PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine whether coordination between external auditors and the internal audit function affect the timeliness of audit reports as proxied by audit delay.Design/methodology/approachThis study uses a survey of chief internal auditors from Tunisian listed companies to analyze the extent of coordination between IAFs and external auditors. Data spanning a four year period (2011-2014) was collected for 53 listed companies. Further, regression analysis was used to test the hypothesis.FindingsResults indicate that greater coordination between internal and external auditors results in timelier financial reporting.Practical implicationsOverall, the study makes several important contributions. Findings provide important insights that an IAF acts as a valuable resource to external auditors. The results should be of interest to managers, external auditors and the Tunisian Financial Market Council.Originality/valueThis paper is one of few studies which have examined the association between internal-external audit coordination and timeliness of audit reports in an emerging market. The study makes a meaningful contribution to the corporate governance literature by investigating the influence of internal audit assistance on the delivery of timely audited financial information to the capital market. Results also have policy implications for Tunisian regulators with respect to the promotion of internal auditing best practices.
EuroMed Journal of Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 8, 2018