The purpose of this paper is to explore the roles of the initial perceptions of chief audit executives (CAEs) on the role of internal audit function (IAF) in integrated reporting (IR) in South Africa. This paper draws attention to possible challenges and barriers to internal audit’s (IAs) involvement in the integrated reporting process (IRP).
Detailed interviews were carried out in 2016 with 10 CAEs from the EY Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards for South Africa. An interpretive approach involving thematic content analysis was used to construct key themes which provided the CAE’s initial perception of the IAF’s role in IRP.
Despite the current role being limited, the findings suggest that the IAF has unexploited potential to improve the IRP. These roles include: providing assurance on data integrity; reviewing risks and opportunities; evaluating the adequacy of governance and risk management controls and giving assurance on the IRP. A benefit to the IAFs involvement in the IRP relates to their extensive knowledge of the business. The lack of skills in the IA profession is an area of concern, as there is a shortage of capacity and specialist skills.
The interpretive style will assist IAFs to understand and define their role in the IRP, as well as to follow best practice in the IRP.
This paper is the first to explore the views and make recommendations on the role of the IAF in the IRP. This paper can be seen as an important contribution to academic research as the role of IAF in the IRP is exploratory in a global context.
Engelbrecht, L., Yasseen, Y. and Omarjee, I. (2018), "The role of the internal audit function in integrated reporting: a developing economy perspective", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 657-674. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEDAR-10-2017-0226Download as .RIS
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