SEREMBAN: A national audit board with its members appointed by the Prime Minister should be set up to enhance the credibility of the profession.
Deputy Auditor-General Datuk Azizah Arshad said this was necessary as there was no organisation to supervise the work done by auditors or check whether they adhered to the standards and ethics of the profession.
There are already voices questioning the integrity and independence of our auditors following the Transmile and Megan Media controversies.
We need the board not only to ensure the professionalism, ethics and independence of our auditors but to enhance the integrity, accountability and transparency of the public and private sectors, she said.
Azizah said foreigners would also have a better perception on good governance in Malaysia if the board were set up.
To ensure the boards independence, it would have to be administered by a board of directors where its chairman and members must come from professional bodies as well as institutions of higher learning.
Citing examples, she said the United States has set up the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board while Britain has the Accountancy Investigation and Disciplinary Board.
Azizah said at present, about 23,000 auditors in Malaysia needed to obtain their practising licence from the Accountant-General.
But this licence is only restricted to financial audit. We need to expand our audit scope to cover other fields such as the environment, forensics, cooperatives, ICT and internal audit.
This means we do not only need financial auditors but engineers, architects, experts in computer science, lawyers, medical experts and other professionals to do audit work as well, she said, adding that the board would be able to issue licences to these professionals.