Original Research

Investigating the impact of antecedents of internal audit function effectiveness at a private university in Ghana

Ophelia A. Mensah, Bongani Ngwenya, Theuns Pelser
Acta Commercii | Vol 20, No 1 | a778 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v20i1.778 | © 2020 Ophelia A. Mensah, Bongani Ngwenya, Theuns Pelser | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 March 2019 | Published: 18 June 2020

About the author(s)

Ophelia A. Mensah, Finance Department, Valley View University, Accra, Ghana
Bongani Ngwenya, Graduate School of Business and Leadership, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Theuns Pelser, Graduate School of Business and Leadership, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: The need for sound corporate governance has directed attention to internal auditing as a corporate governance tool and mechanism in both public and private sector organisations.

Research purpose: The study examined the impact of management support and commitment, staff competence and independence of internal auditors as the antecedents of the effectiveness of an internal auditing function.

Motivation for the study: This study was motivated by the need to assess the effectiveness of internal auditing as a corporate governance tool in a non-profit organisation.

Research design, approach and methods: A quantitative case study design was employed in this study. A structured questionnaire was administered to 250 respondents, systematic randomly selected from a target population of 480. Data collected were analysed descriptively and inferentially. The inferential statistics employed were correlation and multiple regression.

Main findings: The results reveal that, independence of the internal auditing staff (mean = 6.05, standard deviation [SD] = 1.032); their competence (mean = 6.00, SD = 1.132); and support and commitment of management (mean = 4.80, SD = 1.679) have impact on the effectiveness of internal auditing (mean = 6.44, SD = 0.863). Further more, the antecedents (r = 0.834*, r2 = 0.686, p < 0.01, adj. r2 = 0.677) have a positive correlation with internal audit effectiveness, and collectively account for 68.6% of the effectiveness of internal audit function.

Practical/managerial implications: Management should ensure, (1) full support and commitment to the internal auditing function; (2) adequate resources are available; (3) appropriate skills and experience and (4) consistent training and development of internal auditing staff.

Contribution/value-add: This study extends the academic debate on internal auditing as a corporate governance tool of managing the agency problem inherent in non-profit organisations.


Keywords

internal audit; internal control; audit independence; management support; management commitment

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