External auditors do not have the capacity to detect corporate fraud, even though accounting scholars have agreed on the perceived importance of fraud detection. There is a need to integrate fraud detection courses and forensic accounting topics into undergraduate training. This study addressed the problem of external auditors’ detection of less than 5% of fraud cases resulting from their lack of fraud detection topics and courses from their undergraduate studies. The purpose of this qualitative exploratory multiple-case study was to explore external auditors’ perspectives on expected competencies and fraud detection topics and courses from their undergraduate accounting programs and whether this education prepared them to detect corporate fraud. An exploratory, holistic, multiple-case study research methodology was utilized for the study. A purposive snowball criterion sampling was used to recruit 12 participants with bachelor’s degree and at least 1 year of experience in the auditing field in Northern Illinois. The list of membership provided by professional accounting bodies was used to recruit the participants. The external auditors’ perspectives were captured as data using open-ended questions in a semi-structured face-to-face interview format. A five-phased research analysis was applied for qualitative data analysis with the help of NVivo 11 software to identify themes associated with the research questions. A total of sixteen themes, made of nine major themes and seven minor themes, emerged from the study and formed the basis of the findings. The results of the study indicated that external auditors have not detected corporate fraud in practice. Furthermore, fraud education received in the undergraduate accounting programs was not sufficient for corporate fraud detection. Competencies for corporate fraud detection in auditing practice were found to be low among external auditors and four strategies were suggested for integrating fraud education into college accounting programs. The outcome of this study supported recommendations for practical accounting application and future research was recommended for replication of study in other geographic locations to compare the perspectives of educators, management, and internal auditors with a focus on other frauds involving credit cards, payroll, fraudulent billing, inventory, and theft or stealing to build on, extend, confirm, or disconfirm them.
|Commitee:||Chmielewski, Mary, Throne, Robin|
|Department:||School of Business and Technology Management|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Accounting, Ethics, Education|
|Keywords:||Accounting education and modification, Accounting students' competencies, Corporate fraud detection, Ethics and experiential learning model, External auditors' perceptions, Fraud detection courses and forensic accounting topics, Fraud education|
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