Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Stanley W Self


Fraud, Internal Control, Accounting Education, Perceptions


Accounting | Business


Occupational fraud and internal control material weaknesses (ICMWs) have become global issues due to the strong correlation between internal control (IC) and fraud revelation. However, academic education (AE) has a positive influence on deliberative reasoning and ethical decisions. Nevertheless, little is known of how accountants perceive their AE prepared them to detect fraud and respond to ICMWs. Thus, there is a need to explore how accountants perceive the strengths and weaknesses in their AE regarding fraud and ICMWs. The study contains a comprehensive review of articles published by peer-reviewed journals, particularly in the last five years. The conceptual framework included the Agency Theory, the Fraud Triangle Theory, the COSO Model, and the Experiential Learning Model (ELM). The method of the research is qualitative with exploratory multiple-case study design. A guarantee of data saturation appeared by conducting thirteen semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with accountants who encountered fraud or ICMWs in work environments. The participants were recruited through a combination of purposive snowball sampling and criterion sampling techniques. Data analysis techniques included open coding, axial coding, content analysis, and cross-case synthesis. Also, data was triangulated by corroborating the findings with evidence from other sources. There are twenty-eight minor themes under eight main themes. Six unique sub-minor themes provided profound findings regarding: (a) educational topics related to anti-fraud, (b) educational methods associated with anti-fraud, (c) educational topics related to IC, (d) educational methods related to IC, and (d) competencies of accounting students (Ass) related to fraud and ICMWs.

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