Independence and Management Support: The Advocate for Internal Auditors' Task Performance in Tertiary Institutions
Keywords:Independence, Management Support, Internal Auditors, South-West Nigeria
Tertiary institutions in Nigeria are bedevilled with many financial irregularities and deficiencies that make the existence and the task performance (TP) of the internal auditors in the institutions questionable. This study, therefore, empirically examines the influence of independence (IND) and management support (MS) on the TP of internal auditors in the South-West tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The study formulates and tests two hypotheses in respect of the relationship between IND and TP in one hand, and MS and TP on the other hand. This study employs a quantitative approach, cross-sectional design, and survey questionnaire in obtaining data from 350 internal auditors in the internal audit departments/units of the universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education in South-West Nigeria. The study records a response rate of sixty percent (60%). Data are analysed using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (IBM SPSS) version 22.0, and Partial Least Squares-Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM), version 2.0. The results of the PLS-SEM algorithm and bootstrapping reveal positive significant relationships between IND and TP, and the MS and TP, hence, the two hypotheses are supported. This study is significant and has practical and theoretical implications. It has a policy implication on the government or private proprietors who are owners of tertiary institutions; management and Council who control the institutions, internal auditors who are operators of internal auditing; regulatory authorities that perform oversight function on the institutions, and professional accounting and auditing bodies. The study adds to the body of literature and extends internal audit research to tertiary institutions.
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