A Knowledge Management Model for Internal Auditing


  • Duc Nighia Mai School of Accounting, The University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City (UEH)
  • Hoang To Loan Nguyen School of Accounting, The University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City (UEH)




knowledge management, internal audit, internal control


Internal audit is crucial to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of internal controls, governance, and risk management processes in organizations. For an internal audit organization, to benefit from the knowledge of its staff, it is vital to identify the knowledge that is needed to complete quality and efficient internal audits. Knowledge management is a system that is concerned with using to the best advantage knowledge and experience. In internal auditing, knowledge management is increasingly recognized as a tool to effectively manage not only the knowledge of individuals, but also the collective knowledge in the organization. Research on internal audit has appeared since the 1980s and brought many benefits to internal audit activities, but these studies have not explained how knowledge is created during an internal audit. To address the research gap, this study looks into how knowledge is managed in an internal audit process. The applied methodology is to conduct qualitative case study research by using in-depth interviews, observations, and documentary analysis in the internal audit field.

Findings from empirical analysis of the case together with the literature review provide useful insights to construct a potential model of knowledge management in internal audit. During an internal audit process, there are three key elements including data, information, and knowledge that internal auditors need to consider. Data is a series of separate observations, measurements, or events in the audited company. Information is the organized data that has been arranged with relevance and purpose for better comprehension of the internal activities. The knowledge generated and applied by internal auditors can be thought of as a collection of specific and broad information sets and experience in similar audit situations. The process of knowledge management in internal audit involves four sub-processes: collecting data, analyzing data to get information, synthesizing information to create knowledge, and improving knowledge by putting knowledge into practice. The research findings imply that the process of internal auditing requires internal auditors to apply not only analysis capacities but also empirical experience in their work. In the internal audit, it requires collaboration from within the auditing organization and from the auditee’s sources to enable a valuable outcome for all involved.