The Role, Responsibility and Cooperation of Internal and External Audit in Preventing and Detecting Fraud "The more Fraud, The Better"

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This study investigates how internal audit, external audit and their cooperation are related to preventing and detecting fraud and how it is faced by auditors in order to extend academic auditing literature on fraud and lay a foundation in a way that fraud prevention and detection can be professionally carried out in the future. This study employed a qualitative interpretive approach via in-depth interviews. This research shows that it can be argued that those charged with governance and the management have the primary responsibility in fraud prevention and detection, whereas the internal and external auditors bear secondary responsibility. Neither internal audit nor external audit has the final responsibility in preventing and detecting fraud. However, they bear responsibility to perform their audits according to professional rules and standards and perform their work with proficiency, due professional care and professional scepticism. Both are considered detective anti-fraud controls with preventive aspects. Internal auditors are perceived to play a bigger role due to their unique position. But the exact responsibilities in preventing and detecting fraud remain ambiguous. Lastly, this study shows that collaboration between internal and external audit is minimal and it should be better exploited. Nevertheless, the cooperation is considered complex in practice.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen