Consulting and Assurance Services of Internal Auditors in Sustainability Reporting System

Document Type : Original Article


1 Accounting Phd Student, Accounting Department, Faculty of Social Sciences and Economics, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Professor, Department of Accounting, Faculty of Social Sciences & Economics, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran

3 Professor of Accounting, Fogelman College of Business and Economics, University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

4 Associate Professor of Accounting, Department of Business and Economic studies, , Faculty of Education and Economics, Gavle University, Gavle, Sweden

5 Department of Social Sciences and Economics, Alzahra university ,Tehran , Iran



Purpose: We examine the role of internal auditors in the preparation of sustainability reporting, consulting and assurance services prior, during and after preparation.
Method: We collect and analyze data by reviewing related literature, conducting interviews of 24 internal audit experts, and using theme-analysis method.
Results: Our results show that internal auditors actively participate in: (1) promoting the sustainability culture and risks assessment prior to the preparation of sustainability reports; (2) assisting management during the preparation of sustainability reports by identifying stakeholders and important sustainability issues, considering sustainability in strategies, evaluating alignment of goals, strategies sustainability mission and designing the process of developing sustainability reports; and (3) performing assurance statements on sustainability reports and post-audit in importing sustainability reporting and assurance.
Conclusion: The results indicated 113 roles, of which 22 components are related to pre-development, 50 items during and 41 after-implementation of sustainability. The highest role in pre-development belongs to consulting services, during implementation both roles are recognized to the same extent, and after-deployment, assurance services is seen more.
Contribution: Results show that internal auditors can play a crucial role in the preparations and development of sustainability reports. Results provide policy, practice and research implications for the emerging role of internal auditors in sustainability reporting and assurance.


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