The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

The Caribbean As­so­ci­a­tion of Audit Com­mit­tee Mem­bers Inc (CAACM) suc­cess­fully com­pleted its 12th Con­fer­ence and An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing held, in Bar­ba­dos June 28-29. As a pri­mary ob­jec­tive, the CAACM con­fer­ence pro­vides a fo­rum that en­ables mem­bers to solve their com­mon chal­lenges through ed­u­ca­tion, shar­ing and net­work­ing.

The con­fer­ence, held un­der the theme ‘Lead­ing To­day: Har­ness­ing the Power of Dis­rup­tion’, brought to­gether a num­ber of audit com­mit­tee pro­fes­sion­als from var­i­ous in­dus­tries in the Caribbean.

The chair­per­son, Mrs. Melissa Si­mon, in her wel­come re­marks, re­minded par­tic­i­pants that Audit Com­mit­tees are widely re­garded as trusted ad­vi­sors to the Boards they serve. Con­se­quently, au­di­tors must con­tinue to demon­strate ag­ile lead­er­ship, in­tegrity and pro­fes­sion­al­ism in the ex­e­cu­tion of their du­ties in or­der to make a dif­fer­ence in their or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The keynote speaker, Hon. Mar­sha Cad­dle, Min­is­ter in the Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs & In­vest­ment, speak­ing on the topic ‘Over­see­ing the De­vel­op­ment of the Corporate Strat­egy in an in­creas­ingly volatile World Econ­omy’, iden­ti­fied sev­eral ar­eas of fo­cus for her govern­ment. Th­ese in­cluded de-risk­ing, a sim­pli­fied tax sys­tem, CSME, ed­u­ca­tion and hu­man de­vel­op­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the Min­is­ter, “We need a sys­tem of ed­u­ca­tion which will pre­pare peo­ple for the world of the fu­ture.” She em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of good corporate governance and its re­sul­tant im­pact on a coun­try as well as the or­gan­i­sa­tion. The Min­is­ter high­lighted the im­por­tance of in­tegrity, ac­count­abil­ity and con­trols; not just in the corporate sec­tor but all state busi­nesses.

The sec­ond day com­prised work­shops cov­er­ing the top­ics ‘Min­imis­ing Dis­rup­tions from Fraud – Un­der­stand­ing the Fraud­ster’ and ‘Cy­ber Re­silience’. The work­shops pro­vided the par­tic­i­pants with in­sights into Cy­ber Fraud and the num­ber one cy­ber threat: Social En­gi­neer­ing. Par­tic­i­pants were also pro­vided with a frame­work to map, mon­i­tor and mit­i­gate the risks.

Other key top­ics pas­sion­ately dis­cussed dur­ing the two-day con­fer­ence in­cluded: Busi­ness Disruptors; IFRS9 Readi­ness Gauge; Get­ting Board and Com­mit­tee Com­po­si­tion Right – Keep­ing It Di­verse; Hir­ing for To­day’s En­vi­ron­ment: Lead­er­ship for Dis­rup­tive Times; and Har­ness­ing Po­ten­tial Op­por­tu­ni­ties from Emerg­ing Tech­nolo­gies (Blockchain/ Bit­coin).

The con­fer­ence ended with a mo­ti­va­tional talk on har­ness­ing the power of dis­rup­tion.

The Caribbean As­so­ci­a­tion of Audit Com­mit­tee Mem­bers Inc. is a com­mu­nity of audit com­mit­tee mem­bers in the Caribbean/ CARICOM re­gion. Its ul­ti­mate ob­jec­tive is to im­prove the in­vest­ment en­vi­ron­ment in the Caribbean, by in­creas­ing the level of con­fi­dence of in­vestors in the in­tegrity of fi­nan­cial re­port­ing and in­vestor in­for­ma­tion.

CAACM pro­vides an in­valu­able plat­form for audit com­mit­tee mem­bers to ex­change ideas and ex­per­tise on mat­ters of com­mon in­ter­est in­clud­ing the res­o­lu­tion of pol­icy is­sues re­lated to the evo­lu­tion of stan­dards and prac­tices.

CAACM hosted a suc­cess­ful con­fer­ence in Bar­ba­dos last week.

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