Internal Auditing : A shift in role and scope

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen; Uppsala universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen


Purpose: Our purpose is to investigate if the documentation of an internalaudit department at banks reflects a shift towards more consultingactivities, and how this potential change in the internal audit doc-umentation can be explained.

Background: Previous research indicates that internal audit has developed fromits traditional assurance activities to include more consulting ac-tivities such as risk management assistance and corporate govern-ance support. Some researches argue that this development canhave a negative impact on internal auditor independence. Howev-er, there is a lack of research in this area using documentation andcontent analysis of internal audit reports.

Method: In this study, we have done qualitative content analysis of internaldocuments collected from the period 2004-2013. These docu-ments are analyzed using a coding scheme based on previous re-search.

Conclusion: By qualitatively analysing the activities reported we find that thedocumentation reflects a shift, over time, towards more activitiesthat we classified as consulting. We argue that this can mainly beexplained by coercive and normative isomorphism; for example,regulatory pressures and influences from the Institute of InternalAuditors. We also argue that internal auditing might benefit froma more consistent view of the role.

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