The use of internal audit by Australian companies

The use of internal audit by Australian companies Purpose – The purpose of this study is to explore the voluntary use of internal audit by Australian publicly listed companies and to identify factors that lead listed companies to have an internal audit function. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on the Institute of Internal Auditors' definition of internal auditing, the paper predicts that internal audit use is associated with factors related to risk management, strong internal controls and strong corporate governance. To test the predictions, the study combines data from a survey of listed companies with information from corporate annual reports. The paper also provides descriptive information on the use of internal audit. Findings – The results indicate that only one‐third of the sample companies use internal audit. While size appears to be the dominant driver, there is also a strong association between internal audit and the level of commitment to risk management. However, the study finds only weak support for an association between the use of internal audit and strong corporate governance. Research limitations/implications – A limitation of our study is that some of the variables in the model may not be good proxies for the factors being measured. Refinement of the model and the variables used provides an opportunity for future research. Practical implications – The limited use of internal audit by Australian companies has important implications for sound corporate governance. Originality/value – This is the first study that identifies factors associated with the use of internal audit by Australian listed companies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Managerial Auditing Journal Emerald Publishing

The use of internal audit by Australian companies

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0268-6902
DOI
10.1108/02686900610634775
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to explore the voluntary use of internal audit by Australian publicly listed companies and to identify factors that lead listed companies to have an internal audit function. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on the Institute of Internal Auditors' definition of internal auditing, the paper predicts that internal audit use is associated with factors related to risk management, strong internal controls and strong corporate governance. To test the predictions, the study combines data from a survey of listed companies with information from corporate annual reports. The paper also provides descriptive information on the use of internal audit. Findings – The results indicate that only one‐third of the sample companies use internal audit. While size appears to be the dominant driver, there is also a strong association between internal audit and the level of commitment to risk management. However, the study finds only weak support for an association between the use of internal audit and strong corporate governance. Research limitations/implications – A limitation of our study is that some of the variables in the model may not be good proxies for the factors being measured. Refinement of the model and the variables used provides an opportunity for future research. Practical implications – The limited use of internal audit by Australian companies has important implications for sound corporate governance. Originality/value – This is the first study that identifies factors associated with the use of internal audit by Australian listed companies.

Journal

Managerial Auditing JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 2006

Keywords: Auditing; Corporate governance; Risk management; Australia

References

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