VIOD’s first virtual Governance Excellence Program, the Internal Audit for Board Program (IAFB4) was organized to adjust to the “new normal”

Hanoi, September 10th-11th, 2020 – the Internal Audit for Board Program # 4 (IAFB 4) was held by Vietnam Institute of Directors (VIOD) with technical support from Deloitte Vietnam and International Finance Corporation (IFC) in a partnership with SECO and the Government of Japan. This was the first time a VIOD’s Governance Excellence Programs (GEP) was held online in responding to the on-going global Covid-19 pandemic.

While Internal Audit (IA) has long been a globally recognized function in good governance model, IA only recently attracted attention from the Vietnamese business community since the issuance of Decree No. 05/2019/ND-CP (Decree 5) on Internal Audit. This Decree has paved a way for companies to strengthen and refine their corporate governance activities. On the other hand, this has also created many challenges as the IA function was still quite new for many Vietnamese companies. From the time IAFB4 took place, companies had only more than 6 months to establish and bring the IA function into operation before the deadline of April 1st, 2021 as required by Decree 05.

Vietnamese Regulatory Framework & Best Practices for Internal (Source: © VIOD 2020. All rights reserved.)

In such context, VIOD and our partners were all determined and strived our best to conduct the online IAFB4 program to provide an overview of IA to companies’ directors and senior management, in order to help shaping their establishment and operations of the Internal Audit function. Specifically, the program provided an overview of international corporate governance models and best practices, which highlighted Internal Audit’s independent and objective roles in assisting the Board of Directors (BOD), the Board’s Audit Committee (AC), and Management in the company’s oversight and decision-making activities. The program also presented about the roles of BOD/AC in relation to the Internal Audit; equipped directors with knowledge and tools to be used for the establishment, operation and overseeing of IA. Besides, the program also shared actual experiences from leading companies on how to convert their governance on from the model of Supervisory Board to the Audit Committee in accordance with international practices.

Aware of the limitations of an online program compared to the previous IAFB programs, VIOD and supporting partner were well prepared for the whole process, from the registration procedures, the design of the program agenda that included online group discussions, break-out rooms, to the use of online visual aids to increase the participants’ interactions. For example, Menti application was used to facilitate the answer of short questions and participation in exciting and interesting contests. The last session of the program was nicely link to a virtual panel  “Regulations and practical implementation of Internal Audit in Vietnam” to connect participants with the guest speakers who are representatives of the Ministry of Finance, experts from Deloitte Vietnam, Chairpersons of Audit Committees and Heads of Internal Audit from well-known  companies.

Le Thi Tuyet Nhung, Deputy Director, Department of Accounting and Auditing Regulations, Ministry of Finance, answering participants’ questions about the regulations, the implementation of Internal Audit in Vietnam during the Panel Session

With such efforts, IAFB4 attracted good participation of directors, members of Audit Committees, heads of Internal Audit, members of Supervisory Boards, and members of management teams. Participants also shared their positive feedbacks and satisfactions about the program. Participants shown their preferences about the sessions on interaction and answering to quick questions, suggested to have more time for discussions and sharing of real cases and their lessons learnt. VIOD and the partners acknowledged all those feedbacks and will take them into consideration when preparing for upcoming online GEP programs.

In the upcoming months, VIOD will be working with our supporting partners to maintain our professional activities and organize a blended series of offline and online programs being active and flexible in the Covid-19 time. Until now, VIOD has successfully organized 4 webinars in addition to the Newsletters published during the social distancing time. The information is available on “VIOD’s Featured Insights”. VIOD with the support of IFC, in partnership with SECO and the Government of Japan, successfully held the Director Certification Program (DCP5) on 15-17 July in Ho Chi Minh City and DCP6 on 23-25 September in Hanoi with a combined offline and online sections. DCP5 program was designed with a number of modules delivered by international experts via online platforms, connected directly with the classroom.

(See upcoming VIOD events here.)