Experts in finance and auditing stressed the need for companies, especially those in the financial services industry, to continuously develop a good and sustainable corporate culture in their organizations for growth.
Experts recently spoke at the 50th Quarterly General Meeting of the Association of Bank Audit Directors in Nigeria (ACAEBIN) hosted by the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC)
In his opening remarks, the Managing Director and CEO of NMRC, Mr. Kehinde Ogundimu, said that the failure of many giants like Enron and some of the liquidated local banks in Nigeria was largely attributed to to bad corporate governance, motivated by a bad organizational culture.
Focusing on the theme of the event, entitled “The role of internal audit in building a sustainable organizational culture”, Ogundimu
noted that creating and maintaining a good corporate culture is essential for the stability and survival of Nigerian institutions and financial system.
He said: “A distinguishing characteristic of leading organizations is their culture. Culture affects performance, employee engagement and the ability to create an innovative and positive work environment.
“Many CEOs believe that improving the culture would improve the value of their company, because organizational culture impacts the appetite for change, innovation and risk awareness. “
Ogundimu said there is a close relationship between organizational culture and corporate brand, adding that every organization, including financial institutions, values its brand and will do everything possible to protect it.
“The organizational culture must be right to maintain the reputation of the brand. A bad organizational culture increases the organization’s exposure to reputational risk and should be managed with care, ”he said.
Emphasizing the role of internal audit in building a sustainable organizational culture, Ogundimu said that as an independent and objective assurance and consulting business, internal audit is designed to add value and improve the operations of an organization.
This, he explained, would be done by helping to establish and maintain a good organizational culture by evaluating the design, implementation and effectiveness of the policies, procedures, programs and practices of the organization related to culture and ethics.
Other ways of doing this, according to Ogundimu, were to be comfortable with their understanding of the culture before starting to audit the metrics; include an element of culture in every risk-based audit using a testing program, a survey, or both.
He added that this was to ensure bank-wide compliance with internal policies and procedures, relevant corporate governance codes, other relevant laws, regulations and standards and the recommendation of the consequences of violations, among others.
Earlier in his welcoming speech, ACAEBIN President Mr. Yinka Tiamiyu underlined the importance of the topic of the meeting, saying that it summarizes what the internal audit function does.
These functions, he said, included the extent to which processes, procedures, actions and tone at the top conformed to the values, ethics, risk appetite and policies of the organization.
Yinka noted that risk management, control and governance are key elements in building a sustainable organizational culture.
He said that as an advocacy group, the association is committed to working with all relevant stakeholders in the banking industry to find ways to improve collaboration, support and sharing of knowledge. information, in particular in the fight against bank fraud.