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The impetus for this supplemental chapter titled The Pervasive Impact of Information Technology on Internal Auditing comes from The Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation (IIARF) monograph, Research Opportunities in Internal Auditing (2003), hereafter ROIA. ROIA combines theory and practice in conceptual frameworks to promote an understanding of the contemporary internal auditing environment. The goals of ROIA include stimulating academic research on significant internal auditing topics and serving as a “communication bridge” between academics and practicing professionals.

ROIA provided us with internal auditing related subject matter content, including the most promising areas of information technology (IT) application in internal auditing. One significant topic that is only briefly mentioned in ROIA is the impact of IT on the internal audit function.3 IT is revolutionizing the nature and scope of worldwide communications, changing business processes, and erasing the traditional boundaries of the organization — internally between departments and externally with suppliers and customers.

The resulting intra-enterprise coordination as well as inter-enterprise integration with external business partners through supply chain management and customer relationship management systems demonstrates the power of IT as both a driver and enabler of management processes and strategies. Indeed, internal auditors must recognize and leverage the powerful capabilities of computers and technology in collecting, generating, and evaluating information for managerial decision making related to strategy, risk management and controls, and, more broadly, for effective organizational governance. At the same time, internal auditors must recognize that IT, in itself, will not increase the function’s effectiveness. Rather internal auditors must first understand the audit objectives and select appropriate IT to achieve those objectives (i.e., the task-technology fit is essential). It is also imperative that internal auditors understand their organization’s appropriate leveraging of IT, and learn to harness additional IT to optimize internal audit performance.

Publication Date


Publication Source

Research Opportunities in Internal Auditing


Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation


Accounting | Business


Chapter 1 is provided for download with the permission of the author and the publisher. Permission documentation is on file.

Copyright © 2003 by Internal Audit Foundation (“IAF”). All rights reserved. Permission has been obtained from the copyright holder, IAF, 1035 Greenwood Blvd., Ste. 401, Lake Mary, FL 32746, U.S.A. to publish this reproduction, which is the same in all material respects, as the original unless approved as changed.

The Pervasive Impact of Information Technology on Internal Auditing

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