This study explored specific features of the internal audit function in South Africa that affects the demand for
internal auditors in this country. The study compared the views of chief audit executives of large listed
companies with those working for other (smaller) South African companies. There were differences in the
views held by these two groups of executives.
The results showed that most employees in an internal audit function are employed at a senior internal auditor
level and although staff movements occur, the incumbent chief audit executive remains in that position for a
relatively lengthy period. There is a shortage of competent internal auditors at various levels in South Africa,
especially in the operational/performance and financial audit areas. Other features that were investigated in
the study include experience, qualifications and remuneration of chief audit executives, internal audit
vacancies per specialisation field, and recruitment sources.
Various areas for future research were identified, including exploring the need to introduce a formal
traineeship programme for internal auditors, the skills requirements at different internal audit post levels, and
the standing of the Certified Internal Auditor designation in the work environment.