The reliance of external auditors on internal auditors

Hasnah Haron (School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Andrew Chambers (Management Audit Ltd, Sleaford, UK)
Rozaldy Ramsi (School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Ishak Ismail (School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)

Managerial Auditing Journal

ISSN: 0268-6902

Publication date: 1 December 2004


External auditors often rely on other professionals for the audit of the financial statements of their clients. Generally, external auditors rely on clients’ internal auditors. Reliance on internal auditors results in cost savings to the client. The objective of this study is to determine which of the criteria as mentioned by AI 610 will be used by the external auditors to evaluate the work of the internal auditors. Respondents of the study consist of those from the big four and non‐big four firms located in Kedah and Penang. A one‐quarter replicate of 28 Kempthorne's design was used to determine the experimental task. The findings of the study indicate that technical competence and scope of function are the two most important criteria that external auditors consider in their reliance on internal auditors. Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA), being the standard setter of the auditing standards in Malaysia, will have to develop precise and operational criteria for these factors in planning the audits. The study also shows that there was consistency in audit judgement.



Haron, H., Chambers, A., Ramsi, R. and Ismail, I. (2004), "The reliance of external auditors on internal auditors", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 19 No. 9, pp. 1148-1159.

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