Our Potential Is Unlimited: The IIA in Emerging Economies

Richard Chambers, CIA, CGAP, CCSA, shares his personal reflections and insights on the internal audit profession.

This week I have had the opportunity to visit Russia for the first time. After three days of meetings with senior government officials and chief audit executives of leading Russian companies, my optimism about the future economic development of this country in general, and IIA–Russia in particular, is very high!

When one considers that a free market economy has only been in place in Russia for a brief 20 years, the progress is astounding. Prior to the global economic crisis, Russia’s economic growth had averaged almost 7 percent annually over the past decade. When you couple the progress to-date with the reality that Russia has more natural resources at its disposal than virtually any country in the world — the potential is unlimited.

IIA–Russia has been one of the most remarkable stories of the past decade within the IIA network. A mere 10 years ago, IIA–Russia did not even exist (it was chartered in June 2000). Today, it has more than 1,100 members representing almost every industry and sector. During my visit, I have met with the chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation (the equivalent of the U.S. Comptroller General), the vice president of the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (the largest stock exchange in Russia), and senior officials from the Central Bank. All of them have expressed admiration for IIA–Russia and its potential to enhance the profession and the overall quality of internal controls and corporate governance in the country. I share their view.

While I believe that IIA–Russia has one of the most promising futures among our institutes, it is not alone. Around the world, there are IIA institutes that are similarly positioned to lead the growth and development of the internal audit profession well into the 21st century.

Engaging with key stakeholders around the world, advocates for this profession work diligently to promote the value of internal auditing to governments and development institutions such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the European Union, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

It is our objective to collaborate wherever possible to ensure that aspiring institutes such as IIA–Russia have the support and resources to advance the profession as part of the overall economic development in their countries.

I want to thank my Russian colleagues for making this such an exciting and inspiring experience.


Posted on Mar 3, 2010 by Richard Chambers

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  1. If Russia is just another geography with a source of low-cost labor for the multinational to exploit, then, no thank you.  The out-sourcing of  IT Operations and now Finance functions has gone too far!  Because there is no global minimum wage, the west is doomed to corporations moving operations to those regions with the lowest cost of labor.  CA's in india get paid $10-$12 US dollars per hr for example.  My company moved 5,000 jobs ot Pune since 2005.  Many multinationals have done the same in the US and EU.  ~John

  1. Hi John, i agree that many jobs are shipped off to low cost destinations but you cannot also ignore the fact that these destinations survive not only because of the low labor cost but also because they provide value added services. It’s a combination of good value at low cost. Would you agree?


  1. It would have been quite informative to know, the land mines and pittfalls faced by companies wishing to open operations in Russia. The romours we hear, on crime, corruption, bribes and kickbacks make Russia sound like the wild wild west. How does IIA -Russia function effectively in that environment?

  1. No,  we are running away from our responsibility here at home.  I think the United States government should tax the out sourcing of labor.  All other Countries should do the same.  Companies that search for quality workers should  but not because of cheap labor but because of labor quality.  Companies have a right to choose but we must protect American workers who want to work.  The Government will proper as well from the added tax and the additional money can be used to help American families or programs.   

  1. Hi, John,

    I think you are unfairly sceptical on successes of IIA-Russia. :) 95% of IIA-Russia members are employees of national businesses. Those who work in multinational companies with residence in Russia are usually attached to other IIA chapters.

  1.  You cant stop outsourcing. It is painful but productivity is a source of immense growth for globe.

    I hope US evolves, innovate and create new source of income through creating new goods and services.

    World GDP right now is $ 60 trillion and i read by 2020, World GDP will be $ 117 trillion. So effectively it will double. I hope everyone benefits from this growth. 

  1. with all the respect to all who commented on this article but honestly did anyone of you ever worked in Rusia or simmilar economies? well i can tell you how hard is to be in an internal auditor in a culture where corruption and unethical behaviour is a way of life, in places where you cannot relay on law enforcement because laws are only written but not applied etc etc. Our colleagues in Russia are doing efforts to enforce better busines practices and raise the importance of internal audit in an environment like that. it takes a great courage to do that.  


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