The main objective of this study is to examine whether reliance by the external auditors on the internal auditors’ work lead to a reduction in the external audit cost and external audit work. Two different questionnaire surveys were sent to 387 head of internal auditors and 142 external auditors of the English local authorities, yielding a response rate of 43.9% and 45.0% respectively. Findings of the study show that the external auditors in English local authorities perceived that their reliance on internal audit work has no effect on the external audit fees or on the external audit work. Internal auditors in English local authorities perceived the external auditors’ reliance on their work has no effect on the external audit fees but has reduced the extent of the external audit work. To conclude, the reliance on internal audit work in the local authorities in England does not have much impact on reducing external audit fees and external audit work. However, it does help to minimize increases in external audit fees.
Keywords: External auditors; internal auditors; audit fees; audit work; English local authorities.
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