A number of corporate failures have occurred over the last decade. This has placed the corporate industry under the spotlight in terms of their risk management and the soundness of their control environments. Legislation such as section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act also underlines the importance of internal audit functions in corporate entities.

The internal audit function of a company plays a vital role in assisting the board of directors and its committees in ensuring, amongst others, the effectiveness of risk management, governance and internal controls of that company. In order to express reliable audit opinions on the soundness of a company’s operations, the internal audit function needs to collect sufficient, reliable, relevant, and useful information to support the conclusions reached on the effectiveness of risk management and control practices of the company. One approach, amongst others, used by the internal auditors to obtain sufficient, reliable, relevant and useful information is through the use of sampling.

Sampling has been a well-known concept in the auditing profession for over 80 years. Notwithstanding this fact, there are still many uncertainties associated with the practical application thereof, and relatively little research have been undertaken on sampling during the last decade. A research survey is therefore conducted to explore the use of sampling techniques employed by internal auditors.

The accompanying research questionnaire is intended to extend academic understanding of your industry’s needs, so that this information can be reflected in the on-going development of the academic and training environments.

It would thus be highly appreciated if you could make about 30 minutes of your valuable time available to fill in the accompanying questionnaire. As a member of the IIA-Ottawa chapter, you represent only a sample of a greater population, your responses are therefore important for the collection of data that is representative of the internal auditors or internal audit functions that conducts their duties in company’s based in Ottawa. Your input will be of immense value and will be key to the success of this research project.

Any information and answers that you provide will be treated as strictly confidential and there will be no reference made in the study to any specific respondent, nor to any specific company.

The answers that you provide will be processed together with the answers of all other respondents in order to determine trends and perceptions, and to identify problems and their solutions. Such solutions, once assimilated by academia and incorporated into improved teaching programmes, could be of great value to members of the auditing profession, professional auditing bodies like the IIA and AICPA.

Thank you very much for your willingness to participate in this research project: we appreciate the sacrifice of your valuable time, and trust that the information that will come out of the research will one day be of use to you.

We would appreciate it if you could return the completed survey to us by 31 October 2013.

Yours sincerely

Don Dickie
(Phd, CIA and international trainer on sampling techniques for the IIA in North America)

Mr. Louis Smidt