Company Characteristics and Their Effects on the Size of the Internal Audit Function: Empirical Evidence From European Countries

41 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2019

See all articles by Marc Eulerich

Marc Eulerich

University of Duisburg-Essen, Mercator School of Management

Christian Lohmann

University of Wuppertal

Date Written: June 25, 2019

Abstract

The internal audit function (IAF) has become one of the main pillars of good corporate governance in recent years. Empirical findings show that the size of the IAF varies considerably across companies. This study analyzes the effect of selected company characteristics on the size of the IAF. First, a theoretical model outlines the idea that IAF size depends on company characteristics that affect existing information asymmetries within the company. Second, we test this relationship by analyzing comprehensive survey data obtained from chief audit executives from 283 Austrian, German, and Swiss organizations. Using a nonparametric regression approach, we identify a set of company characteristics as key drivers of IAF size. Furthermore, the empirical analysis identifies threshold levels for several metric company characteristics, such as the number of employees and the number of subsidiaries, whose effects on the size of the IAF change its intensity. Additionally, our study provides a helpful benchmark for the appropriateness of a company’s IAF size, which is of value for practitioners.

Keywords: Company characteristics, Company size, Internal audit, Internal audit function

JEL Classification: G34, M40, M49

Suggested Citation

Eulerich, Marc and Lohmann, Christian, Company Characteristics and Their Effects on the Size of the Internal Audit Function: Empirical Evidence From European Countries (June 25, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3409928 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3409928

Marc Eulerich (Contact Author)

University of Duisburg-Essen, Mercator School of Management ( email )

Lotharstrasse 65
Duisburg, 47057
Germany
00492033792600 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.msm.uni-due.de/ircg

Christian Lohmann

University of Wuppertal ( email )

Gaußstraße 20
42097 Wuppertal
Germany

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