Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the profile of internal audit in five Asia-Pacific countries and investigate the usage and compliance with the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) International Standards for the Professional Practices of Internal Auditing (Standards) by organizations' internal audit activities (IAAs). This paper shows the differences between Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan. It also discusses part of the results of the Common Body of Knowledge 2006 global study conducted by the IIA. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reports the results of a questionnaire survey sent to the global membership of the IIA in September 2006 on various aspects of internal audit practices. Findings – The profile of internal audit differs amongst the countries with much older organizations exist in Australia, Japan and New Zealand. Respondents in New Zealand, Japan, Chinese Taiwan, China and Australia all report to have a reasonably high level of usage of Standards. However, Australia has the highest number of respondents who report that they are in full compliance of the Standards. Originality/value – This is the first global study of internal auditors' compliance with the IIA Standards.