Small concern and entrepreneurship has emerged as an of import country of research over the past 40 old ages. This paper revolves around the issues of the internal controls and fraud bar steps on SMEs public presentation. The degree of fraud incidence as reported by proprietors is still at a really low degree and the overall cost incurred is still within outlook. However. there is a inquiry of whether the low reported rate of fraud is due to adequate preventative actions presently employed by proprietors. or whether the proprietors are loath to uncover the truth in order to portray their efficiency and effectivity in running their concerns.

This conceptual paper efforts to analyse relevant literature on internal control. fraud. current tendencies on fraud and concern offense bar step adopted by SMEs. Based on the literature. a future research could be suggested in the context of Malaysia. It is hoped that future research in this facet will bring out the relationship between the effectivity of internal control within SMEs and to estimate the adequateness of fraud bar step taken by proprietors of SMEs in Malaysia. It is expected that effectual internal control and the presence of appropriate fraud preventative steps will assist to better SMEs public presentation. Keywords: Internal Control. Fraud and Prevention Measures. Small and Medium Enterprises

1. Introduction
Small and medium endeavors ( SMEs ) are much more vulnerable proportionately to fraud by employees. and much less able to absorb these losingss than big corporation. The entrepreneur’s chief aims are profitableness and growing. the concern is characterized by advanced strategic patterns and continued growing and may be seen as holding a different position from little concern proprietors in the existent development of their house [ 1 ] . Contribution from SMEs to the Malayan economic system is besides really of import. They provide indirect support or income to economic growing. SMEs are besides able to supply goods and services the same as big companies do albeit in smaller measures. SMEs play a critical function in the Malayan economic system and are considered to be the anchor of industrial development in the state [ 2 ] . There is ever an addition in the involvement to set up SMEs because of little houses bring forthing most new employment ; the public favoring on little concern ; cognition on entrepreneurship at high schools and colleges ; the turning towards self-employment every bit good as little concern being attractive to people of all ages [ 3 ] . The research will be concentrating on the consequence of internal control and fraud bar steps on SMEs public presentation.

2. RESEARCH BACKGROUND
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners ( ACFE ) of the United States ( 1998 ) reported that concerns using less than 100 individuals were the most vulnerable to fraud and maltreatment by employees. Harmonizing to KPMG’s Fourth Fraud Survey Report Malaysia 2009. it is showed that a important figure of respondents believe that fraud is a major job for concerns in Malaysia. 61 per centum of respondents expect the degree of fraud to increase over the following two old ages. In add-on. 89 per centum believe that the tendency of fraud every bit good as fiscal statements fraud ( 78 per centum ) will significantly lift as a consequence of the economic crisis which took topographic point in 2008. The value of fraud reported in the study period was RM63. 95 million. Not all respondents disclosed information on the figure of fraud incidents or the value of fraud detected ( 15 per centum of the 85 respondents responded they were victims of fraud were unsure of the figure of incident whereas 53 per centum were unsure of the value of fiscal losingss due to fraud ) . Hence. this suggests that losingss may be far bigger than the disclosed sums of the 56 per centum of respondents who reported some signifier of recovery of assets that were misappropriated. 43 per centum reported partial recovery while 13 per centum reported full recovery.

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On the other manus. the figure of individuality fraud ( when the individual wittingly or deliberately obtains personal placing information of another individual and utilizing it ) victims increased by 12 per centum in 2009 and the sum of fraud increased by 12. 5 per centum. This is the highest rate of addition in the seven old ages that the company has been publishing the study since 2002. New history fraud represents 39 per centum of all 2009 fraud instances. versus 33 per centum in 2008. Many of these deceitful histories were opened online. New history fraud is non limited to recognition card histories. Fraudulent cell phone histories make up 29 per centum of entire new history fraud. Existing recognition cards are besides extremely targeted. doing up 75 per centum of fraud onslaughts on bing histories. This indicates that fraud and larceny was rampant. and statistics show the rate increasing from twelvemonth to twelvemonth ( for last seven old ages ) . If this job is non addressed from an early phase so it will take to immense losingss to proprietors of SMEs. Most of the surveies and researches done on internal control and fraud against SMEs were chiefly US-based. Not many surveies have been conducted on the Malayan environment. The entire Numberss of SMEs in Malaysia in the twelvemonth of 2005 based on study was conducted by the Department of Statistics ; SME Corp Malaysia. showed that there were 514. 079 active constitutions of SMEs in the fabrication and services sectors out of the 552. 849 companies registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia ( CCM ) .

Constitution and Enterprises. 2005 by Department of Statistics. Malaysia TABLE 1: Number of Establishment of SMEs Based on Table 1. the entire figure of constitution was 552. 849. and 99. 2 per centum were SMEs. Out of this figure. a sum of 86. 6 per centum is made up from services sector ( comprises of sweeping and retail. eating house and hotel. professional services. transit and communicating ) . It is followed by the fabrication sector by 7. 2 per centum ( consists of fabrics and dresss. metal and non-metallic merchandises and nutrient and drinks ) while the agribusiness sector is made up from 6. 2 per centum ( includes plantation and gardening. piscary and domestic fowl agriculture ) . An appropriate definition of SMEs is indispensable as it will give assorted advantages to SMEs every bit good as for policy shapers and back uping bureaus in fostering the SMEs sectors. In finding the best definition of SMEs. both quantitative and qualitative standards should be met in order to stand for the true nature of SMEs [ 4 ] . [ 5 ] .

Harmonizing to Small Medium Enterprises Corporation Malaysia. SMECorp ( antecedently known as SMIDEC ) . Malayan SMEs can be defined harmonizing to size. one-year gross revenues turnover. figure of full clip employees every bit good as the activities run by the endeavors. Furthermore. the definition of SMEs in Malaysia is divided into three classs viz. ; Micro-enterprise. Small-enterprise. and Medium-enterprises. The item is depicted in Table 2. Class Manufacturing. manufacturingrelated services and agro-based industries Microenterprise Gross saless turnover of less than RM250. 000 OR fewer than five fulltime employees. Smallenterprise Gross saless turnover between RM250. 000 and RM10 million OR between five and 50 full-time employees. Mediumenterprise Gross saless turnover between RM10 million and RM25 million OR between 51 and 150 fulltime employees. Gross saless turnover between RM 1 million and RM 5 million OR between 20 and 50 full-time employees.

Servicess. primary agribusiness and information and communicating engineering ( ICT ) .

Gross saless Gross saless turnover turnover of between less than RM200. 000 RM200. 000 and RM1 OR fewer million OR than five fullbetween five clip and 19 full-time employees. employees. Beginning: SMECorp ( Formally known as SMIDEC ) . ( 2000 ) Table 2: Definition of SMEs in Malaysia

In add-on. internal control and fraud can be considered as emerging issues among SMEs. It is deserving to observe that fraud is non really a new issue. It has been a job to SMEs before and continues to be until now. In other words. it is an old issue. but the signifier of fraud in SMEs has been germinating over clip. There might be some differences between frauds perpetrated in 1970s st and those committed in 1990s and in 21 century particularly due to extended usage of sophisticated information and communicating engineering ( ICT ) . Further inside informations on internal control. hazard direction and fraud will be discussed in the undermentioned subdivision.

2. LITERATURE REVIEW
It is emphasized that the factor is seldom examined as holding a possible impact on failure of SMEs are internal control and fraud [ 6 ] . In Malaysia. research related to this country is still at a ‘primitive stage’ on SMEs public presentation. This issue is seldom highlighted and Malaysians seem to see this as a sensitive 1. As a consequence. they tend to set this affair aside. even though the existent job of fraud does be in the Malayan concern environment. The intent of this paper is to garner literature to suggest an appropriate survey on internal control and fraud bar steps in Malaysia. It is besides hoped that the paper could assist to place the degree of SMEs owners’ consciousness on fraud and to measure how serious is the fraud impacting the SMEs in Malaysia. If this issue is neglected. it may severely impact the public presentation of SMEs. This would ensue in an unhealthy phenomenon in this state. which could harm the growing of SMEs. Consequently. the root of the job which contributes to the insolvency of SMEs will non be uncovered and the proprietors of the concerns are incognizant that they are reiterating the same errors over their concern lifecycle.

In other words. this survey is able to heighten the apprehension of the populace at big and more specifically the proprietors of SMEs towards fraud and how to undertake the issue consequently. 2. 1 Internal Control Internal control is a wide term with a broad country of operation [ 7 ] . It includes a figure of methods and steps. which are exercised by the direction to guarantee smooth and economic operation of concern entity. It assists the direction in the public presentation of assorted maps. Furthermore. internal control is a whole system of controls for the concern entity on fiscal and non-financial. established by the direction in the behavior of a concern including internal cheque. internal audit and other signifiers of control [ 7 ] . Therefore. it is evident that internal control look is used in a broad sense and includes internal cheque and internal audit besides other signifiers of controls. Besides that. internal control is a procedure designed and affected by those charged with administration [ 8 ] . direction and other forces to supply sensible confidence about the accomplishment of the entity’s aims with respect to dependability of fiscal coverage. effectivity and efficiency of operation and conformities with applicable Torahs and ordinances. It follows that internal control is designed and implemented to turn to identified concern hazards that threaten the accomplishment of any these aims.

Similar definition was stated by Committee of Sponsoring Organisations ( COSO ) of the Treadway Commision in a study ( 1992 ) entitled Internal Control – Integrated Framework [ 9 ] . Effective internal control system provides a manner to run into its stewardship or bureau duties. For illustration. direction must keep controls which may supply sensible confidence that equal control is exist over the entity’s assets and records. This can be accomplished by developing internal controls that require employees to follow company policies and processs such as proper mandate for minutess. Such internal control system non merely ensures that assets and records are safeguarded but besides creates an environment in which efficiency and effectivity is encouraged and monitored. It is going more of import as entities automate their information system and they operate more globally [ 10 ] .

Previous surveies found that effectual internal control in SMEs have led to the success of the concern and it is besides a cardinal and of import measure in cut downing employee larceny [ 11 ] . [ 12 ] . For illustration. the execution of internal control is fulfilled by follow-up or oversight the employee maps by deputation of their responsibilities. Internal control besides was effectual on SMEs and it is a tool to mensurate the SMEs public presentation [ 13 ] and within a house. better internal control should give more dependable on internal informations such as stock lists. payables and public presentation step. therefore taking to better internal determination devising. improved operations. and lower employee fraud [ 14 ] . [ 15 ] . Strong internal control system strengthens enterprise administration. allows direction aims to be achieved and mitigates the hazard of fraud by increasing employee perceptual experience of sensing [ 16 ] . Normally control is the chief undertaking of executives either owners’ or directors and these control is of import as portion of internal control on SMEs public presentation [ 17 ] .

In a typical little concern. the executive is in a better place to exert control over the organisation activities than his opposite number in a larger concern. The executive should be cognizant of employee activities which may in high possibility of fraud happening such as incoming orders. production and transportation agendas. grosss goods. hard currency grosss and expenses and client ailments. Another cardinal component of executive controls is the blessing of minutess. Even though the executive may non be able to reexamine or O.K. all the minutess and paperss related to these minutess. at least he or she should systematically place types of minutess. sums of minutess. recognition patterns and stock lists policies [ 17 ] .

Effective internal controls are indispensable no affair how little the company for many valid grounds. Fraud bar. embezzlement sensing. and accurate financials are all grounds to warrant for good internal control patterns. Implementing controls into the fiscal accounting package entirely is non plenty to guarantee conformity because it takes some people’s power excessively [ 16 ] . Since most little concern proprietors have really small accounting background. comptrollers are expected to play a cardinal consultative function in assisting a concern design and implement sound internal controls [ 15 ] . Many private companies are benefited from implementing internal control commissariats associating to answerability. independent audits. internal controls and document keeping. Internal control can supply sensible. non absolute. confidence that the aims of SMEs will be met [ 14 ] . The construct of sensible confidence implies a high grade of confidence. constrained by the costs and benefits of set uping incremental control procedures that can take to high public presentation of SMEs. Effective internal control implies that the little concern generates dependable fiscal coverage and well complies with the Torahs and ordinances that apply to it [ 13 ] .

However. whether a little concern achieves operational and strategic aims or non may depend on factors outside the endeavor such as competition or technological invention. Therefore. effectual internal control provides merely timely information or feedback on advancement towards the accomplishment of operational and strategic aims. but can non vouch their accomplishment. 2. 2 Fraud Harmonizing to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales ( ICAEW ) ( 2001 ) . fraud is by and large defined in the jurisprudence as an knowing deceit of stuff bing fact made by one individual to another with cognition of its falseness and for the intent of bring oning the other individual to move. and upon which the other individual relies with ensuing hurt or harm. Fraud may besides be made by an skip or purposeful failure to province material facts. which nondisclosure makes other statements misdirecting. Fraud. nevertheless. is non an easy defined term. Harmonizing to District Judges Association US. the definition may alter depending upon the legislative act in which the word appears. For illustration. in the offense of confederacy to. “defraud” include a dishonorable obstructor of a authorities bureau.

The definition can besides be brooding of peculiar case in point in a legal power. In some instances the definition of fraud may non be limited to fraud methodological analysis. but may besides include the injury or effects of the deceitful behavior [ 18 ] . To represent fraud. the deceit or skip must be made wittingly and deliberately. non as a consequence of error or accident. or in negligent neglect of its truth or falseness. Besides. the complainant must turn out that the suspect intended for the complainant to trust upon the deceit and/or skip ; that the complainant did in fact rely upon the deceit and/or skip ; and that the complainant suffered hurt or harm as a consequence of the fraud [ 10 ] . Damagess may include punitory amendss as a penalty or public illustration due to the malicious nature of the fraud. There are many province and federal Torahs to modulate fraud in legion countries.

Some of the countries they are most to a great extent litigated include consumer fraud. corporate fraud. and insurance fraud. Employees in SMEs will perpetrate fraud when they have chance to make so [ 19 ] . There are two separate but related theories about why employees commit fraud [ 19 ] . Based on the survey conducted by Hollinger and Clark on 12. 000 employees in the work force. it was found that about 90 is percent engaged in “workplace deviant” . which included behaviors such as victimizing. workplace lags. ill clip maltreatments and pilferage [ 19 ] . In add-on. tierce of employees really had stolen money or ware on the occupation. A 2nd theory about why employees commit fraud is related to fiscal force per unit area. In the late 1940’s criminologist Donald R. Cressey interviewed about 200 incarcerated defalcators. including convicted executives. He found that the bulk committed fraud to run into their fiscal duties. Cressey observed that two other factors had to be present for employees to perpetrate fraud. They must comprehend an chance to perpetrate and hide their offenses. and able to rationalize their discourtesies as something other than condemnable activity.

Small concern usually does non hold internal auditing staff. Touche Ross ( 1974 ) . Kapnick ( 1975 ) and Foster ( 1975 ) reported that in most of fraud instances they studied. effectual internal auditing staffs was absent [ 20 ] . Psychological theory suggests that where there is an administration ( such as an internal auditing staff ) that provides some hindrance or fright of being caught. the chance to perpetrate offense is decreased. Poor internal control system besides increases chances to perpetrate fraud. In most cases. it was posited that hapless internal control contributes to direction fraud [ 20 ] . The surest avenue to fraud bar and sensing is a proper system of internal control. scrupulously implemented by direction and must be on a regular basis reviewed by hearers. Arens and Loebbecke ( 1976 ) and Kapnick ( 1975 ) suggest that a house with hapless accounting records is more susceptible to fraud comparison to one that does non [ 20 ] . Basically there are several types of fraud could happen in SMEs and larceny is one of the major deceitful activities.

Therefore. larceny is ever a serious job for little concern. In 2005. entire retail losingss were close to USD40 billion [ 21 ] . Because of the extent of the job. many national selling concerns add 2 to 3 per centum to their monetary values to cover the cost of larceny. but even this may non be plenty to counterbalance for the entire loss. The two major types of larceny are theft by foreigners ( normally known as shrinkage ) and theft by employees. Shoplifting is a major jeopardy of retail constitution [ 21 ] . Professional boosters. non amateurs and kleptomaniacs ( a mental unwellness in which they have a strong desire. which they can non command. to steal things ) cause the greatest bar jobs. The amateur may be a thrill searcher who takes an point or two to see whether or non he or she can acquire off with it. The kleptomaniacs have an unmanageable impulse to take things. whether needed or non. Business proprietors and directors are frequently shocked by the techniques people use to take ware from their premises. and by the people who do it. A new turn on shrinkage is hi-tech. For illustration. shoppers purchase cheap points and reproduce the saloon codification.

While shopping at a ulterior day of the month. they pasted the copied saloon codification to expensive points and so paid the inexpensive monetary value. These hi-tech felons so resell it on the web [ 21 ] . Harmonizing to John Warren. an Associate General Counsel for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners ( ACFE ) . employee larceny is the individual most expensive signifier of offense [ 22 ] . It may run from the simple act of an person who takes merely little points ( such as pens or paper cartridge holders ) to bust by groups that remove truckloads of ware. Furthermore. it is reported that. one out of every 33 employees is accused of larceny each twelvemonth [ 23 ] . Sometimes employees conspire with foreigners to steal from their employees. for illustration. by bear downing the foreigners a lower monetary value or by puting extra ware in accomplices’ bundles. Research has shown that employees who think their income is excessively low. or stagnating. steal more frequently and in greater sums than other employees. A survey showed that those who steal be given to be immature. full-time employee runing entirely. and that they steal ware more frequently than hard currency. A authoritative survey found that the high turnover rate among impermanent employees can do serious security jobs [ 24 ] .

The most prevailing types of fraud are likely to be those that impact on the net income and loss history as a consequence of the exaggeration of disbursals or the understatement of income. These may non needfully be big and so they may be hard to place. A clip when an SME is peculiarly vulnerable to fraud is during a period of rapid enlargement. The kineticss of the state of affairs may intend that it is more hard for directors to hold an overview of the concern. Progresss in technological developments mean that all organisations that are connected to the cyberspace are vulnerable to assail from outside. Whilst larger organisations may hold the proficient cognition to minimise this menace. SMEs may non even acknowledge the hazards. Whilst SMEs may non be able to hold every bit many internal controls as larger organisations. it is imperative that their directors evaluate the hazards that their concerns face and guarantee that they at least have defences in their cardinal countries.

2. 3 Current Tendencies on Fraud Apart from traditional signifiers of fraud in little concerns. computer-related fraud comes into the images as a phenomenon brought about by progresss in information-processing engineerings. Before the innovation of computing machines. fraud did occur but in different signifiers. The computing machine did non usher in a new moving ridge of fraud. but it simply changed the signifier of older frauds. for illustration defalcators can now steal by doing electronic entries in books of histories instead than write and ink or electro-mechanical entries [ 25 ] . The largest menace to a computing machine system comes from within. with 85 per centum of frauds being perpetuated by staff [ 26 ] . A survey in the US estimated that the one-year loss from computing machine fraud at USD3 to USD5 billion yearly [ 27 ] . The study of 1. 200 security directors in the US was found that about 20 per centum of the companies had detected a computing machine fraud within the five old ages covered. and that the rate of these frauds was straight related to the figure of employees utilizing computing machines [ 28 ] .

This shows that employee fraud by utilizing computing machines is a serious menace to concern presents. Owners of SMEs should be alert on current tendencies of fraud particularly fraud related to information and communicating engineerings ( ICT ) . Most of the proprietors of SMEs should be up-to-date with new cognition on information engineerings every bit good as tactics that could take to failure of the concerns. 2. 4 Business Crime Prevention In order to forestall fraud in little concern organisations. most old literature suggested reappraisals on fraud bar policy within company [ 29 ] . company’s internal control and attending on codification of moralss amongst members of organisation [ 30 ] . [ 31 ] . In add-on. some researches go farther by suggesting new thoughts such as the execution of fraud auditing and forensic accounting. These are efforts to minimise the likeliness of offense from happening in little concern organisations. The greatest fiscal impact of fraud can happen in a small-business environment. A loss of 6 % of grosss is important for any company. nevertheless big. but a little operation whose borders are thin and militias non-existent will travel out of concern [ 32 ] .

Even if an operation survives the financial loss. its concern continuity can be in hazard and it may no longer be able to work as an independent entity. Failing to turn to these issues topographic points a company at a competitory disadvantage when fraud becomes a cost of making concern. Fraud is a concern hazard in merely the same manner as an organisation faces the hazard of a client going bankrupt and unable to pay their debts [ 33 ] . The absence of an established policy means no place has been taken by the concern. Therefore. the company has to come up with fraud bar policy. for the concern to pass on to its employees what is expected from them in footings of forestalling. deterring and observing fraud. Such a policy is indispensable as fraud bar must ever be proactive. Welton and Davies looked at recommendation to concentrate attending on professional moralss within concern organisations in order to minimise deceitful activities [ 26 ] .

They argued that high criterions imposed from the top down can assist raise the degree of proficient behaviour within his concern environment. They besides concluded that an seemingly strong internal control construction. without sound employee ethical behaviour. is vulnerable. They suggested that concern organisations should affect in continued attempts to maintain employees cognizant of ethical issues. This may be accomplished by holding in-house plans or necessitating employees to go to a certain figure of classs on moralss and ethical development. Hunt emphasized on forensic accounting to forestall deceitful activities in concern organisations [ 29 ] . Unlike traditional auditing. forensic accounting is designed to observe and look into fraud.

The function of forensic comptrollers continues to spread out as international white neckband offense additions in range and complexness. They will go the private research workers or investigators of corporate administration and civilization and trade with a assortment of specialised maps in add-on to look intoing fraud. which includes plus tracing and recovery. Ideally. the being of forensic comptrollers seems to profit concerns. nevertheless. it costs the concern more. particularly to the little concerns with little sum of financess. Therefore. little concern proprietors might non comprehend engaging forensic comptrollers as of import to their concerns. When little concerns are victims of offense. they frequently react by altering their operation hours. raising their monetary values to cover their losingss. relocating outside the community. or merely shuting down the concern. SMEs proprietors should take a difficult expression and aware of their concerns in countries such as physical layout. figure of employees. hiring patterns. and overall security to find exposure to assorted sorts of offense. from burglary to embezzlement.

3. FUTURE RESEARCH
Fraud by employees could be serious and harmful to SMEs public presentation. Thus. SMEs must be ready to take appropriate actions to confront the challenges and deductions caused by fraud. Future research on this survey should be able to bring out the relationship between the effectivity of internal control and fraud preventative steps on SMEs and to estimate the adequateness of fraud bar steps taken by SMEs in Malaysia. It is expected that effectual internal control and the presence of appropriate fraud preventative steps will assist to better SMEs public presentation. The hereafter survey may utilize a questionnaire as a tool to obtain feedbacks from respondents. The questionnaire may incorporate a subdivision on demographic points such as gender. concern age and figure of employees. The following subdivision could be on internal controls activities that are suggested to be in topographic point in little and average endeavors. The intent of this subdivision is to place types of internal control that have been implemented by the respondents.

Apart from that. the undermentioned subdivision may incorporate common deceitful activities by employees in little and average endeavors and the intent of this subdivision is to bespeak the degree of owners’ concern on the type of deceitful activities that occurred within their concerns. Another subdivision besides may cover with the best preventative actions taken by proprietors of SMEs that could forestall deceitful activities within their concern organisations. There are several expected results could be obtained from the survey. The first possible result could be to turn out that there is important positive relationship between internal control and SMEs public presentation. This means that good internal control will take to high SMEs public presentation. It is besides expected that a high frequence of common deceitful activities occurred in the yesteryear will take to high degree of proprietors concern on it. Thus. high degree of owners’ concern on common deceitful activities will take to high preventative actions to be taken by the proprietors.

4. Decision
As a decision. internal control and fraud bar steps play a critical function and could hold influence on SMEs public presentation. SMEs are much more vulnerable to fraud by employees because it is operated in a little graduated table where the proprietors invested merely little sum of capital. Government. regulators. policy-makers. academicians and stakeholders should recognize that SMEs are considered as the anchor of industrial development in Malayan economic system. Consequently. they should be more concerned towards the hereafter growing and SMEs part to the whole economic system. However. Malayan SMEs should be prepared to confront the extremely ambitious and globalised environment such as deficiency of funding. low productiveness. deficiency of managerial capablenesss. hapless entree to direction and engineering and heavy regulators burden. Government should besides play their portion by forming preparation plans for enterprisers to fit them with relevant cognition as an attempt to increase the successful rate of SMEs established in Malaysia.

Recognitions
Greatly indebted to Ministry of Higher Education for giving a research grant under Fundamental Research Grants Scheme ( FRGS ) enabling a research on internal control. hazard direction and fraud bar steps to be conducted at UMT. Particular thanks to Dr. Zalailah Salleh and Dr. Zulkifli Mokhtar for giving their constructive remarks and thoughts to better this survey

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