Chief Internal Auditor Mabel Gichengo

Strathmore University Chief Internal Auditor (CIA) Mabel Gichengo, topped her ACCA P1 (Governance, Risk and Ethics) exam, awarding her the top position nationwide and number 6 globally.

Mabel has a background in IT – an undergraduate in Information Sciences and a Masters in IT majoring in Systems, Security and Audit, with certificates in CISA and Information Security Management. Her career line has transitioned from an IT background, to an IT audit, to her current position as CIA, deeming this achievement a great success.

As the CIA, Mabel is in charge of Internal Audit which comprises of; assessing controls in place that will protect Strathmore University assets; giving assurance that controls are working adequately; providing risk management – correctly identifying risks and mitigating them adequately, reducing exposures that the university may have; ensuring that the university is compliant – assessing activities the university engages in, ensuring that they are in line with the policies, laws and regulations in place.

Due to her line of work in IT audit, financial and operational audit, it became necessary for Mabel to acquire an accounting certificate to add on to her qualifications. It is with this reason that Mabel decided to pursue her ACCA. In November 2014 Mabel sat for her first paper after studying on her own. In July 2015, having done the first three papers without attending classes, she decided to join an ACCA class, under the School of Accounting at Strathmore,  to study for the remaining papers. She has completed 10 papers, and is set to complete the remaining four by end of 2017.

Mabel states that the process of learning accounting from an IT background has not been easy. Although she was involved in accounting, giving her some kind of exposure in the accounting field, studying the course was really taxing. She had to study a lot more to catch up with her peers who mostly possessed an accounting background. Balancing her work, her studies and her family was no easy task…

Evening classes run from 5; 30-8; 30, meaning I get home late in the evening. I am sure my children would have wished for better, but I thank God for my support system in my husband and the help, who are very supportive. I also developed a strict system for my office work, because otherwise I would never have spare time to finish my work if I am not disciplined. I never have extra time for personal studies – the minute I get home I spend time with my children, therefore I work on my assignments either very early in the morning or at my desk on the days we have no classes. By God’s grace I have reached this far.

For her top paper, Mabel acquired much of her knowledge from class combined with her real work experience. Fortunately, her line of work allowed her to be a bit more knowledgeable in what examples to give during the examination.

Mabel did not know she was the top student once her results were released, her classmate shared the news with her…

One of my classmates called me, stating that they had seen my name on Facebook showing that I was number 1 in the country and 6th globally, and that is how I found out I was top. I was so excited, I laughed alone in the office at the shock. I have not received an official email from ACCA Kenya though to communicate the news formally. But this is good news for myself and even for the university, showing that we can produce good results for our students.

Mabel plans to use her acquired skills to better her auditing career, borrowing from her business and finance understanding.

Congratulations to Mabel on her great success!!!