Interaction between internal auditors and the audit committee: An analysis of expectations and perceptions
I. DE BEELDE
This study, based on six case studies within a Belgian context, provides a qualitative assessment of the interaction between internal auditors (IA) and audit committees (AC), by analysing their expectations and perceptions. It became clear that both groups have high expectations vis-à-vis each other, although perceptions of IA-AC interactions are not universally positive. Our empirical data indicate that audit committee members want internal auditors to be an important information provider. Therefore they expect internal auditors to demonstrate and communicate, as much as possible, their contribution to the monitoring and functioning of the organisation, and to play both an active and proactive role in risk management. It became clear that, in most cases, due to a mismatch of interests, there is an under-emphasis on the internal audit oversight role of the audit committee, which is more perceived by the internal auditors than by audit committee members. In order to reduce this mismatch, both parties should broaden their interests in a converging way, in conjunction with clear communication about the mission and roles of internal audit.
internal audit, audit committee, interaction, corporate governance, case studies.
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