Newsletter No. 521

10 # 5 2 1 | 1 9 . 0 8 . 2 0 1 8 Confucius was an accountant? Says who? Says Mencius. The Chinese word for ‘accountant’ first appears in Mengzi which records that ‘Confucius was once keeper of stores, and he then said, “My calculations must be all right. That is all I have to care about.”’ Internal audit has often evoked the image of a tax officer poring over every invoice and document in an office. How true is it? This traditional approach is rather adversarial and has few positive impacts on the resources, morale and performance of the organization under audit. In recent years, the profession has generally embraced the equation IA = f (RM, CG, IC) as the definition of internal audit. Please explain. It states that internal audit (IA) is a function of three things, namely, risk management (RM), corporate governance (CG) and internal control (IC). It’s not just adding things up and scrutinizing the small prints. Isn’t it the aim of internal audit to quantify value into money terms? This value-for-money approach emphasizes only the financial aspect of performance but is hard to apply to a public institution like CUHK. Our missions and heritage, for example, cannot easily be measured or quantified in terms of monetary value. How would you liken internal audit? Internal audit should be independent but interwoven into an organization’s structure and culture so as to check how well it is doing or responding to the changes in its environment. It functions like the lymph node in the human body which detects and prevents potential harms to its general well-being. What role does internal audit play in higher education? Since the publication of UGC’s report on local funded universities in 2015 (the Newby Report), transparency and risk management in tertiary institutions have become more prominent. The internal audit outfit becomes necessary and instrumental in identifying risks pertaining to the operation of a university and managing and controlling them. How does risk management work at CUHK? As seen in the diagram, internal audit helps the Colleges, Faculties and Departments identify their frontline risks and report to management. It also helps to convey any institutional risks perceived by management from top down. As such, it is the conduit of communication between the head and the arms, ensuring agility and adaptability of an organic whole. What changes does that cause to the work of IAO? Instead of looking at money-for-value-ness and accountability, IAO’s work has become more risk-based. Our aim is to promote and uphold a risk-conscious culture on campus. We find ourselves doing more and more outreaching work at committees and other units to help them see the risks and think of how to mitigate them. How will IAO develop? We’re a very small office but our tasks are important to the University as a whole. Our limited resources require us to be always prudent and cautious in delivering our services. Mementos from your father and children can be seen in your office. You must be close. Yes. Each generation has a thing or two to learn from the preceding one as well as the next, as I have personally and so gratefully found out. T.C. 口 谈 实 录 / V iva V oce 中大1994年成立内部审核处,是最早成立有关部门的本地院校之一。现任处长黄文 兴加入中大前是会计师,与孔子同科。近年内部审核不论在概念还是作业上都出现 巨大转变,黄处长正耐心及有步骤地把风险管理的新观念带到校园。 The Internal Audit Office (IAO) was established in 1994 at CUHK, the first of its kind among local universities. The Director of Internal Audit, Mr. Alfred Wong, had had many years of experience in accounting (a profession he has the honour of sharing with Confucius) before joining CUHK five years ago. In commensuration with the shifting conception and focus of internal audit practice, Mr. Wong has been patiently and programmatically bringing the concept of risk management to the University community. 孔子是会计?谁说的? 孟子说的。《孟子》是最早出现「会计」一词的古书,〈孟子 • 万章〉载:「孔子尝为委吏矣,曰: 会计,当而已矣。」 内部审核常予人一个税吏星夜在货仓审查票据的感觉,事实是否如此? 这个传统形象的确比较负面,事实上也对受审核的机构的资源、士气及表现产生了或多或少的 影响。近年内部审核业界普遍接受对内部审核的定义是 IA = f (RM, CG, IC) 。 请解释一下。 在这条方程式中,IA代表内部审核,RM、CG、IC则分别代表风险管理、企业管治和 内部控制。三者的比重容或有异,但都代表内部审核的有机必然成分,而不是加减乘 除、锱铢必较那么简单。 内部审核的目的不是把价值量化成钱看吗? 衡工量值只不过是以财务角度审视企业的表现,以评核其在金钱价值上 的优次,这对如中大般的公共机构可能不太适用。譬如说,我们大学的 使命、传统等都不是容易可以量化为金钱价值的。 你会怎样来形容内部审核? 内部审核在一个机构中应该保持独立,但却是其架构及文化不可分割 的一部分,它的作用是确保机构运作畅顺,而且对外部环境的改变做 好准备。它就像人体的淋巴结,可以侦测及预防对人体有害的东西。 内部审核在高等教育扮演什么角式? 自2015年教资会公布Newby报告书后,院校透明度及风险管理便显 得更重要。内部审核的任务,便是认清大学运作上可能出现的风险, 并提出有效管控机制及措施,更要在透明的管理过程中,作出合规的披 露。 中大是如何管理风险的? 如右图所示,我们协助书院、学院、学系等查找它们前沿运作遇到的风险,有 需要会汇报管理层,管理层也会下达关系大学整体的风险评估。大脑与四肢 之间经络畅顺,确保大学运作机动及高效率。 这一切对内部审核处的工作有什么影响? 我们工作的重点不再是衡工量值和问责,而是以风险为本。我们希望能缔造 并巩固一个对风险醒觉的校园文化,我们会不时造访各个委员会及部门,协 助它们认识风险和学习管理风险,审核变成了「手段」,或确切一点是「服 务」,而不是「目的」。 内部审核处今后会朝哪个方向发展? 内部审核处部门小,几乎全是将军,没有士卒,但责任所在,我们必须善用有 限资源服务大学。 你办公室摆设着与父亲及子女有关的纪念品。你与家人关系 应该非常要好吧? 是的。不只上一代,我很庆幸能从下一代身上也学到很多 东西。 黄文兴 先生 Mr. Alfred Wong 内部审核处处长 Director of Internal Audit