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Effects of digitalisation of organisations on internal audit activities and practices

Nathanaël Betti (Louvain Research Institute in Management and Organizations, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)
Gerrit Sarens (Louvain Research Institute in Management and Organizations, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)
Ingrid Poncin (Louvain Research Institute in Management and Organizations, Université catholique de Louvain, Mons, Belgium)

Managerial Auditing Journal

ISSN: 0268-6902

Article publication date: 16 August 2021

Issue publication date: 25 August 2021

1779

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how the internal audit function (IAF) modifies its activities and practices in relation to the digitalisation the organisation. This paper specifically examines the use of data analytics and the performance of consulting activities by internal auditors.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on a survey conducted with 82 chief audit executives based in the USA and members of the institute of internal auditors.

Findings

Results indicate a positive relation between the organisation’s level of digitalisation and the use of data analytics by internal auditors during their missions. Results also indicate that the organisation’s level of digitalisation has an indirect effect on the proportion of the internal audit planning dedicated to consulting activities. Specifically, the use of data analytics mediates the relationship between the organisation’s level of digitalisation and the proportion of the internal audit planning dedicated to consulting activities.

Research limitations/implications

This research was conducted amongst internal auditors based in the US Future research could investigate the insights of other internal audit stakeholders and investigate different legal contexts.

Practical implications

Results show that digitalisation increases the use of data analytics by internal auditors and the performance of consulting activities. The results, therefore, highlight the importance of these two aspects for the IAF to continue to bring value to organisations.

Originality/value

This research provides more insights on internal audit working practices. The digitalisation of the organisation leads the IAF to use more data analytics and perform more consulting activities.

Keywords

Citation

Betti, N., Sarens, G. and Poncin, I. (2021), "Effects of digitalisation of organisations on internal audit activities and practices", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 36 No. 6, pp. 872-888. https://doi.org/10.1108/MAJ-08-2020-2792

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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