New internal auditor joins NHE

Daphne Mutakalilumo is a down-to-earth and reserved individual. She was born at Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi Region and was raised by both parents who were and are still influential in her life.

09 October 2020 | People

Michelline Nawatises

Mutakalilumo attended primary and secondary school at the Katima Combined School and Caprivi Secondary School respectively. “I furthered my studies at the University of Namibia where I studied for the Diploma in Information Studies, Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Postgraduate Diploma in Internal Auditing and later obtained a risk management certificate from Unisa,” Mutakalilumo says.

She is currently busy with a Masters in Development Finance as she has vast experience in the internal auditing field where she has worked for more than 10 years now.

“My auditing foundation was laid at the ministry of finance, where I worked for over eight years. The stepping stone in my career has been at Office of the Judiciary where I was one of the employees in charge of establishing the internal division in 2018,” Mutakalilumo says.

Mutakalilumo is currently an internal auditor at the Namibia Housing Enterprise (NHE).

“My responsibilities include providing objective assurance and consulting activity and improving the organisation’s operations. To achieve this, there is a need to evaluate the effectiveness of governance, risk management and internal control processes; ensure that the organisation is complying with relevant policies, laws and regulations and make recommendations on how to improve governance, risk management and control processes within NHE.

Her day at work includes briefings with the team members, conducting risk assessments, conducting audits, compiling the audit report, presenting findings; attending to any ad hoc activities assigned by management, and attending to queries related to the audits conducted.

When asked by Careers how it has been being this position so far, she explains that it has been challenging and a learning curve as well. “It has diversified my knowledge in the sense that you get to know all the aspects and business processes of the organisation and it requires you to read more,” Mutakalilumo says.

She further says that now it is even more exciting that people are starting to understand and recognise the auditors’ position and role within an organisation.

One of the greatest achievements in Mutakalilumo’s career was establishing the internal audit division at the Office of the Judiciary and subsequently an audit committee that she proudly says is effective and operational.

The challenge faced by the internal audit is of the risk management component is not well understood. “Management needs to take ownership of managing the risks of an organisation and internal audits assess if the risks are being managed up to an acceptable level,” she says.

Challenging aspect of internal auditing

Management support is the backbone of internal audit, but without this support, controls will be ineffective, because management is not committed to following up on recommendations by internal audit. Internal auditors must try to gain greater support from management but at the same time must distance themselves from being influenced by management.

“There is a negative perception and misconception about internal audit, especially from those who are after personal gain from their organisation, as they tend to discredit internal audit work, become uncooperative and delay in availing information as they feel the audit will uncover their secrets,” she adds.

Foreseeing success in this position is when the internal audit is adding value to the organisation. The value-adding is measured by the ability to drive positive change and improvements to governance, risk management and control processes.

Mutakalilumo aspires to become a certified internal auditor. The advice she would give to young people is to persevere and work hard. “Be patient in life, as everything has its time,” she concludes.

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