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Factors affecting the internal audit effectiveness: A survey of the Saudi public sector

Abdulaziz Alzeban and David Gwilliam

Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, 2014, vol. 23, issue 2, 74-86

Abstract: This study assesses factors influencing internal audit effectiveness (IAE) in Saudi Arabia. Data were obtained from 203 managers and 239 internal auditors from 79 Saudi Arabian public sector organizations. Multiple regression analysis examines the association between IAE and five principal factors. Results suggest that management support for IAE drives perceived effectiveness of the internal audit function from both management's and the internal auditors’ perspective. Management support is linked to hiring trained and experienced staff, providing sufficient resources, enhancing the relationship with external auditors, and having an independent internal audit department. Saudi Arabia is representative of many developed and developing environments, and its recent tradition of governance and audit is mirrored in countries worldwide. Moreover, its specific cultural traditions involving clan and tribal allegiances, and pervasive and core religious beliefs, characterize the GCC countries, the Arab World generally, and indeed, many other developing countries, irrespective of wealth. Thus, links between management support and internal audit effectiveness are likely generalizable beyond the Saudi public sector context.

Keywords: Internal audit effectiveness; Public sector audit; Internal audit in developing countries (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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DOI: 10.1016/j.intaccaudtax.2014.06.001

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