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An examination of the relationship between internal and external audit in the Saudi Arabian corporate sector

Abdulrahman A.M. Al‐Twaijry (College of Business and Economics, King Saud University, Al‐Qaseem, Saudi Arabia)
John A. Brierley (University of Sheffield Management School, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
David R. Gwilliam (School of Management and Business, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK)

Managerial Auditing Journal

ISSN: 0268-6902

Article publication date: 1 September 2004



This paper uses questionnaires from and interviews to examine the level of co‐operation and co‐ordination between directors of internal audit departments, and partners and managers in external audit firms in Saudi Arabian companies. The results revealed that external auditors expressed concern about the independence, scope of work and small size of many internal audit departments. Internal auditors considered co‐operation between internal and external audits to be limited, although external auditors were more positive about the extent of co‐operation when the internal audit department was of high quality. The extent of reliance by the external auditor on the work of the internal auditor varied with the quality of the internal audit department. External auditors suggested that the objectivity, competence and work experience were important factors affecting the reliance decision. They felt that the internal audit function in many Saudi companies lacked professionalism and independence from management, which adversely affected its work and the potential for reliance thereon.



Al‐Twaijry, A.A.M., Brierley, J.A. and Gwilliam, D.R. (2004), "An examination of the relationship between internal and external audit in the Saudi Arabian corporate sector", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 19 No. 7, pp. 929-944.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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