I was inspired to become an accountant by the 2008 global financial crisis. I was still at university and the unethical practices that led to the collapse of Lehman Brothers made me want to understand what was happening and make a difference.
I joined EY in Uganda in 2010, where I worked in assurance and built up my knowledge in accounting and auditing. I later moved to Diamond Trust Bank Uganda as a senior internal auditor, and then ABC Capital Bank in Uganda as head of internal audit. Currently, I work United Bank for Africa (UBA) as chief internal auditor in its Kampala office.
I always wanted to be a banker. I audited banks earlier in my career, but I wanted to be in the thick of the action, so I joined the sector to gain an insider’s understanding. The role that banking has in the development of our economy is crucial, and that’s another reason why I was attracted.
Internal auditors are a rare breed. To perform well, they must have a set of skills that are uncommon in one person
The internal audit function provides independent assurance to the board of directors of the quality and effectiveness of a bank’s internal controls, risk management and governance. By providing the necessary checks and balances, it helps the board and senior management protect the organisation and its reputation.
Internal auditors are a rare breed. To perform well, they must have a set of skills that are uncommon in one person. They need to be analytical, with laser-like focus, while also having excellent communication skills and being comfortable with technology. Today’s internal auditor needs to understand the strategy of the institution in order to support it better.
Uganda is still recovering from the economic impact of Covid-19. The education, hospitality and international trade sectors in particular are affected. The credit risk has increased, with some customers unable to repay their loans, and this has affected banks’ earnings.
Further challenges include regulatory changes regarding capital requirements, which have increased the compliance risk. However, the discovery of oil and gas in Uganda over a decade ago has provided plenty of opportunities for banks. In addition, many ordinary people are still unbanked, which provides a further opportunity for growth.
What would I do if I had lawmaking powers? I do not believe there will ever be a set of laws that can satisfy everyone, so we may just have to accept the outcomes for the good of all of us.
What I like most about my job is that I see all UBA operations in Uganda, which gives me a knowledge of the entire business. I also enjoy having the opportunity to interact with different people across the organisation.
My biggest achievement? Becoming an FCCA and leading UBA Uganda’s internal audit department. If I weren’t in finance, I would have worked in technology; I like to keep up with the changes.
In my spare time, I like travelling and watching football. I am a huge Liverpool FC fan and never miss watching a match on TV.