Internal auditing and audit committees: Four essays on issues in research and practice

This thesis takes a twofold methodological approach to analyze issues prevalent in internal audit and audit committee research and practice. Two bibliometric analyses were conducted to provide insights on the research meta in both research fields based on bibliographic data of published articles.

First, an analysis of citation and co-citation patterns highlights the intellectual structure of audit committee research articles that were published between 1977 and the end of 2018 in six leading accounting journals. Results of the analysis highlight five co-citation clusters that outline core research areas that emerged before and after the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The study documents an inconsistent focus within studies on a broad array of determinants of audit committee effectiveness. Second, a citation, co-citation, and authorship analysis was conducted based on 170 articles that cover internal auditing either directly or peripherally and were published between 1926 and the end of 2016. Results of the analysis provide evidence for a weakly developed but growing field of research.

Two additional chapters rely on questionnaire data to explore the determinants of internal audit joint audits and chief audit executive compensation.

The first of both chapters focuses on three theoretical constructs that determine the likelihood that internal auditors perform joint audits together with external auditors, other external local experts, locally appointed internal auditors or specialist peers from within the organization. Findings of a logistic regression analysis suggest that at least one measure of three different constructs (internal audit structures and resources, activities and processes, environmental factors) positively influences the likelihood of joint audits.

In a subsequent chapter, the compensation scheme of chief audit executives is studied to shed light on the determinants of their specific compensation levels. Results of an ordered logistic regression based on survey data reveal internal audit competence and independence as fundamental drivers of chief audit executive compensation and provide evidence that firm complexity in terms of foreign sales, listing status, and need for monitoring constitute additional salary determinants related to the internal audit environment.


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