Life and Work in Namibia (the Work Part)

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Annette is our first exam blogger from Namibia. She passed Part 1 and 2, and is working on the last part. She finally passed the exam in February 2017.

Namibia enjoys economic stability and sound macroeconomic management which are promoting investments and sustaining Namibia’s high growth rates. Benefiting from its strong links to South Africa, Namibia attracts more investment than average sub-Saharan countries.

Despite this, Namibia suffers from one of the highest rates of inequality in the world. This is partly due to the fact that about half of the people working in Namibia work in the informal, rural and cashless market economy. About 74% of the Namibian households cannot afford conventional housing and only 57% of urban households have access to sanitation facilities, which has serious environmental and health implications.

Labour is quite cheap. You have people packing your groceries, carrying it to your car, guard your car in the parking lot and everyone (middle class and up) has a maid.

Unfortunately I could not find Internal Audit or CIA statistics and the only related statistics I found is from 2012. South Africa has a ratio of one Chartered Accountant for every 2,000 of its citizens whereas in Namibia, the ratio is one CA for every 6,800 Namibian citizens.

So what does my work life look like? I can reach my office in 5 minutes from home and all other clients in less than half an hour! We do have public buses, but there is no real system to them. Last year the municipality tried to introduce a schedule and plan for the buses, after 4 days they scrapped it as it was chaotic. I therefore drive my own car – most convenient.

We are also “one big happy family” at my firm (around 100 staff). The advantage of having such a small city is that you often bump into your colleagues or clients in the shops, events or sometimes even in the other towns.

Namibia has a fairly robust technology infrastructure, so in comparison to other sub-Saharan African countries we have good speed and not so expensive – therefore I can always be connected for my work wherever I am.

Our clients are mostly national with a few of the financial service providers being international. Thus I have the opportunity to travel around Namibia a bit.

Apart from those actually working in Internal Audit, I noticed that everyone else here does not know who we are and what we do. They either confuse us as external auditors or even worse, auditing internally, i.e. auditing our own books!

Again if you have any more specific questions you are welcome to comment.

Note from Stephanie

Look at the statistics, there is really a big growth potential not only internal audit, but accounting in general. I hope to see the industry growing on the back of the strong economic development in Namibia.

Sounds like you guys have a good work-life balance. That’s awesome!

About the Author Annette S

Hello, I was born, raised and have been working in Namibia as an internal auditor. I finally passed my CIA exam after 7 attempts on Part 3!

  • Abayomi says:

    Hi Annette,
    First let me commend you on your recent achievement of passing the CIA part 3 and been so bold about sharing your struggles prior to finally passing it. You inspire people like me especially.
    You mentioned you don’t particularly audit your books in your firm. I understand you work with one of the big four going through your threads and posts. Could you highlight a few other ways a CIA holder can be of value to audit firms since internal audit is solely concentrated on organizational process and improvement.
    I’m also taking CIA and i will sit for my part 2 in about 2 weeks from now. I’m working on a strategy of going for one of the top audit firms afterwards as i know experience with such firms really helps a career. Your explanation and help will really count please.

    P.S Maybe someday i will visit Namibia as it seems a peaceful country.

    • Annette says:

      HI Abayomi.

      So working as an Internal Auditor at a BIG 4 follows the same Standards as if you are an in-house department. We have either co-source clients (meaning working with the in-house team together on audits) or it is a complete outsourced agreement. Outsourced means that a firm (e.g. retailer, manufacturer, bank, mine etc…) hires the Audit firm to perform the internal audits. This requires us to have an Annual Audit Plan, perform such audits, attend Audit Committee meetings and other meetings, and report to the Audit Committee and CEO (Engagement Sponsor).

      Knowing you clients environment and processes is as required as if you are working in-house. Similar audits, such as HR, Procurement can be audited almost the same at different clients (always bearing in mind of course their specific risks, concerns, size and complexity).

      Having the CIA has the benefit that clients will take you more seriously (I have been told, I am a new CIA;-) ), they listen to you and you can have your say at Committee meetings. In addition of course it raises your profile amongst co-workers, maybe receive a promotion and obtain a salary increase and definitely you will be more marketable when looking for a new job.

      Hope this answered your question – you welcome to dig deeper 🙂

      • Abayomi says:

        Dear Annette, first i must apologize for my late response! This past month has been a hectic from pressure management on year-end financials.
        However i must appreciate your response and help. Yes! you answered the question and i will also “dig deep” as you suggested for further queries.
        Thank you for being of assistance on this platform. As my study furthers please don’t ignore if i may have clarification on a few aspects as i study for my Part 2

        Thanks again

  • Osama Siddiqui says:

    Dear Madam,

    How did you apply for CIA application extension?? appreciate if you can guide me!

    • Annette says:

      Hi Osama,

      There is an option on your CCMS where you can extend. So just click there (I believe it was under forms) and pay the US$ 250 (maybe increased since 1 April 2017) and you will get your one year extensions.

      • Osama says:

        Dear Annette,

        Thanks for your reply. I tried looking for it under complete a form section but couldn’t find it.

        I have already completed 2 parts and left with last part which is scheduled for next month. Now, i just logged in and noticed my application has expired last week. Therefore, I really need this extension since I don’t want to lose 2 parts passed. Appreciate if you can guide me exactly where it should appear or the process you went through? Thanks

        • Stephanie says:

          Maybe it is better to call IIA Osama? I thought people got an email when the deadline approached but I guess somehow you didn’t get it (or I got it mixed with other exams…)

          I would just email IIA and see how they can extend it for you with the fee.

      • Stephanie says:

        Thanks Annette 🙂

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