Factors affecting internal auditors’ objectivity: individual-level evidence from the United Arab Emirates


Internal auditors are considered part of an organization’s management team. However, because internal auditors are expected to review management’s performance, this can create significant tension within an organization, since auditors’ independence from management is crucial to an objective assessment of management’s actions. This paper explores the individual-level factors affecting internal auditors’ objectivity in companies in two sectors, banking and insurance, listed in Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX). A questionnaire was designed and distributed to the internal audit department in both sectors. Results indicate a negative relationship between individual-level factors and the objectivity of the internal auditors’, and a significant positive relationship between internal auditors’ objectivity and other factors (i.e., experience, qualifications, and salary and bonus) in both sectors. As well, the study’s results reveal a significant positive relationship between internal auditors’ objectivity and gender, with female auditors exhibiting higher levels of objectivity.

Keywords: Factors; individual level; internal auditors; objectivity; gender; experience; qualifications; banking sector; insurance sector; Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange; ADX; UAE.


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