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Potential Research Topics for ​Internal Audit Doctoral Candidates

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One of the most important success factors for any profession is support through academic research. Internal audit is no different, and our profession receives incredible support from The IIA, the Internal Audit Foundation, and the schools that are part of the Internal Audit Education Partnership.

Unfortunately, I am not convinced current research reflects the constantly evolving needs of our profession. Toward that end, I am providing a list of potential research topics I feel are critical to our success and understanding of the profession.

The Case for More Report Rewrites: I Don’t Know What’s Wrong, I Just Know I Don’t Like It

An Inverse Relationship Between the Number of Audit Findings and Customer Survey Results: Surprise!!!

Unfathomable Paradoxes: Why Auditees Who Are Friendly in Our Meetings Avoid Us in the Halls

The Impact of Review Notes on the Average Employee: Research Into the Ability of Auditors to Refrain From Managerial Homicide

Effective Training in Critical Thinking: Is There Really Anything to Say After “Just Use Your Brain”

Can I Have Some More, Please: The High Percentage of Fraud Presentations and Why Having Even More Makes Perfect Economic Sense

This Is the Way We’ve Always Done It: Evidence of Atrophy in the Right Side of the Average Internal Auditor’s Brain

How Loud Is It: The Thud Factor, Audit Committee Reports, and Boring the Bored Board

A Comparative Analysis of the IPPF and Ulysses: Which Makes More Sense

The Effective Use of Active and Passive Voices in Reports, Memos, and Workpapers: Results of What Was Found by the Researchers

Cybersecurity: The Biggest Threat Since Cybersecurity

Behind the Spreadsheet: Where All Those Hours Are Really Going

The Most Common Words in Audit Reports: The Power of “The,” “A,” and “And”

So Much Paper: An Oral History of the Preparation of Audit Workpapers Prior to the Use of Computers

For anyone looking for research topics, feel free to steal from the ones listed above. And, if anyone else has some great ideas, please share them.

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