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Internal audit outsourcing in Australia

Peter Carey, Nava Subramaniam and Karin Chua Wee Ching

Accounting and Finance, 2006, vol. 46, issue 1, 11-30

Abstract: The present study investigates the determinants of internal audit outsourcing using survey data on 99 companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, where 54.5 per cent fully rely on in‐house facilities and 45.5 per cent outsource some or all of their internal audit function. Results from logistic regression analyses suggest that internal audit outsourcing is associated with perceived cost savings and the technical competence of the external provider. For a subsample of firms that have previously undertaken internal audit activities before outsourcing, contrary to expectations, the larger the organization the greater the propensity to outsource. In addition, smaller firms are found to be adopting internal audit for the first time, through outsourcing. These results suggest that internal audit outsourcing is an expanding business opportunity for professional accountants; but with 75 per cent of firms outsourcing to their external auditor, there are implications for external auditor independence.

Date: 2006
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