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The continuing evolution of the business world has a direct impact on the landscape and curriculum of higher education, where business professionals are trained. The needs of the business world influence not only what is taught (i.e., business curriculum content), but also how we, as educators, teach foundational skills and core competencies.

Recent research published by the Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation suggests that there is a discrepancy between stakeholders’ and auditors’ perceptions of internal auditor competency levels and value to the organization. The survey identified the following four competencies with the lowest ratings overall:

  1. Conflict Resolution/Negotiation Skills;
  2. Business Process Analysis;
  3. Ability to Demonstrate/Promote the Value of the Internal Audit Function; and
  4. Data Collection and Analysis Tools and Techniques. Survey results also included competencies in which internal auditors rated themselves significantly higher than their stakeholders rated them.

How should educators interpret and address these results? Specifically, if internal auditors are perceived as having low skills in specific competencies, what is the impact on the design, development, and implementation of our instructional programs? What should be changed or improved? How can higher education assist in closing the perception gap between internal auditors and stakeholders and in turn enhance the value and brand of future internal auditors?

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College of Business


Accounting | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Educating the Auditors: Recommendations for Addressing General, Behavioral Competency Needs in Collegiate Accounting Programs