Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Darnell Huntley


Fraud Triangle, embezzlement, accountability, stewardship, trust, prosecution, COSO framework, leadership, governance




This research study explores the impact of internal control deficiencies on fraud in local churches in Nigeria and provides church leaders, trusted church members, employees, and volunteers with the necessary tools to guard church funds and assets from fraud and waste of resources. The researcher designed the study to answer six research questions addressed with 16 semi-structured interview questions and the outcome was obtained from 17 church leaders, ministers, employees, and volunteers of local churches in the Enugu area, Nigeria. The six themes that emerged from the study include accountability and stewardship, good internal control procedures, segregation of duties, disciplinary measures, strong leadership, and control and monitoring. The results of this qualitative case study show that opportunity exists for the occurrence of fraud and embezzlement of funds in local churches in the Enugu area, Nigeria due to lack of segregation of duties, poor leadership and governance, absence of education and training, the culture of trust and reluctance to prosecute offenders. The researcher recommended key actions for limiting and preventing fraud in local churches that include (a) setting the tone at the top and oversight by the leadership, (b) leading by examples in behavior and teaching of sound biblical messages by the leaders and pastors, (c) segregation of duties, (d) sound internal control procedures over offertory collections, tithes and donations, (e) internal and external audit, (f) pre-employment screening, and (g) prosecution of offenders to serve as a deterrent to others.

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