Research on the Opinion of Turkey’s Energy Sector Employees Related to Risk-Based Internal AuditingGökhan Ömer Karlıdağ
Currently, internal audits support risk management processes by identifying and monitoring the business risks. They also examine whether the internal control mechanisms established within the enterprise are carried out effectively and efficiently. In other words, internal auditors’ activities include a transaction and error-oriented approach, and they have begun to determine whether the processes are managed effectively. Business activities are always intertwined with risks. Almost all strategic, financial, and operational decisions may contain uncertainties. Some of these uncertainties positively affect business activities by chance, while some of these uncertainties are considered risks and have negative results. Evaluation of the strategic, financial, and operational decisions and their impacts on the company can only be achieved through a risk-based internal audit. This study used a questionnaire to gather information about the risks faced by publicly traded and non-publicly traded enterprises operated in Turkey’s energy sector. The questionnaire also explored energy sector employees’ opinions of risk-based internal audit practices. The responses to the questionnaire were then evaluated and analyzed.
Türkiye’deki Enerji Sektörü Çalışanlarının Risk Odaklı İç Denetimle İlgili Görüşlerine İlişkin Bir AraştırmaGökhan Ömer Karlıdağ
Günümüzde iç denetim, işletme içinde tesis edilen iç kontrol mekanizmalarının etkin ve verimli yürütülüp yürütülmediğini değerlendirmesinin yanı sıra işletme risklerini de tanımlayıp, izleyerek risk yönetim süreçlerini de desteklemeye çalışmaktadır. Bir diğer deyişle, iç denetçiler yürüttükleri denetim faaliyetlerinde işlem ve hata odaklı yaklaşımın yanı sıra süreçlerin etkin yönetilip yönetilmediğini tespit etme fonksiyonunu da üstlenmeye başlamıştır. İşletme faaliyetleri risklerle etkileşim halindedir. Alınan stratejik, finansal ve operasyonel kararlar işletme faaliyetlerinde belirsizlikler yaratabilir. Bu belirsizliklerin bazıları işletme faaliyetlerine şans eseri pozitif etkide bulunurken, bazı etkiler ise risk olarak nitelenerek işletme faaliyetlerinde olumsuz sonuçlar yaratır. Stratejik, finansal ve operasyonel kararların değerlendirilip işletmeye olan veya olacak olan etkilerinin değerlendirilmesi ancak risk odaklı iç denetim yaklaşımıyla sağlanabilmektedir. Bu çalışmada, Türkiye’de enerji sektöründe işletmelerin yüz yüze kaldığı riskler, risk odaklı iç denetim uygulamalarıyla ilgili sektör çalışanlarının görüşlerine ilişkin bilgi sahibi olmak amacıyla Türkiye’de enerji sektöründe faaliyet gösteren işletme çalışanları ve bu çalışanların yöneticilerine anket yapılarak, çalışanların ankete verdikleri yanıtlar değerlendirilmiştir.
Through growth of the enterprise scale, businesses and operations have become more complex. The peculiarities of the sector and limited operating resources have made risk-based planning and implementation of internal audit processes and activities necessary. Therefore, large-scale enterprises have needed to use a risk-based internal audit approach for the sustainability of the corporate growth, saving of operational costs and time. Risk-based internal audit approach also contributes to the effectiveness of internal audit in audit activities. It is generally accepted that the risk assessment process is important for internal audit departments to carry out risk-based internal audit activities. The process is also needed to establish an internal control system in institutions. The purpose of this study is to examine the role of the risk-based internal audit practice, which is the most important tool in ensuring corporate risk management in business activities.
The energy sector has strategic importance for the Turkish economy. For the Turkey energy sector, it is essential consistently plan profitability and growth strategies by establishing appropriate risk management policies. It is critically important to establish the risk control mechanisms, analysis, and determination of the appropriate risk limits by considering the probability of the risks. In that process, businesses need advice about risk management. Evaluation of the strategic, financial, and operational decisions and the ways their risks impact the company can only be achieved through a risk-based internal audit approach.
In implementing the risk-based internal audit, the questionnaire explored the evaluations and thoughts of Turkish energy sector employees about the importance of the studies related to the management of financial and operational risk factors. The survey consists of ranking questions and the 5-point Likert scale. This study is the first survey on risk-based internal audits in Turkey’s energy sector.
The ability of businesses to continue healthy activities depends on rational determination of their future investment and financing plans. In that process, it is also crucial to try to keep financial structures strong in a controlled manner. It is well known that Turkey’s energy sector has billions of dollars in debt, and their debt ratio has increased in recent years. Participants also view macroeconomic and financing risks as significant and think that internal auditors should guide business management to control and evaluate a firm’s macroeconomic and financing risks by conducting a risk-based internal audit. When participants evaluate their firms’ existing risks in according to their importance, macroeconomic, financing, and operational risks were considered as important in the inherent risk group. In addition, internal control risks, information technology risks, and financial risks were regarded as important.
The research findings support the conclusion that risk-based internal audits in Turkish energy sector businesses significantly depend on the presence of a risk management department in the organizational structure. In other words, the level of implementation of risk-based internal audits in Turkey’s energy sector businesses vary according to the presence of a risk management department. This study also concludes that the application level of risk-based internal audit on businesses is affected by the businesses’ foreign partnership and status as a publicly-traded company. The risk-based internal audit approach plays an important role in identifying the issues that are open to abuse in the processes and in preventing losses that may be incurred due to fraudulent transactions and misconduct in the operational processes. The risk-based internal audit is also regarded as significant for evaluating and providing information to senior management about the effects of changes in price levels, foreign exchange, and interest rate changes arising from adverse situations in the financial markets. Participants think that the application of risk-based internal audit studies will provide operational efficiency and control of businesses’ risks.