Volume 5 ISSUE 1

IMPACT OF AUDIT COMMITTEE CHARACTERISTICS ON INTERNAL AUDIT CONTRIBUTION TO FINANCIAL STATEMENT AUDITS

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Abstract
The extent to which audit committees impact the internal audit function of public companies has been subject of debate among various schools of thought. This paper contributes to this debate by examining the impact of audit committee characteristics on the extent of internal audit contribution to financial statement audits. Using survey data from chief internal auditors of 76 Nigerian publicly listed firms, evidence was provided of a positive relationship between internal audit contribution to financial statement audits and three audits committee characteristics: The proportion of independent audit committee members, their knowledge of accounting and auditing, and the extent of audit committee review of internal audit programs, budget and coordination proposals. The results indicate that more effective audit committees and well-resourced internal audits units influence the extent to which internal auditors contribute to the external audit.

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