Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Carol-Anne Faint


On average, a small business could lose $150,000 a year due to employee fraud schemes. For most of the small businesses affected by employee fraud schemes, the average $150,000 loss could be detrimental to the small business, causing the business to close. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the internal controls small business owners apply to detect and prevent fraud from occurring in the business. The population for the study consisted of 3 small business owners located in Hartsville, South Carolina who implemented effective internal fraud controls in their business. The conceptual framework guiding the study was the fraud triangle theory. Data were collected and triangulated through semistructured interviews, company internal control policy and procedure documents, the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission internal control framework, and the Small Business Administration internal control good practices. Data were analyzed through coding. There were 3 themes which emerged in relation to addressing the central research question: cash collection, separation of duties, and attentiveness and awareness. The findings could contribute to positive social change by providing best practices for small business owners to mitigate the components of the fraud triangle and subsequently decrease, if not eliminate, fraud from occurring in small businesses.