Purpose – This study seeks to analyze and explore whether the organizational profile, the size of the internal audit function (IAF) and internal audit (IA) practices are related to the age of the IAF. Design/methodology/approach – This study is based on data collected from the Common Body of Knowledge study conducted by the Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation in 2006. In total, 9,366 practitioners completed the questionnaire, representing 92 countries. Findings – This study has identified three clusters of IAF based on their age. The findings show that: the organizational profile is significantly different between these three clusters; the current size of the IAF is related to the age of the IAF; those IAFs that were set up in the early days of the IIA (established in 1941) are more likely to use the IIA Standards and have more internal auditors with internal auditing qualifications; a quality assurance and improvement program is more common within older IAFs; and older IAFs have a more diversified IA agenda and more frequently perform advanced IA activities. Research limitations/implications – This paper does not allow conclusions to be reached on causality: the results in this paper are based only on univariate association tests. Given that age of the IAF is not a proxy for its maturity, a multidimensional measure of the maturity of an IAF could be developed. Practical implications – The results reported in this paper can be useful for practitioners who wish to benchmark their IAF and for the IIA to continue implementing their mission “progress through sharing”. Originality/value – This is the first large‐scale study focusing on the age of the IAF. The results of this study have resulted in interesting directions for future research.
Managerial Auditing Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 30, 2010
Keywords: Internal auditing; Organizational profiles
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