Texas Border Business
By Amanda L. Alaniz
EDINBURG, TEXAS – UTRGV’s Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship has been accepted into the Internal Auditing Education Partnership (IAEP) Program as an IAEP Internal Audit Foundation Program.
IAEP Program schools are colleges and universities teaching an internal auditing curriculum within a degree program endorsed by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). Schools must go through an application process and the quality of the offerings is monitored by the IIA and volunteers.
Dr. Giorgio Gotti, professor and chair of the UTRGV School of Accountancy, has had experience with the program and saw how valuable it would be for students and the university.
Gotti, along with Delia Sanchez, MAcc, School of Accountancy lecturer I, and Dr. Christian Sobngwi, School of Accountancy associate director and associate professor, partnered to reach out to the IIA Chapter in San Antonio to inquire about applying to the partnership program with the San Antonio chapter. There is not an IIA Chapter in the Rio Grande Valley.
“The acceptance is basically saying that we have a strong, robust series of classes that are giving students good knowledge about internal auditing,” Gotti said. “The Institute of Internal Auditing gives this seal of approval, seal of quality to our program because they believe the program is up to the quality level they expect.”
The School of Accountancy was accepted at the Foundation level of the program, the beginning stage of the partnership, with the possibility to move up to a Comprehensive Internal Auditing Program and a Center for Internal Auditing Excellence over the years.
This Foundation Program start will allow the UTRGV RCVCoBE School of Accountancy to pace itself as it enhances its IAEP curriculum.
Being recognized by the IAEP can potentially bring additional resources to the university and help accounting students find internships and job opportunities in the field of internal auditing, as the program is implemented.
Sobngwi said they will be focusing on the quality of their educational programs, so students can be well prepared.
“By giving students this opportunity of having access to internal auditors, we’re telling our students that beyond the regular tax auditing industry and accounting, you can do something else,” he said. “This is a very interesting program. It could lead to the possibility of having an interdisciplinary approach to how we design our programs. We want our students to be able to compete with everyone out there.”
Gotti said there will be a student association dedicated to internal auditing, with students able to network, connect with and benefit from internal auditors, internships and experiential learning.
Sobngwi noted that, with internal auditing, there are no global differences in terms of processes and procedures. If UTRGV were to become a Center for Internal Auditing Excellence, for example, it would give the university the opportunity to educate all of South Texas and parts of Mexico, he said.
“We’re looking forward to becoming that center of excellence in this area. It would provide more educational opportunities to a broader set of people,” he said.
Sanchez will be the IAEP coordinator for UTRGV and the contact person for all aspects of the program. Gotti and Sobngwi said they are looking forward to the benefits for UTRGV students and beyond.
“The opportunity here is to fulfill part of the mission of the school and the college, which is to help the development of the economy in the Rio Grande Valley,” Gotti said. “I think one of the possible outcomes will be to help the Valley have enough internal auditors, so the internal auditors wouldn’t need to go to a chapter somewhere else. They can stay and meet here. They can develop this area of expertise in their own community.”
For more information about the RCVCOBE School of Accountancy, visit https://www.utrgv.edu/cobe/departments/accountancy/index.htm.