Marianne van Staden* and Blanche Steyn
The profile of the average chief audit executive was determined. This profile was then related to the profile requirements for the prospective chief audit executive, as well as chief audit executives’ perceptions of the internal audit quality of their internal audit functions. The results of the study are based on responses to questionnaires completed by 30 chief audit executives of larger South African listed companies. The study found that the average chief audit executive holds a postgraduate academic qualification, obtained professional certification in either external or internal auditing or both, is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors, has more than five years of internal auditing experience, has been a chief audit executive for more than five years, has worked for his or her current employer for approximately five years and receives an annual remuneration in excess of one million rand. Furthermore, the study found that the profile of the average chief audit executive closely relates to that required of the prospective chief audit executive and positively relates to perceived internal audit quality of internal audit functions. The results of this study provide high level evidence that the profile of the chief audit executive has a positive impact on internal audit quality. Audit committees can use these results as a benchmark when appointing future chief audit executives and the Institute of Internal Auditors can use them in efforts to enhance the professionalism of internal auditing.
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