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Auditing in United Kingdom (UK) small and medium enterprises (SMEs)

Onions, RL 2006, Auditing in United Kingdom (UK) small and medium enterprises (SMEs) , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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    Abstract

    The research questions are: 1. Do most SMEs receive limited systems auditing attention? 2. Do auditors pay inadequate attention to aspects of Information Technology and Security? 3. Is unreported fraud widespread within SMEs and is it growing? 4. Are Directors keenly interested in reducing fraud if they can? 5. SMEs might favour an alternative, low cost, automated auditing process? The thesis begins with a comprehensive literature review including juridical issues, a brief history of auditing, and legal standards. There is a review of auditing standards and issues in Information Systems and an examination of fraud and its effects on business. Computer Assisted Audit Tools are examined and the use of technology to assist auditors is reviewed. There is a wide-ranging review of reported fraud and a discussion about new technologies in Continuous Auditing and Expert Systems. A research questionnaire with 147 questions was sent, with Department of Trade assistance, to 2000 SMEs and the research findings are analysed and related to the thesis hypotheses. The results are then extrapolated across the UK base of nearly 3.8 million SMEs. The perceived way forward in auditing using new technologies is examined and new paradigms are suggested. There is a contribution towards these new systems in the form of an Extensible Continuous Auditing Language (XCAL) which enables experts systems to recognise generic transactions in ERP and accounting systems. A case study of a large fraud and some smaller crimes looks at the way they could have been pinpointed as they were being perpetrated instead of months later and there is a review of future research into transaction patterns in auditing and their incorporation into future electronic auditing systems.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Contributors: Cooper, G(Supervisor)
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Business & Law
    Colleges and Schools > College of Business & Law > Salford Business School
    Depositing User: Institutional Repository
    Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 14:34
    Last Modified: 19 Feb 2014 13:12
    URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/26846

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