Contemporary internal auditing practices : (new) roles and influencing variables. Evidence from extended case studies
I. DE BEELDE
Following the recommendation made by Rittenberg (1999), this study encompasses the broader nature of internal auditing that is evolving in practice and confirmed by the revised definition of internal auditing and the new Professional Practices Framework, both issued by the IIA in 1999. This study, based on six extended case studies, attempts to contribute to the literature by studying contemporary internal auditing practices in Belgium (assurance and / or consulting oriented), refining the influence of three predefined variables (reporting relationship, organisational support and internal control system) and determining other important influencing variables. Most internal auditing activities could be classified as a combination of assurance and consulting services. Moreover, we recognised a limited proportion of pure assurance activities and a sometimes quite extensive proportion of pure consulting activities. On the one hand, a strong administrative reporting relationship with management, a strong organisational support, a weak internal control system and a relatively young internal auditing department are in most cases associated with relatively higher proportion of consulting oriented activities. On the other hand, a strong functional reporting relationship with the audit committee, a weak organisational support, a strong internal control system and a more mature internal auditing department are linked with a relatively higher proportion of assurance oriented activities. Based on the results of this study, specific hypotheses for further research are presented.
internal auditing, Belgium, extended case studies, assurance, consulting, reporting relationship, organisational support, internal control system, maturity
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