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    Correlates of Co-Sourcing/Outsourcing of Internal Audit...
    research summary posted February 20, 2015 by Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips, tagged 13.0 Governance, 13.07 Internal auditor role and involvement in controls and reporting, 14.0 Corporate Matters, 14.11 Audit Committee Effectiveness 
    Correlates of Co-Sourcing/Outsourcing of Internal Audit Activities
    Practical Implications:

    The primary result that audit committee involvement is significantly and positively associated with “outsourcing” is an important finding that suggests a need for management to pay close attention to the role that audit committee plays in “outsourcing” internal audit activities. The significance of value-added-activities, missing-skill-set, and audit-staff-vacancies on “outsourcing” also require management attention because collectively these three variables indicate trade-offs between acquiring the expertise in-house or “outsourcing” to external service providers.

    For more information on this study, please contact Mohammad Abdolmohammadi


    Abdolmohammadi, M. 2013. Correlates of Co-Sourcing/Outsourcing of Internal Audit Activities. Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory 32(3): 69-85.

    Outsourcing, internal audit activities, audit committee involvement, missing skill set
    Purpose of the Study:

    I use responses from 1,059 chief audit executives (CAEs) of organizations located in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the U.K./Ireland, and the U.S. to investigate several correlates of co-sourcing/outsourcing (referred to as simply “outsourcing”) of internal audit activities. 

    Design/Method/ Approach:

    In 2010 the Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation (IIARF) conducted a survey of IIA’s membership world-wide. The long survey had detailed questions about various issues from CAE attributes, organization characteristics, to practice issues such as “outsourcing.” Called the Common Body of Knowledge in Internal Auditing or CBOK (2010), this database has responses from internal auditors of varying experience and professional rank. I only use CAE responses for my study of “outsourcing” because CAEs are presumed to be highly knowledgeable about various issues of internal audit activities, including “outsourcing.” While CBOK (2010) has over 13,500 responses from members of various professional rank (CAEs, audit managers, etc.) in over 100 countries, I limit the data used in my study to only CAEs from Anglo-culture countries. This is to mitigate the possibility of differences due to various languages and cultural dimensions, such as uncertainty avoidance, levels of femininity/masculinity, etc.  

    • An important finding of the study is that audit committee involvement is positively and significantly associated with “outsourcing” of internal audit activities. Interactions of audit committee involvement with organization size and location generally indicate that medium and large international/multinational organizations with audit committee involvement “outsource” more than medium and large local/national organizations with no audit committee involvement.
    • Other important findings indicate an inverse relationship between “outsourcing” and value-added-activities of the internal audit function, and positive relationships between “outsourcing” and missing skill set and audit staff vacancies.
    • Finally, I find no evidence of relationships between CAE age, college degree (graduate/undergraduate), major (accounting versus others), internal audit certification, and regular meetings with the audit committee and “outsourcing.” Also, country of residence (U.S. versus other Anglo-culture countries) is not significant, but for-profit organizations “outsource” significantly more of their internal audit activities than not-for-profit organizations.
    Corporate Matters, Governance
    Audit Committee Effectiveness, Internal auditor role and involvement in controls and reporting