The Relationship Between Internal Audit and Senior Management: A Qualitative Analysis of Expectations and Perceptions

23 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2007  

Gerrit Sarens

Ghent University - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Department of Accounting and Corporate Finance

Ignace De Beelde

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent - Department of Accountancy and Corporate Finance

Abstract

This study, based upon Belgian case studies, provides a qualitative assessment of the relationship between internal audit and senior management, analysing the expectations and perceptions of both parties. We found that senior management's expectations have a significant influence on internal audit and that internal audit, generally, is able to meet most of these expectations. Senior management wants internal audit to compensate for the loss of control they experience resulting from increased organisational complexity. Senior management expects internal audit to fulfil a supporting role in the monitoring and improvement of risk management and internal control, and wants them to monitor the corporate culture. Furthermore, they expect internal audit to be a training ground for future managers. On the other hand, internal audit expects senior management to take the first steps in the formalisation of the risk management system. They are looking for senior management support, as this benefits their overall acceptance.

Suggested Citation

Sarens, Gerrit and De Beelde, Ignace, The Relationship Between Internal Audit and Senior Management: A Qualitative Analysis of Expectations and Perceptions. International Journal of Auditing, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 219-241, November 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=975567 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1099-1123.2006.00351.x

Gerrit Sarens (Contact Author)

Ghent University - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Department of Accounting and Corporate Finance ( email )

Coupure Links 653
B-9000 Ghent, 9000
Belgium

Ignace De Beelde

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent - Department of Accountancy and Corporate Finance ( email )

Bedrijfsfinanciering (RUG)
Kuiperskaai 55 E
Ghent, B-9000
Belgium

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