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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The Global Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK) study on internal auditing is an ongoing research program that will broaden understanding of how internal auditing is practised throughout the world. At the core of the program is a survey of internal auditors worldwide regarding their professional activities. The survey findings will help in the development of guidance, standards, and certification examinations designed to serve more than 120,000 members of the Institute of Internal Auditors.
The purpose of the CBOK, which is funded by The Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation, is to:
develop a summary of the global practice of internal auditing;
provide insights on the practices of internal auditing, how they have changed and where they are going;
provide information on the context in which internal auditing is practised (the role within organizations, governance structures, regulation, etc.);
allow leaders to identify and anticipate change and align their organizations with best practices of internal auditing;
communicate data, analysis and results to the various international committees and IIA business units; and
assist with the development of guidance, standards and examinations.
These goals will be achieved by:
designing and distributing a worldwide survey to internal auditors to capture information regarding their professional activities;
creating modular research reports on topics that will produce a “living library” of information useful to internal audit practitioners; and
engaging leading internal audit researchers to:
develop critical insights into the data collected; and
draw implications that can be debated, refined and used as a basis to move the internal auditing profession forward.
The primary goal of the project is to develop a database of the practice of internal auditing on a worldwide basis. The database will be constructed such that it can be periodically repopulated. A competency framework is important to determine the changes in the practice of internal auditing due to the implementation of The IIA's new definition of internal auditing and the increased focus on the internal audit function as an important component of corporate governance. The expanded scope of internal auditing includes consulting activities, value-added services, evaluation and improvement of the effectiveness of the risk management and governance processes.
The worldwide practice of internal auditing is subject to diverse cultural, legal, and economic environments. While The IIA's generic standards provide a unifying mechanism for enhancing continuity and consistency across diverse legal and economic environments, research suggests that cultural, legal and economic differences influence the development of internal auditing systems in various countries. Since the Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing were promulgated, internal auditors worldwide have had the opportunity to standardize internal audit practice. This study is important because little evidence is reported in the literature concerning the extent of compliance of global affiliates with The IIA Framework and standards.
The lead research team from the Americas commences this special issue in Managerial Auditing Journal with a paper on the prior CBOKs and an overview of the 2006 study. This paper is followed by three literature reviews undertaken by research teams in the Asia Pacific region, the Americas and Europe. The next paper considers the results of the CBOK pre scope survey and this special issue concludes with a paper on the future of the internal audit profession by the President of The Institute of Internal Auditors Inc. We commend this special issue to you and plan a further special issue in 2007, when the results of this very important global study will be available for dissemination.
Philomena Leung and Barry J. CooperJoint Editors