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#IAm Krystle Howell

Blogs Krystle Howell, CIA, CPA, FCA Apr 06, 2022

Meet an auditor devoted to art and public service.

Auditor and artist Krystle Howell uses her internal audit powers for good, serving both her organization and her country of Barbados. She helped bring national attention to issues raised by her country's auditor general and teaches citizens about governance and accountability. 

I am an April baby, born on the beautiful, sun-drenched island of Barbados. We're surrounded by pristine beaches, a crisp sea breeze, and tantalizing, rhythmic music — mainly a genre known as soca — which has the magic to make your hips sway whether you intend to or not!


My journey as an auditor started off at EY, where I had the privilege of working with strong, female leaders who helped me to develop my solid work ethic. They also showed me that balance in life is key and having a strong voice to advocate not only on behalf of your clients, but as a leader within the community, is essential.

Like most countries in the Caribbean, our citizens have become increasingly vocal in their opinions on national leadership. Typically, economists have led the discussion, with a focus on numbers and estimates. Most auditors and accountants who contribute to the conversation unfortunately have gone largely unheard, despite the valuable information shared.

Somehow, I was able to break the mold, creating a viral video that brought national attention to issues raised by our country's auditor general — which led to our profession having a more recognized voice, locally and regionally. This catapulted me into the public eye, and I have used the opportunity to discuss topics previously reserved almost exclusively for the audit and finance community. I love seeing citizens discussing audit topics like governance, accountability, and "tone at the top" with confidence and from an informed position. This has helped me recognize that the audit profession can also provide insight and advice on non-financial discussions, such as police reform, the criteria for national heroes, and perspectives on female, business, and political leadership!

I am grateful for my transition from external to internal auditing. As much as I loved my experience as an external auditor and the foundation it gave me, internal auditing has widened my perspective on the advice that I can give, not only as it relates to business but to society as a whole. The ability to take any situation or scenario and identify areas for improvement is an underrated and invaluable contribution for which internal auditors are uniquely positioned.

I am quite passionate about volunteerism and public speaking. I am currently a member of my country's Thorne Commission on Local Governance. Established by the Cabinet of Barbados, this body is in the process of restructuring the balance of power into the hands of the people to give them more autonomy over the governance of their affairs, in the wake of our transition from an independent nation to a republic. I also serve on the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados as a fellowship member and a member of their communications committee, and I am a member of Integrity Group Barbados, which seeks to raise awareness on issues of accountability, transparency, and good governance. These memberships have led to international speaking opportunities with organizations such as the U.S. Embassy and the Organization of American States.

Outside of my professional contributions to business and society, I most enjoy indulging in my artistic explorations. I am a lover of dance, having trained in modern, contemporary, African, and Caribbean styles, and painting. During the pandemic, working from home gave me the time to transition my pastimes from occasional indulgences to more serious endeavors, and I thoroughly enjoyed teaching myself new techniques and watching my work grow and evolve.

Krystle Howell, CIA, CPA, FCA

Internal Auditor, Sagicor Life, Inc., based in Barbados