Factors affecting performance of the internal audit function in Zimbabwe parastatal organisations : a case study of National Social Security Authority (NSSA)
Sidindi, Clara Ngaakudze
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The study sought to establish the factors that affect the performance of the internal audit function in NSSA. The study specifically focused on management and staff commitment to the internal audit function, independence and objectivity, competence of internal auditors and the adoption and use of professional standards. Although there has been a strong acceptance and recognition of the internal audit function in professional practice, much of academic researchers’ attention has been drawn on external audit research. In this view, the study sought to establish factors that affect the performance of audit function focusing on internal audit. The research employed quantitative research methodology. Primary data was collected through a self-administered questionnaire. The questions covered management and staff commitment to the internal audit function, independence and objectivity, competence of internal audit function and adoption and adherence to professional standards. Research objectives were realised as the study managed to show factors that affect internal audit function in its endeavor to discharge its value adding role. The research concluded that NSSA internal audit function receives support from both management and staff in the execution of its duties and responsibilities. The existence of an audit committee in NSSA enhances internal audit independence. However, internal audit objectivity may be impaired as auditors try to maintain good relationship with management who have an input in shaping their future advancement within the organisation. The research recommended that NSSA Board and Executive management should consider revising entry levels for internal auditors to management level grade. This would enhance internal audit objectivity. The recruitment of multi-skilled auditors could enhance service delivery in the internal audit department since NSSA is a multi-faceted organisation with areas of specialisation.