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Correlates of internal audit function involvement in sustainability audits

Steven DeSimone (), Giuseppe D’Onza () and Gerrit Sarens ()
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Giuseppe D’Onza: University of Pisa
Gerrit Sarens: Université Catholique de Louvain

Journal of Management & Governance, 2021, vol. 25, issue 2, No 11, 591 pages

Abstract: Abstract While an increasing number of organizations are engaging in sustainability activities, assurance of these activities is relatively new. We investigate the presence of risk assessment by internal auditors, industry, internal audit function (IAF) age, and the release of sustainability reporting as correlates of organizations’ involving their IAFs in sustainability audits. Using data from a large sample of chief audit executives (CAEs), we find significant and positive associations between all of our test variables and IAF involvement in sustainability audits. Also, organizations in Anglo-Saxon countries are significantly less likely to involve their IAF in sustainability auditing, while listed organizations are more likely. Other control variables (organization size, IAF size, level of development of a risk management system, CAE experience, CAE environmental skills, and CAE education) have insignificant associations with IAF involvement in sustainability audits. These results have implications for practitioner benchmarking and training as well as policy regarding combined assurance.

Keywords: Sustainability audits; Internal auditing; Corporate governance; Risk assessment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s10997-020-09511-3

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