Title: A clustering and visualisation approach to the analysis of internal control structures

Authors: Annukka Jokipii, Aapo Lansiluoto, Tomas Eklund

Addresses: Faculty of Business Studies, University of Vaasa, P.O. Box 700, FIN 65101 Vaasa, Finland. ' Business School & University of Vaasa, Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences, Koulukatu 41, FIN 60100 Seinajoki, Finland. ' Abo Akademi University, Department of Information Technologies, Joukahaisenkatu 3-5A, FIN 20520 Turku, Finland

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to use a visual clustering approach (the self-organising map) to analyse differences in companies| internal control (IC) structures, based upon the five components of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) framework. The empirical data were collected through a survey of 741 Finnish companies. Over 90% of the respondents were chief executive officers (CEOs) and the response rate was 50.4%. Five different clusters with differing IC structures were identified. Three of these clusters are partly in contradiction with the literature (high risk assessment vs. undeveloped control environment; advanced control environment vs. undeveloped other control structures; advanced control structures vs. low risk assessment). This study, therefore, raises several questions for future research and contributes to earlier IC and self-organising map (SOM) studies.

Keywords: clustering; visualisation; Committee of Sponsoring Organizations; Treadway Commission; COSO framework; internal controls; self-organising maps; SOMs; empirical survey; Finland; chief executive officers; CEOs; internal control structures.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAAPE.2011.040832

International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, 2011 Vol.7 No.3, pp.151 - 175

Available online: 26 Jun 2011 *

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