Addressing private sector fraud in small and medium-sized enterprises: overrated risk or underestimated threat?

Loos, Astrid (2010) Addressing private sector fraud in small and medium-sized enterprises: overrated risk or underestimated threat? MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The overall aim of this thesis is to investigate fraud in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) focusing on the challenges to counter it and various possibilities to reduce the fraud risk. Reviewing the existing literature illustrated the need for the current study. Much of the existing literature shows that fraud in the private sector is a relatively young research topic. Many studies and research results are designed to meet the needs of larger corporations, which by nature operate under different parameters. While these research results might serve as starting points for any SME‟s effort to counter fraud, they do not reflect the requirements and organizational hurdles that SMEs are challenged with. Although this research supports theoretical explanations of SMEs being in a difficult economic situation to spare additional resources to counter fraud, other explanations are equally considered. Some SMEs might believe that they are simply not “attractive” to fraudsters or trust their employees to an extent that they do not consider fraud to be an issue. Regardless of the underlying reasoning however, effective fraud prevention is also possible in SMEs and with limited resources only. This thesis focuses on a number of tools and approaches such as benchmarking, business partnering, fraud risk assessment and many more. All of these tools are designed to support the anti-fraud efforts of SMEs in a cost-efficient manner. It is concluded that while there are tools and possibilities available, there still seems to be too little activity by SMEs to address fraud and corruption adequately. Yet successful fraud prevention starts by changing the mindset of those in charge. As there is also little research conducted on fraud specifically in SMEs, there is a lack of guidance available from academia to provide support for SMEs which strive to address fraud and corruption in their organization. This thesis therefore advocates a stronger focus on countering fraud in small and medium-sized enterprises by both, SMEs themselves and academia – particularly as many best practices of larger corporations are considered transferable to smaller organizations.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:49
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:16

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