was prepared with 14 questions about the field training and its effect on increasing the SAIs auditors’ efficiency. The questionnaire was circulated among 67 assistant auditors including accountants and legal persons who were employed in SAB in 2015. The said questionnaire was filled by 51 participant representing 76% after finalizing their theoretical part of the training. The survey questions and the analyzed results are as follows:

Question

I agree
(in %)

Somewhat agree (in %)

Don’t agree (in %)

  • Field training provides the new auditor with the skills and experiences as in actual work environment.

78

18

4

  • Field training helps the new auditor to avoid the different problems between theatrical training and actual work environment.

72

22

6

  • Field study contributes in preserving work time, and the new auditor rapid regularity in the actual work environment.

56

42

2

  • One of the advantages of field training is its rapidness in training the new auditor on the professional scope updates within the actual work environment.

63

29

8

  • Field training achieves continuous interaction between the new auditor and the expert ones.

78

18

4

  • Within field training, the new auditor professional knowledge and the required skills are identified.

69

27

4

  • Through field training, the methods of the right audit work are identified.

68

26

%6

  • Through Field training, the method of audit control is identified according to the adopted audit standards and guidelines.

57

39

%4

  • The vagueness of the field training expected goal and knowledge for the new auditor.

10

27

%63

  • The vagueness of the field training methodology, information, tasks, and the duties required to be mastered by the new auditor.

18

35

%47

  • The unsuitability of the field training time, period, and the daily hours.

14

18

%68

  • The nonuse of various theoretical and practical methods and means in field training.

6

37

%57

  • The lack of the required experience in trainers in charge of Field training.

6

23

%71

  • The shortage in the training skills of field trainers           ( speech skills, attraction of the new auditor)

8

33

%59

  • Findings &Recommendations.

The Findings:

  • The positive view of the new auditors towards field training for self-development and skills improvements.
  • Field training for the new auditors is prepared according to a well-designed mechanism and methodology that shall increase the performance levels.
  • The meticulously prepared field trainings enable auditors to perform their work effectively and to be satisfied with their achievements.
  • The trainees expressed vagueness of field training, the information, and the skills required to be mastered by the new auditor.

The Recommendations:

  • The necessity to follow-up with the new auditor by the Training Department to ensure that what they learned is applied by them to achieve SAB goals efficiently and sufficiently, as well as to perform the required work with the utmost effort and the least time.
  • The necessity of supervision by qualified and experienced individuals to train the new auditors.
  • There should be a clear field training methodology, information, tasks, and the required duties necessary for the auditor to achieve the desired results of field training. Whereas, field study showed that 53% of the study sample agree and somewhat agree on its vagueness.

The importance of presenting SAB efforts in training the auditors on different training types for the entities dealing with SAB and the society to show the importance of training in general and the qualification level of SAB auditors in particular.