Institutions often struggle to know whether the investments they make in resource allocations for internal auditing are appropriate and effective. The purpose of this research is to develop and test a conceptual model of internal audit effective-sizing.
Not all internal audit functions are the same, nor do they have the same mission within their institutions. Therefore, simply comparing the size of one internal audit function with another – even in organizations with similar characteristics and the same relative size – can give misleading indications as to the appropriate size of an internal audit activity.
This study led to development of a conceptual model of internal audit effective-sizing that articulates the key factors that may be tailored to each organization's unique characteristics, mission, personnel, and quality profile. It examines seven critical factors that determine the size of an internal audit function:
- Characteristics of the college or university
- Characteristics of the governance structure of the college or university
- Mission of the internal audit function as seen by management, the Board of Regents, and the internal audit function
- The internal audit value proposition as executed by the internal audit function
- The alignment of internal audit with management and Board of Regents expectations
- Various characteristics of the internal audit activity (e.g., staffing)
- Internal audit service quality
This model will help institutions better allocate their resources and reflect better alignment between management and audit committee values for internal audit and the delivery of value-added activities. Included is an interactive tool to assist chief audit executives (CAEs) in determining the appropriate size for the internal audit function of their institution.