Elmghaamez, Ibrahim K. and Ntim, Collins G. (2016) Assessing the Effectiveness of Internal Governance Controls: The Case of Internal Auditors Skills and Challenges in Libya. Corporate Ownership and Control, 13 (3). ISSN 1727-9232

Purpose: The main aim of this research is to assess the effectiveness of internal governance controls and processes with specific focus on the skills and challenges facing internal auditors operating in Libya when they conduct internal audits. This study also investigates whether Libyan internal auditors have sufficient skills needed to implement their internal audit function effectively.

Design/methodology/approach: Forty one internal auditors working in six banks and three insurance companies listed on the Libyan Stock Market were surveyed. Wilcoxon signed test and Z-test were used to test the research hypotheses.

Findings: The findings of this study illustrate that internal auditors operating in companies listed on the Libyan Stock Market have limited professional, interpersonal and technical skills. Specifically, the findings show that internal auditors in Libya have limited skills including public speaking and presentation skills. Additionally, they have limited skills of IT audit and international financial report preparation skills.

Originality/value: There is a dearth of empirical evidence on the extent of audit, interpersonal, professional and technical skills relating to internal auditors generally, but particularly acute in Arab and developing countries. This study, therefore, contributes to the literature by offering new insights with particular focus on Libya.

Keywords: Internal governance controls, internal audit, internal audit function, challenges, Libyan Stock Market, Libya.

Paper type: Research paper

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