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School of Management Sciences


The first Master of Commerce Accounting in Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University's ten-year existence has been awarded to internal auditor Mario Labuschagne.

Labuschagne, who hails from Uitenhage, focused his research on the role of internal auditors with specific reference to fraud investigation and was guided by the question of whether the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) guidance statements provide sufficient direction in the light of expectations of both the institute and stakeholders relating to internal auditors' roles in fraud investigation.

The results of the analyses thereof revealed that an expectation gap exists with regard to the IIA's guidance pronouncements and stakeholder expectations of the role of internal auditor roles in investigating fraud.

According to the IIA's guidance pronouncements, internal auditors are merely required to have sufficient knowledge of fraud to identify red flags indicating that fraud may have been committed. These limited knowledge requirements for internal auditors include knowing the characteristics of fraud, the techniques used to commit fraud and the various fraud schemes as well as the scenarios associated with the reviewed activities.

Mario says his study showed that these pronouncements do not provide sufficient and adequate guidance in respect of the knowledge, skills and competency capabilities when fraud is investigated. The results of the study further showed that the expected role of internal auditors in in organisation should include fraud investigations. He says the role of internal auditors is evolving to enable them to provide stakeholders with assurance and to assist organisations to achieve objective and remain competitive in order to ensure the future existence of their organisations. His study included semi-structured interviews that revolved around three themes, namely, the role of internal audit, the information expected from internal audits and the role that the internal audit plays with regard to fraud.

Mario has three international qualifications: Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified Control Self Assessor. After graduating from NMMU, he worked at Coca-Cola Sabco in Port Elizabeth and Nestle South Africa and Nampak Management Services in Gauteng. He joined NMMU in 2007 and apart from his daily job as internal auditor, he is also a part-time lecturer.

He is now looking forward to his doctoral studies.

ABOVE (from left to right): Prof Houdini Fourie (Supervisor), Mario Labuschagne and Prof Miemie Struwig (Co-Supervisor)

This story was obtained from News24.com. This shows the international interest in this study.