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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Sawsan Saadi Halbouni, Nada Obeid and Abeer Garbou

This paper aims to investigate the role of corporate governance and information technology in fraud prevention and detection within the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the role of corporate governance and information technology in fraud prevention and detection within the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a survey of financial accountants and internal and external auditors to assess their perceptions of the effectiveness of IT and corporate governance as measured in terms of the audit committee’s effectiveness, internal audit functions, external audit functions, culture of honesty and employee training programmes in preventing and detecting fraud in the UAE.

Findings

The results indicate that corporate governance has a moderate role in preventing and detecting fraud in the UAE and that IT has the same role as traditional fraud prevention and detection techniques. The results also show no significant difference between internal and external auditors in their use of technological and traditional techniques during the course of audits.

Research limitations/implications

The findings suggest that the senior management and boards of directors must better understand the importance of their oversight function. The finding that a culture of honesty has a low positive impact on fraud prevention and detection in the UAE indicates that chief executive officers and boards of directors must make more efforts to set the “tone at the top” to improve the corporate environment in terms of integrity and ethics, among other factors. Furthermore, as IT and traditional techniques provide the same function, senior management and boards of directors must be alerted to the importance of developing systematic approaches to fraud investigation that involve greater reliance on technological approaches.

Practical implications

The moderate role of corporate governance suggests that senior management and boards of directors must better understand the importance of their oversight function to meet their obligations and fiduciary responsibilities to stakeholders. Furthermore, greater adoption of IT to detect and prevent fraud contributes to developing a systematic approach to fraud investigation, capable of identifying unusual activity using effective software.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature on the role of corporate governance and IT in preventing and detecting fraud, particularly for Middle Eastern countries and other emerging nations. The study may provide insights to academics and practitioners in the UAE and their international counterparts.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 31 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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