The need for competent internal audit staff in South Africa is increasing significantly. Skills development
initiatives are high on the agenda of the internal audit profession globally. Prior research has addressed
competencies in various professional disciplines, as well as general competencies for internal auditors, but
little research has been done to determine the perceived levels of importance of the competency requirements
specifically for internal audit staff. This study aims to expand this knowledge area, first by identifying the levels
of importance accorded to the various competencies, as presented in formal professional guidance.
Thereafter, these required levels of competencies for internal audit staff are compared with the perceived
levels of importance ascribed to them by South African and global internal audit leaders. The study found that
there are inconsistencies in the categorisation of competencies and skills in the officially published internal
audit guidance. Despite this, the views of South African leaders do not differ significantly from their global
counterparts, although it appears that the overall level of perceived importance held by those in internal audit
practice is higher than that in the published internal audit guidance. It is recommended that the IIA
standardise, align and revise its guidance on required competencies and skills.
THIS ARTICLE SHOULD BE READ IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE FOLLOWING TWO ARTICLES IN THIS SPECIAL EDITION:
Internal audit competencies: skills requirements for internal audit management in South Africa, by Fourie et al.
Internal audit competencies: skills requirements for chief audit executives in South Africa, by Coetzee et al.
Fourie, Houdini; Plant, Kato; Coetzee, G.P. (Philna); Van Staden, J.M.(Southern African Institute of Government Auditors, 2013)
Internal auditing is playing an increasingly important role within organisations. The growing demand for
internal auditors, as business and corporate governance partners to organisational management, places a
Coetzee, G.P. (Philna); Fourie, Houdini; Plant, Kato; Barac, Karin(Southern African Institute of Government Auditors, 2013)
The role that internal auditing plays within organisations is changing and the need for competent internal
auditors who are able to address this change is also increasing. In South Africa internal auditing is recognised
Barac, Karin; Mdzikwa, J.T.(Southern African Institute of Government Auditors, 2016)
Independence is a cornerstone of the internal audit profession, hence its prominence in the definition of
internal auditing. The quality of the audit committee/internal audit activity relationship is important for ...