Serbia’s State Audit Institution Is Sustaining Retention and Application of Performance Audit Skills
August 31, 2021
Seasoned auditors are the most valuable resource that a state audit institution employs to sustain learning and strengthen the capacity of the institution’s professional staff. Serbia’s SAI has adopted a culture and practice of continuous improvement in line with INTOSAI standards, supported by the Government Accountability Initiative (GAI) through a series of training and transfer of skills and knowledge to a cadre of trainers between 2018 and 2021. The trained trainers will further develop and apply the expertise gained during the training and make efforts towards improvement of overall SAI capacities. During the week of August 23, 2021, with experts Mr. Stephen Caldwell and Dr. Laurie Ekstrand, GAI delivered a training of trainers workshop to 16 senior auditors in performance auditing. The workshop covered soft skills for trainers as well as materials for SAI instructors to use in teaching financial, compliance and newly hired auditors how to implement recently adopted performance audit policies and to design and conduct performance audits.
As performance audits become increasingly complex to tackle the more challenging, recurring, and systemic deficiencies in government operations, audit teams often need to rely on more sophisticated audit and evaluation methodologies. Dr. Laurie Ekstrand, a research and evaluation methodologist and statistician, is increasing the capacities of SAI audit teams to create robust audit designs, collect appropriate and relevant data, and perform higher level analyses for performance audits. Dr. Ekstrand delivered a workshop to select SAI staff on use of advanced analytics and methodologies to enable them to continually exchange the expertise and advise their colleagues in this area during future audits.