This study investigates (1) whether agency variables are associated with the relative size of the internal audit function (IAF); (2) whether the IAF is complementary to other monitoring mechanisms such as independent board members and an active audit committee; and (3) the impact of the control environment on the relative size of the IAF. We use data from a sample of Belgian firms. We find evidence of a monitoring role for the IAF in corporate governance. Specifically, the relative IAF size is positively related to management share ownership. Also, we find evidence for a substitution effect between independent board members and the IAF. Finally, it turns out that a supportive control environment also has a positive impact on the relative size of the IAF. Our results can benefit companies interested in assessing the current size of their IAF and the role that it can play in corporate governance.
International Journal of Auditing – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 2011
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