Our global internal audit function consists of the group internal audit team, led by the Chief Internal Auditor, plus regional and country audit functions that operate in each of the group’s principal areas of business. The regional and country functions are centrally directed by the group internal audit team. The country internal audit functions are jointly accountable to local senior finance management and regional heads of internal audit. They also have direct access and accountability to local audit committees and the Chief Internal Auditor.
Internal audit activities, all of which are risk-based, are performed by teams of appropriately qualified and experienced employees. Third parties may be engaged to support audit work as appropriate. The Chief Internal Auditor, who reports jointly to the SABMiller plc audit committee and to the Chief Financial Officer, has direct right of access to, and regular meetings with, the audit committee chairman and prepares formal reports for each audit committee meeting on the consolidated activities and key findings of the global internal audit function. The audit committee also has unrestricted access to the universe of internal audit reports, should they wish to review any of them.
Our global internal audit function uses a standardised groupwide internal audit methodology which is in compliance with the ‘International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing’ of the Institute of Internal Auditors. The function operates a formal global quality assurance and effectiveness programme. Accordingly, detailed quality review assessments are performed with regard to the regional and country internal audit teams, to ensure compliance with defined quality and performance measures. This process provides a basis for the annual review of the effectiveness of the global internal audit function and results in a formal report (prepared by the Chief Internal Auditor) to the audit committee to support the committee’s formal annual assessment of the effectiveness of internal audit. In addition, a periodic review of internal audit is undertaken by an independent external consultant in accordance with the guidelines of the Institute of Internal Auditors. In early 2014 an external review was performed by Ernst & Young LLP (EY) under the supervision of the General Counsel and the Deputy General Counsel. EY reported positive results to the audit committee in May 2014 and assessed the group’s internal audit function as operating effectively. The audit committee has satisfied itself that adequate, objective internal audit assurance standards and procedures exist within the group. Continuous improvement in the quality and objectivity of the global internal audit function remains a key objective of the department. The internal audit function is also responsible for facilitating the risk management and reporting processes across the group. It also provides assurance on the effectiveness of the process to excom, the audit committee and the board.