Effective Sizing of Internal Audit Activities for Colleges and Universities

  • Item No. : 5014
  • ISBN : 978-0-89413-689-4
  • Publisher : The IIA Research Foundation
  • Publish Date : November 2010
  • Authors : Urton L. Anderson, Ph.D, CIA, CCSA, CFSA, CGAP
    Margaret H. Christ, Ph.D, CIA
    Karla M. Johnstone, Ph.D
    Larry Rittenberg, Ph.D, CIA
  • Media : Paperback with CD/DVD
  • Page count : 66
  • Dimensions : 7x10
  • Member Price : $25.00
  • Non-Member Price : $35.00

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How much of an institution’s resources should be allocated to the function of internal auditing? It is widely accepted that internal auditing is a key element of internal control, and that it is key to the performance and accountability demands of colleges and universities. Yet, institutions often struggle to know whether the investments they make in resource allocations for internal auditing are appropriate and effective.


The purpose of this research is to develop and test a conceptual model of internal audit effective-sizing.


Not all internal audit activities are the same, nor do they have the same mission within their institutions. Therefore, simply comparing the size of one internal audit activity with another—even in organizations with similar characteristics and the same relative size—can give misleading indications as to the appropriate size of an internal audit activity.
This study led to development of a conceptual model of internal audit effective-sizing that articulates the key factors that may be tailored to each organization's unique characteristics, mission, personnel, and quality profile. It examines seven critical factors that determine the size of an internal audit function:
  1. Characteristics of the college or university.
  2. Characteristics of the governance structure of the college or university.
  3. Mission of the internal sudit activity as seen by management, the Board of Regents, and the internal audit function.
  4. The internal audit value proposition as executed by the internal audit activity.
  5. The alignment of internal audit with management and Board of Regents expectations.
  6. Various characteristics of the internal audit activity (e.g., staffing).
  7. Internal audit service quality.
This model will help institutions better allocate their resources and reflect better alignment between management and audit committee values for internal audit and the delivery of value-added activities.
Included is an interactive tool to assist chief audit executives in determining the appropriate size for the internal audit activity of their institution.