Sustainability assurance and internal auditing in emerging markets

Sustainability assurance and internal auditing in emerging markets Purpose – Despite the increasing recognition that organizations should report on relevant sustainability matters, the importance and value to stakeholders of these reports being independently assured are not well appreciated. The objective of the paper is to underline that such assurance can be (and is) provided by the internal audit function and, in doing so, that function makes a significant contribution to effective corporate governance. Design/methodology/approach – Theoretical in nature, the paper makes reference to a few “real‐world” illustrations. It is review in character and in a relatively systematic manner reviews key internal auditing professional standards‐guidance in conjunction with prior theoretical and empirical research. Findings – The paper reinforces the argument that reporting of sustainability policies, practices and measures, without independent assurance, is of reduced value to stakeholders. The paper provides evidence to show how, despite the potential to do so, internal auditing has not always been promoted globally in this role. Research limitations/implications – The paper is limited to a theoretical consideration. There is potential for it to be enhanced by further empirical research demonstrating the value of independent internal auditing within sustainability programs and reporting. Originality/value – The paper is possibly the first to make explicit the linkage between the reporting of sustainability and the assurance of such reports. It should help make boards of organizations in emerging markets more aware of internal audit in relation to sustainability in terms of corporate responsibility and governance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Corporate Governance Emerald Publishing

Sustainability assurance and internal auditing in emerging markets

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1472-0701
DOI
10.1108/14720701111159299
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Despite the increasing recognition that organizations should report on relevant sustainability matters, the importance and value to stakeholders of these reports being independently assured are not well appreciated. The objective of the paper is to underline that such assurance can be (and is) provided by the internal audit function and, in doing so, that function makes a significant contribution to effective corporate governance. Design/methodology/approach – Theoretical in nature, the paper makes reference to a few “real‐world” illustrations. It is review in character and in a relatively systematic manner reviews key internal auditing professional standards‐guidance in conjunction with prior theoretical and empirical research. Findings – The paper reinforces the argument that reporting of sustainability policies, practices and measures, without independent assurance, is of reduced value to stakeholders. The paper provides evidence to show how, despite the potential to do so, internal auditing has not always been promoted globally in this role. Research limitations/implications – The paper is limited to a theoretical consideration. There is potential for it to be enhanced by further empirical research demonstrating the value of independent internal auditing within sustainability programs and reporting. Originality/value – The paper is possibly the first to make explicit the linkage between the reporting of sustainability and the assurance of such reports. It should help make boards of organizations in emerging markets more aware of internal audit in relation to sustainability in terms of corporate responsibility and governance.

Journal

Corporate GovernanceEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 9, 2011

Keywords: Assurance; Corporate responsibility; Emerging markets; Governance; Internal auditing; Sustainability

References

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