Scientific Journal Of King Faisal University
Basic and Applied Sciences


Scientific Journal of King Faisal University / Humanities and Management Sciences

The Status of Internal Auditing in Saudi Public Universities: A Field Study

(Ayth Ibrahim Almubarak and Abdulrahman Ali Aljabr)


The aim of this research is to explore internal auditing (IA) within the context of public universities in Saudi Arabia. Although prior research studied IA within the Saudi public sector in general, this research did not study it through the lens of the Saudi Internal Auditing Regulation (the Regulation). The importance of this stems from the fact that it sheds light on the level of compliance with the Regulation, which enables regulators to improve compliance levels and enhance the Regulation. Moreover, existing studies that explored IA in universities revealed mixed results on the maturity of this function. This suggests an opportunity for researchers to provide further evidence by examining new contexts, and this study addresses it by providing evidence from Saudi Arabia public universities. In particular, the importance of studying this context is underscored following the passage of the recent Universities Law that provides universities with higher levels of independence and, in turn, requires instituting an effective IA function to improve risk management, internal controls, and governance. To achieve the study’s aim, the researchers employed a descriptive quantitative analysis using data acquired via a survey distributed to all IA managers in Saudi public universities. The results indicate that universities vary between achieving medium and high compliance levels. Based on these findings, this study includes recommendations to improve compliance levels and augment the Regulation to improve universities’ readiness to be governed under the new university law. Therefore, this research enriches the existing literature on risk management, internal controls, governance, and internal auditing. 

Governance, management accounting systems, new universities law



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