Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Yee, CSL, Sujan, A, and James, K, The perceptions of the Singaporean manager class regarding the role and effectiveness of internal audit in Singapore, Fifth Asia Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting (APIRA) Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, 8-10 July, 2007, 1-19. The original article is available here.


In recent times the “dominant paradigm” (Al-Twaijry et al., 2003, p. 524) of internal auditing (IA) as attest function has been largely supplanted by the “business partner” model. Under the business partner model of “modern” IA, internal auditors are seen as consultants who work with senior management to recommend improvements to business processes. We survey a group of Singaporean managers to assess their perceptions about both the role and effectiveness of IA within Singapore. Overall, our results support the assertion that the Singaporean managerial class strongly appreciates the new role of “modern” IA, as “business partner”. Unlike in Saudi Arabia (Al-Twaijry et al., 2003), the traditional attest function of “classical” IA seems to have been largely supplanted as the dominant paradigm for IA in Singapore. We also find evidence, consistent with the extant IA literature, that “auditor independence” is not the most essential aspect for effective IA. However, contrary to the prior literature which suggests a thriving expectations gap in IA, we find that the Singaporean managerial class is generally satisfied with the professionalism and effectiveness of internal auditors. Singaporean managers seem to appreciate the presence of an IA department in their organization. The other important finding of our survey is that the conclusions and recommendations in the IA process are not discussed with either the mid-level managers or general executives. We assume that these two groups receive directives based on the IA report.