Factors Influencing Recruitment of Non-Accounting Business Professionals into Internal Auditing

Geoffrey D. Bartlett, Joleen Kremin, K. Kelli Saunders, David A. Wood
  • Behavioral Research in Accounting, March 2017, American Accounting Association
  • DOI: 10.2308/bria-51643

The Business World's Perspective on Internal Audit as a Career

What is it about?

We know that in the past few years internal audit has been experiencing a talent shortage. Other studies look at the reason for avoiding internal audit from the perspective of accounting students, and external auditors. Here we asked non-accounting business professionals about their interest for entering the internal auditing profession. We find that even though they have a favorable opinion of internal audit they were still less likely to apply for an internal audit position over an identical position with a different label. We varied several other factors hoping to find a way of describing the position that may tempt them but it made no difference. Finally we asked some business students about what would help them be more interested in internal audit as a career and interestingly low academic performing students said they would be interested if internal audit paid more and higher performing students said they would be more interested if the work were more interesting, was more prestigious, or if they had more understanding of the profession.

Why is it important?

This study completes the view (when viewed with the previous two studies) of how the business world perceives internal auditing as a profession. Given the talent crisis they are experiencing we hope to assist the internal audit community to find practical ways of addressing the shortage. Their current approach has been by drawing from a different talent pool (non-accounting business professionals) or by varying the structure of internal audit to be more attractive, but we show that those approaches are not likely to be successful.


Joleen Kremin
Portland State University

I think this paper really completes the story for the quality talent crisis internal audit is currently experiencing. I believe there are steps that can be taken by both the academic and professional community to improve the public's view of internal audit and reduce the professional taint it is experiencing. Internal audit is too important to the business community and I think this paper helps further the discussion to improve things.

Read Publication


The following have contributed to this page: Joleen Kremin and Dr David A. Wood