This paper aims to assess internal audit quality (IAQ) by using automated textual analysis of disclosures of internal audit mechanisms in annual reports.
This paper uses seven text mining techniques to construct classification models that predict whether companies listed on the Athens Stock Exchange are audited by a Big 4 firm, an auditor selection that prior research finds is associated with higher IAQ. The classification accuracy of the models is compared to predictions based on financial indicators.
The results show that classification models developed using text analysis can be a promising alternative proxy in assessing IAQ. Terms, N-Grams and financial indicators of a company, as they are presented in the annual reports, can provide information on the IAQ.
This study offers a novel approach to assessing the IAQ by applying textual analysis techniques. These findings are important for those who oversee internal audit activities, assess internal audit performance or want to improve or evaluate internal audit systems, such as managers or audit committees. Practitioners, regulators and investors may also extract useful information on internal audit and internal auditors by using textual analysis. The insights are also relevant for external auditors who are required to consider various aspects of corporate governance, including IAQ.
IAQ has been the subject of thorough examination. However, this study is the first attempt, to the authors’ knowledge, to introduce an innovative text mining approach utilizing unstructured textual disclosure from annual reports to develop a proxy for IAQ. It contributes to the internal audit field literature by further exploring concerns relevant to IAQ.
This paper forms part of a special section “Textual-Analysis for Research in Professional Judgment and Decision Making, Audit and Assurance, Risk, Control, Governance, and Regulation”, guest edited by Louise Hayes.
Boskou, G., Kirkos, E. and Spathis, C. (2019), "Classifying internal audit quality using textual analysis: the case of auditor selection", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 34 No. 8, pp. 924-950. https://doi.org/10.1108/MAJ-01-2018-1785
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