Assessment of employee perceptions of the internal audit at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Internal audits play an important role in the organisational process; it serves as a strategic partner in the organisation and adds value by improving organisational processes and ensuring their effectiveness and efficiency. An internal audit is a fundamental part of the internal control system of an organisation and is at the heart of an organisation. This is evidenced by the fact that all other departments are linked to the internal audit function. This study seeks to assess employee perceptions on internal audit processes at the University of KwaZulu - Natal by utilising a qualitative method of data collection. In order to meet the research objectives of this study, data was collected through semi-structured interviews with Divisional Managers, Human Resources Managers, Finance Manager, the Directors of Professional Service and Deans of Schools. It is apparent from the evidence emanating from the data analysis, that the perceptions of the internal audit are generally positive and there are no negative perceptions about the internal audit as most respondents’ views were positive. Furthermore, the results reflected that academics and support staff understand the role of an internal audit within UKZN, except the role of advisory assistance. In addition, internal audit processes are perceived as adding value in helping the University to accomplish its objectives. Worth nothing however, was that some of the respondents confused projects carried out by the Forensic unit with that of internal audits. This study contributes to literature on internal audits and its practice in several ways. First, the results enhance the understanding of the role of internal audits in organisations. Second, it contributes to knowledge on what actions need to be taken to improve employee perceptions of the internal audit. Third, it contributes to understanding internal audit practices, particularly in its early stage of development; and lastly the results of this study could be useful for further research in the field of internal auditing.