The research for this study was guided by the question whether an internal audit educational expectation gap exists between the level of work-readiness skills expected by employers in internal audit practice, and the actual level of capability of these skills transferred through the formal internal audit educational programmes offered by universities in the Republic of South Africa. An extensive literature study substantiated the research question.
The research methodology used for this study consists of a descriptive, quantitative method and various statistical analysis techniques. An electronic internet-based research questionnaire was distributed to the members on the database of the Institute of Internal Auditors (South Africa). The responses were automatically recorded, after which these were exported to an electronic spread sheet. At this point statistical analysis software was used for statistical analysis and interpretation of the data.
The results of the statistical analysis revealed that a large internal audit educational expectation gap exists between the expected and actual levels of skills capabilities of entering trainee internal auditors. The largest gap is perceived in respect of the Institute of Internal Auditors’ Internal Audit Standards and Practice Advisories. On average, employers expect a significantly higher level of skills capability where behavioural skills are concerned than what they expect in respect of technical skills capability levels. In addition, the results revealed that entering trainee internal auditors are perceived to be sensitised insofar as cultural differences are concerned.