We investigate the concept of internal audit function (IAF) quality from a multi-stakeholder perspective through conducting 36 interviews with key IAF stakeholder groups: audit committee members, senior management, internal audit executives, and outsourced internal audit partners from the major accounting firms. We adapt established quality frameworks which suggest quality is a five-dimensional construct (including input, process, output, outcome, and contextual dimensions) to the internal audit context. We find that the various stakeholder groups focus on different quality dimensions in their evaluation of IAF quality. For example, the groups focus on the process dimension (internal audit executives), output dimension (audit committee members and internal audit partners), or outcome dimension (senior management and internal audit partners). We also find that the five dimensions comprise multiple indicators of IAF quality. We conduct six supplementary interviews with external audit partners to compare their insights on IAF quality to the focal IAF stakeholder groups. External auditors evaluate quality via the output dimension after an ex-ante assessment focusing on the input dimension. Finally, we contribute to the IAF quality literature by developing a multi-stakeholder IAF quality framework.
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12 Oct 2013
Supervisor: Duncan, K. (Supervisor)
Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisFile