THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN JOURNAL OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND AUDITING RESEARCH VOLUME 13 CONTENT Internal audit in the statutory bodies and government-linked companies of Malaysia (2005 – 2008): Dream of Dreams? A framework for the development of an organisational governance maturity model: a tool for internal auditors The effect of specific internal audit function features on the demand for internal auditors in South Africa Using guest lecturers to address the gap between theory and practice in auditing studies at a South African university – a case study The perceived advantage of work experience as a  learning tool for university auditing students ABSTRACTS Internal audit in the statutory bodies and government-linked companies of Malaysia (2005 – 2008): Dream of Dreams? (A Md Ali, MH Sahdan, S Saad & JD Gloeck) This is the third and final part of a series of studies conducted on the state of internal audit in Malaysia’s public sector. The present study covers 47 organizations at the federal government level: 27 statutory bodies and 20 government-linked companies. From the face-to-face interviews conducted with internal auditors over the three year period of 2005 to 2008, the findings echo those of the previous two internal audit studies: Azham et al (2007a) on internal audit in the state and local governments of Malaysia, and Azham et al (2007b) on internal audit in the nation’s federal government ministries, departments and agencies. That is, there is still much left to be desired of the internal audit function in a majority of the organizations. Despite this very fact, there exists much hope and high aspirations among the internal auditors that the internal audit function in their organizations is only going to get better. In relation to this, they have come out with numerous ideas for internal audit strengthening in the public sector as a whole. Unfortunately, their attitude suggesting that “hope springs eternal” is incongruous with the depressing realities of Malaysian governance in several levels of government documented by these researchers and others over the years. Hence, just like the case of external audit for Malaysian companies in the decades following the implementation of the New Economic Policy in the early 1970s (Azham 1999), the effectiveness of internal audit in the public sector of Malaysia appears to be following suit, a case of hope being strangled by experience – assuming the current pace of change taking place in the Malaysian polity does not improve. [ BACK TO THE TOP ] A framework for the development of an organisational governance maturity model: a tool for internal auditors (N Wilkinson & K Plant) The study aims to develop a framework for an organisational governance maturity model that can be used by the internal audit function to assess the effectiveness of an organisation’s governance framework. A review of the literature on organisational governance and on the role of the internal auditor was conducted. Based on the literature, a framework for the development of a governance maturity model is proposed. A need was identified to develop such a framework due to the fact that there is very limited literature available specifically on governance maturity models. Relevant international maturity models were studied and used as a basis for developing the specific governance maturity model framework. The study proposes a framework that highlights the desirable attributes of leadership, systems, structures, processes and communication to stakeholders that should be present at various maturity levels. In addition, the proposed framework could be used by internal auditors to assess organisational governance as required by the International Professional Practices Framework issued by the Institute of Internal Auditors. [ BACK TO THE TOP ] The effect of specific internal audit function features on the demand for internal auditors in South Africa (K Barac & GP Coetzee) 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. [ BACK TO THE TOP ] Using guest lecturers to address the gap between theory and practice in auditing studies at a South African university – a case study (R Butler & SPJ von Wielligh) The objective of this study was to investigate students’ perceptions about the appropriateness and usefulness of guest lectures as a teaching method after they attended three guest lecturer events during their Auditing studies at postgraduate level. In order to determine whether guest lectures can provide an effective real-life learning experience for students in auditing studies at South African universities, data was collected by means of a research questionnaire completed by the students who attended the guest lecture events. The findings from the study indicated that students perceive that guest lectures in appropriate topics, presented by carefully selected guest lecturers from practice, can indeed provide an effective real-life learning experience for students in auditing studies at South African universities. The findings from this study make a contribution to the academic and practical aspects of auditing education by documenting inter alia the benefits of this teaching method. [ BACK TO THE TOP ] The perceived advantage of work experience as a  learning tool for university auditing students (RJ Rudman & J Terblanche) In 2010 the accounting profession in South Africa adopted a new competency framework (SAICA 2009), in terms of which students are required to apply their theoretical knowledge in practical business environments. The ability to do this requires insight into real life work situations and consequently, tertiary institutions use role-play, case studies and simulations as substitutes for work experience. The primary objective of this research is to determine whether having work experience, obtained through vacation work, contributes to improving students’ understanding of the discipline of auditing. Following a review of literature on the benefits of work experience in fields other than auditing, (Sykes (2009), Herrick (2010) and Zeng, Woodhouse and Brunt (2010)), a questionnaire was developed to investigate students’ perceptions of skills developed while taking part in work experience; to determine their views of its benefits; whether having work experience makes it easier to understand auditing, and whether students subsequently find it difficult to stick to theory when being assessed. The questionnaire was distributed to students in their second through to honours years of the Auditing courses for the Bachelor of Accounting degree at Stellenbosch University. The findings of this research demonstrate that work experience enables students to reflect on and contextualise their theoretical knowledge when applying this knowledge in a business scenario and vice versa. Students are also able to understand the scenarios in examinations better after gaining work experience. Work experience further develops a variety of personal skills which cannot be developed in an academic environment. The benefits of work experience, as found by this research, could therefore address the lack of practical insight demonstrated by the majority of students. It also highlights the need for co-operation between the education providers, potential employers and the accounting profession to make work experience feasible and more accessible to a larger number of students. [ BACK TO THE TOP ]
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