Internal Audit Function in Tunisian Listed Companies: An Explanatory Study

Ahmed Atef Oussii, Neila Boulila Taktak


Purpose – The aim of this paper is to explore the attributes and activities of the internal audit function in Tunisian listed firms and evaluate its capacity to fulfill its role in corporate governance process. Design/methodology/approach – The study has been carried out through a questionnaire survey that aims to analyze internal audit function (IAF) characteristics’ in Tunisian listed firms.  The main aspects of this study were: insourcing versus outsourcing arrangements of the internal audit function; organizational statue; internal audit activities and internal audit interaction with external auditors.Findings – The findings of the study show that despite its changing role within the organization, the internal audit function suffers from some limitations that impair its independence and limit its intervention field. Also, internal audit function in Tunisian listed companies is focused on financial audit, internal controls and risk management assessment. Further analysis reveals a considerable level of coordination between internal and external auditors. Research implications – The paper’s findings are of interest to several different parties, primarily the professional internal audit body, chief audit executive (CAE), audit committee and senior management.Originality/value – The paper describes an empirical study, conducted on a sample of Tunisian listed companies, which provides a better understanding of the internal audit function attributes and activities. The paper is also a meaningful contribution to the internal audit literature, as it examines an interesting subject that has not yet been largely investigated in the context of emerging market.

Keywords - Internal audit function - Corporate governance - Listed companies - Tunisia

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