oa African Journal of Public Affairs - A holistic view of internal audit attributes – the case of metropolitan municipalities in South Africa

Volume 9 Number 9
  • ISSN : 1997-7441



Underlying the internal audit process and the work internal auditors do as part of their assurance and consultancy mandate for role players such as the audit committees and municipal managers, among others, are attributes, which internal auditors must uphold and which contribute to the status of internal audit and to the credibility of the work done. Numerous reports indicate that internal audit functions are not functioning properly in this regard which in turn could hamper the trust placed in their work. The aim of this article is to determine through a holistic approach, what the current status is of internal audit’s attributes compliance. Consequently, the article will explore this aspect of the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (ISPPIA) in terms of internal audit functions’ attributes which they must uphold in the conduct of their work. In this regard, annual report data of the eight metropolitan municipalities in South Africa was inductively analysed through classical content analysis with specific focus on internal audit attributes. Annual report data was then compared with questionnaire responses received from Chief Audit Executives (CAEs). The article found that internal audit functions are complying with the key attributes while annual report data shows scant evidence of this fact and showed that possible policy guidelines should be considered for the disclosure of internal audit’s attributes in public annual reports.

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