This article is part of the “Guardians of Good” series, which celebrates the people who ensure True Corporation’s commitment to sustainability. As of December 8, 2023, True Corporation achieved the highest CSA score out of 166 companies assessed in the telecommunications Industry in the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment and was listed in the DJSI indices for the sixth year in a row. Find out more here.
Thailand’s digital transformation is picking up speed. From 5G to artificial intelligence, True Corporation plays a critical role in building the infrastructure, platforms and solutions needed for Thailand 4.0. With this outsize role comes equally great responsibilities towards Thai society. To ensure the quality and integrity of its operations, True Corporation relies on its Internal Audit & Investigation function, led by Warunya Chenpitayaton.
Ms. Warunya has been the head of Internal Audit & Investigation at True Corporation since the amalgamation of True and dtac in March 2023. She supervises the Internal Audit and Investigation functions across the company’s diverse business units, ensuring adherence to with internal policies, external regulations, and industry standards. She is also responsible for handling the investigation of fraud and misconduct cases, safeguarding the company’s reputation and assets.
Ms. Warunya shared with us her insights on the role and challenges of the Internal Audit & Investigation function to support and monitor True’s ambitions of becoming a telecom-tech leader in the region.
Guardians of Good
“My inclination towards the audit function developed from my fascination with understanding how business operates, identifying risks, and ensuring financial integrity. The dynamic nature of audits and the opportunity to contribute to improved corporate governance and risk management drew me to this profession,” she said.
Ms. Warunya emphasized that maintaining independence and objectivity is paramount in internal auditing. To achieve this, she said that her team established a robust Internal Audit Charter that clearly outlines their roles, responsibilities, and reporting lines.
Additionally, Ms. Warunya said that the internal audit plans are strategically aligned with the company’s objectives, values and strategies. This requires an ongoing dialogue with senior management and the company board.
“Maintaining independence and objectivity is paramount in internal auditing. We regularly evaluate potential conflicts of interest and implement safeguards. As a result, our audits contribute to the company’s strategic direction while remaining unbiased in our assessments,” she said.
Ms. Warunya said that the audit team employs a comprehensive risk-based audit approach. This entails evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal controls, including those related to IT Governance, cybersecurity, and data protection.
They evaluate the risks on the areas to be audited under their Internal Audit Plan and collaborate with first and second lines of defense. Their assessments are aligned with industry best practices and regulatory requirements.
“We maintain open channels of communication with our stakeholders. Regularly scheduled meetings with the board and audit committee allow us to present our findings and recommendations. The reports must be very concise, providing a clear overview of the issues identified, potential impact, and suggested actions,” she said.
Ms. Warunya said her function is benchmarked through periodic external and internal assessments in accordance with the Internal Audit Standards. The outcomes are then presented to the Audit Committee for further enhancement initiatives.
A Fast-Changing World
“We are in a fast-changing technology and telecommunications arena. To keep up, the audit function invests in ongoing training and development. We also establish partnerships with experts in emerging technologies, such as RPA [robotic process automation], and collaborate with them to understand potential audit implications. Additionally, we regularly assess and adapt their audit methodologies to incorporate new technology-related risks and controls as they emerge,” Ms. Warunya said.
Ms. Warunya Chenpitayaton and her team stand as guardians of financial integrity and governance. Their dedication to independence, objectivity, and strategic alignment, along with their unwavering focus on assessing internal controls and risk management, underscores the pivotal role of the internal audit function in modern corporate governance. By rigorously measuring their performance, benchmarking, and embracing the technological zeitgeist, they are impeccably poised to navigate the challenges of tomorrow.