A Qualitative Study: Being Proactive in Detecting and Preventing Fraud in the Post Sarbanes-oxley Era

A Qualitative Study: Being Proactive in Detecting and Preventing Fraud in the Post Sarbanes-oxley Era

Author: 
Felicia Ann Riney
Program of study: 
D.B.A.
Abstract: 
The purpose of this study is to apply the qualitative research method of descriptive single-case study design to explore the phenomenon of fraud in companies in the state of Arkansas by conducting face-to-face interviews with mid-level officers, distributing questionnaires to upper-level officers, and reviewing company documentation in the retail, professional services, or manufacturing industries in Arkansas. The focus is to understand the phenomenon of fraud and company officers’ perceptions about tools for detecting and preventing fraud. Financial statement fraud tactics make up 9% of the fraud cases globally, which equates to a median loss of $1 million (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, 2014). The research method involves the triangulation of data from interviewing mid-level company officers, distributing questionnaires to upperlevel company officers, and reviewing organizational policy and procedure documents. Interviews will consist of at least 20-35 participants in a mid-level officer position to ascertain their perceptions about the fraud triangle as a tool and the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence (BCPE) as a framework, a questionnaire will be distributed to upper-level officers to confirm/disconfirm themes, and company historical documents will be reviewed. Because officers are accountable for the accuracy of financial reporting and the ethical conduct of employees, establishing methods for detecting and preventing fraud averts fraudulent acts such as the embezzlement, false reporting, or bribery.
Dedication: 
First and foremost, this research is dedicated to my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. This has been a long, difficult journey but God’s grace and mercy gives me strength beyond my comprehension. I would like to dedicate this research to my children, Ciara, Camryn, and Jalen, who supported me during this journey by giving me time to write papers and struggle with this course load of this dissertation process throughout the years. I would like to dedicate this research to my mother, Gracie, who encouraged me to keep moving forward. I would like to dedicate this research to my brothers, James, Leonard, and Terrence, who gave me the spirit of competitiveness and perseverance so that I never give up until I reach my goals. I love you all and thank you for your support and guidance. Last, but never least by any means, I would like to dedicate this to someone very special in my life. Thanks for being the stability that I needed during the crazy times of staying up late writing and stressing over this dissertation. I appreciate your patience and compassion as I worked towards this goal. I love you and appreciate the strength that you represent in my life. Thank you to everyone (family and friends) who prayed for me, stood by me, cooked for me, and kept the coffee flowing.
Acknowledgements: 
I would like to thank the dedicated and supportive members of my committee: Maja Zelihic, Ph.D., Matthew D. Gonzalez, Ph.D., and Mohammed Miah, EdD. Dr. Zelihic provided me with straightforward, meaningful, and needed feedback. She pushed me to work hard to make my proposal stronger, and I appreciate the honest feedback that she provided. Dr. Gonzalez and Dr. Miah stayed with me throughout this process and were available when I needed them, even though there were long periods of slow process while I completed different steps. I nearly stopped the process at one point and gave up, but there were dedicated members at the University of Phoenix who encouraged me and guided me through the process to ease my frustrations. Having the support of the University makes me Prouder to be a Phoenix than I have ever been. I want to send a special thanks to my academic advisor, Eric Klabe, who (I think) went above and beyond the call of duty to answer my many questions and provide support to a struggling student. The journey was hard, but the support of the University members helped me through the journey.