The role of internal audit in corporate governance: evidence from ashanti regional education directorates

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The motivation for this study is the debate on the impact of the internal audit function and they contribute to an organization's corporate governance systems. Divergent views are available on the function of the internal audit and their relationship with the governance issues in the organization. Internal audit's role is pivotal concerning the governance and general management of the affairs of an organization. This study, therefore, seeks to explore the influence of the internal audit function and the relationship with corporate governance in Ghana Education Service, specifically in the district directorates in the Ashanti Region. Based on theory and practice, the study adopted a qualitative research approach utilizing a cross-sectional data collection methodology from 30 education directorates in the Ashanti Region. The results proved that there is a strong positive relationship between internal controls and corporate governance as well as risk management and corporate governance in Ghana education service. This result implies that the governing body of the institution depends much on the internal auditor's role in ensuring that the rules, standards, and policies are adhered to in achieving the objectives of the organization. It has been proven by this study that the support offered by the internal auditors of the Ghana education service is impacting the work of the governing institution which is good for the GES. The internal audit unit with its risk management role can identify and prevent any risks that could impede the progress of the organization towards the achievement of its objectives. The assurance and consultancy services function also plays a key role in promoting good governance practices in the GES context. Besides, accountability and corporate governance were found to have a robust positive relationship. This shows that there are effective controls that have been implemented towards encouraging accountable institutions which means that there is respect for rules and regulations and the corporate framework account for their stewardship. This corporate governance means that structures are in place to ensure accounting records are kept properly and financial statements are per standards, controlled, and monitored by the board of directors. Practices that are geared towards accounting for stewardship leads to good governance. Implications in practical terms from this study are that effectively applying enterprise risk management practices such as the COSO framework is crucial for the board of directors in ensuring effective internal controls through audit and accountability that help to achieve the board’s mission of increasing owners’ wealth and the going concern.
A thesis submitted to the department of accounting and finance school of business, college of humanities and social sciences, Kwame Nkrumah university of science and technology (idl), Kumasi, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree of master of science degree in accounting and finance