PURPOSE : The purpose of this study is to propose a framework for the evaluation of the perceived value internal audit functions add to their organisations. The framework is based on service quality measurement principles, specifically SERVPERF, which is applied to internal auditing.
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH : Insights obtained from the literature on internal auditing and service quality disciplines were synthesised to identify and structure value-adding attributes of internal auditing. A thematic analysis of published profiles (by Protiviti) of various organisations’ internal audit functions were analysed and evaluated against those attributes identified in the literature to formulate an evaluation framework based on service quality measurement principles.
FINDINGS : The identified value-adding attributes were categorised according to the dimensions of the SERVPERF service quality measurement instrument to formulate a framework for evaluation of the value added by internal audit functions. It was found that the SERVPERF dimensions appear to be relevant to internal auditing. The SERVPERF instrument was therefore adapted to evaluate the value added by internal auditing as a service.
PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS : This paper contributes to both the theory and practice of internal auditing by proposing formal dimensions of a value-adding internal audit service which can then serve as a reference point from which to evaluate the value added to an organisation. The framework can serve as a starting point for internal audit functions to develop their service offering and/or form the foundation of stakeholder satisfaction surveys.
ORIGINALITY/VALUE : The study contributes to the literature by applying service quality principles to internal auditing. A holistic framework that can be used for the evaluation of the value added by internal audit functions based on stakeholder perceptions is proposed. The framework juxtaposes attributes of value-adding internal auditing with recognised service quality performance measures. The notion of value added is investigated to better understand the concept in the context of internal auditing services.