We investigate how the geographic distribution of domain-specific internal audit education impacts financial reporting quality and audit efficiency in the U.S. Using universities with Centers for Internal Auditing Excellence as proxies for robust internal audit education, we find that companies headquartered in close proximity to these programs have fewer material weaknesses in internal controls over financial reporting, fewer financial statement misstatements, shorter audit lags, and sometimes pay lower audit fees, compared to a matched sample of companies not in close proximity to these programs. These findings have implications for practitioners responsible for the staffing and quality of their internal audit functions, the Institute of Internal Auditors in its education collaboration initiatives, and higher learning institutions responsible for educating future audit practitioners. These findings also contribute to the academic debate on the value of internal audit and determinants of internal audit function quality.

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