Views on the applicability of the internal audit standards and competencies for internal auditors : an African perspective

11 Nov 2013

Through its Research Foundation, the Institute of Internal Auditors has engaged in various studies to develop a common body of knowledge for internal auditors. These results were reported on from a global perspective; however, local context also has an influence, and there are country-specific forces that influence the application of the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and the core competencies needed by internal auditors. Views expressed by internal auditing stakeholders from different countries on the application of the Standards and core competencies – including knowledge areas, tools and techniques, technical skills, and behavioural aspects – therefore exhibit distinctive characteristics depending on the country-specific context. This article presents an overview that highlights the African perspective and provides an introduction to and overview of the articles that follow in this special edition of the Southern African Journal of Accountability that use data extracted from the CBOK database to contrast the situation of internal audit in South Africa and the rest of Africa with that of other regions internationally. This article reports on the performance of a comparative analysis of the views of internal auditors on core competencies and the application of the Standards as presented in the Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation’s 2010 CBOK study’ response database. Being the first study that compares the views of internal audit stakeholders from an African perspective, it adds value by recognising that Africa consists of countries that are still developing, and highlights the regional similarities and differences of views held by internal auditors in South Africa, Ethiopia and other countries in Africa to those of selected developed countries, to show an African perspective on and appreciation of internal audit.