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Volume 9, 2009


A Framework for Internal Fraud Risk Reduction at IT Integrating Business Processes: The IFR² Framework
Mieke Jans, Nadine Lybaert and Koen Vanhoof
Published February 2009
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Fraud is a million dollar business and it is increasing every year. Both internal and external fraud present a substantial cost to our economy worldwide. A review of the academic literature learns that the academic community only addresses external fraud and how to detect this type of fraud. Little or no effort to our knowledge has been put in investigating how to prevent ánd to detect internal fraud, which we call ‘internal fraud risk reduction’. Taking together the urge for research in internal fraud and the lack of it in academic literature, research to reduce internal fraud risk is pivotal. Only after having a framework in which to implement empirical research, this topic can further be investigated. In this paper we present the IFR² framework, deduced from both the academic literature and from current business practices, where the core of this framework suggests to use a data mining approach.

An Enhanced Communication Model
Per Flensburg
Published May 2009
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The concept of information is often taken for more or less granted in research about information systems. This paper introduces a model starting with Shannon and Weaver data transmission model and ends with knowledge transfer between individual persons. The model is in fact an enhanced communication model giving a framework for discussing problems in the communication process. A specific feature of the model is the aim for providing design guidelines in designing the communication process. The article ends with identifying a need for develop the model further to incorporate also communication within and between organisations of different kinds.

Digital Reporting Formats: Users’ Perceptions, Preferences and Performances
Erlane K Ghani, Fawzi Laswad and Stuart Tooley
Published July 2009
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This study examines users’ perceptions of three digital reporting formats: PDF, HTML and XBRL. Using public accounting practitioners as participants, this study examines users’ perceptions of different reporting formats used in disseminating financial information. This study includes examining the link between users’ perceptions and preferred reporting format and whether these perceptions are similar to the quality of their decision in the completion of a specific task. This study follows Davis (1989, p. 320) who defined perceptions into 2: perceived usefulness as “the degree a user believes that a particular aid would enhance his performance” and perceived ease of use as “the degree to which a user believes that using a particular aid would reduce or be free of effort”. The results indicate that users’ perceptions of usefulness among the digital reporting formats differ significantly. However, perceptions of ease of use are similar across the three digital reporting formats. Users’ perceptions are also found to influence their preferred reporting format. The findings also show that users’ perceptions of usefulness are analogous to their decision accuracy for HTML and XBRL formats but not for PDF format. Perceptions of ease of use, however, do not correspond to actual cognitive effort for all reporting formats. The results indicate that if more advanced forms of digital reporting are to be encouraged, there is also the need for users to be made more aware of the benefits to be gained from the different forms of reporting.

Exploring COBIT Processes for ITG in Saudi Organizations: An empirical Study
Ahmad A. Abu-Musa
Published September 2009
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Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT) has become one of the most important guidelines for information technology governance (ITG), which provides organizations with a useful tool to start evaluating their own ITG systems. COBIT introduces an ITG framework and supporting toolset that allows IT managers to bridge the gap between control requirements, technical issues and business risks. The objective of this study is to investigate the formality, auditing, responsibility and accountability of implementing COBIT processes for ITG in Saudi organizations. An empirical survey, using a self-administered questionnaire, was conducted to achieve these objectives. Five hundred questionnaires were distributed to a sample of Saudi organizations in a selected number of Saudi cities. One hundred and twenty seven valid questionnaires – representing a 25.4 percent response rate –were collected and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16. While the results of the study reveal that the majority of respondents reported that implementing ITG COBIT processes and domains is the responsibility of IT departments in Saudi organizations, most of the respondents reported that the COBIT processes and domains are neither audited nor formally conducted in their organizations. From a practical standpoint, managers and practitioners alike stand to gain from the findings of this study. The study provides useful information for senior management, IT managers, accountants, auditors, and academics to understand the implementation phase and the impact of COBIT on ITG in Saudi organizations.

REA and XBRL GL: Synergies for the 21st Century Business Reporting System
Denise G. Amrhein, Stephanie Farewell and Robert Pinsker
Published October 2009
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Incorporating an instance document example, we suggest a framework linking the Resource-Event-Agent (REA) model and eXtensible Business Reporting Language Global Ledger (XBRL GL) as a way to extend the generalized XBRL GL taxonomy. Using the REA semantic model to extend the existing XBRL GL taxonomy provides an ontology and associated process that is reusable. The resulting framework can provide uniform access to information and more reporting and query permutations, thereby facilitating more comprehensive and timely business reporting.

Universities’ Websites: Disclosure Practices and the Revelation of Financial Information
Isabel Gallego, Isabel-María García and Luís Rodríguez
Published November 2009
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Despite the social importance of universities and their significance as receivers of public funds, hardly any research exists about their disclosure of financial information. The scarce research that has been done has focused on countries such as the United States, New Zealand, Austria, the United Kingdom and Norway. In addition, the Internet is used widely on behalf of public bodies as a way to improve their relations with citizens, through greater disclosure of information and the possibility of doing administrative business and paperwork online. Considering both topics, this work has a twofold objective: (1) to analyse the disclosure of information revealed online by Spanish universities, focusing on several issues, such as financial information, corporate governance, social responsibility and strategy, teaching and research activities, etc.; and (2) to observe the factors that explain the disclosure of financial information through Spanish universities’ websites, focusing mainly on size, leverage, university profitability, governance, type of university, research orientation, age of the university and its internationality etc. This study takes into account the whole population of Spanish universities (70 universities: 48 public and 22 private). The findings obtained emphasize that university websites mainly disclose information on teaching and research activities and on governing bodies; to a lesser extent, they reveal information on their social responsibility and strategic aspects; and finally, the volume of financial information disclosed remains quite small, mainly including their budgets. Furthermore, the universities with lower levels of leverage disclose more information online, whereas those with higher volumes of debt are more reluctant to reveal their internal situation on the Internet.

A Delphi Investigation to Explain the Voluntary Adoption of XBRL
Enrique Bonsón, Virginia Cortijo and Tomás Escobar
Published December 2009
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The objective of this paper is to identify the factors that could have led North-American companies to voluntarily submit their information in XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) under the XBRL Voluntary Financial Reporting Program (2005-2008). The motivation that led us to carry out this analysis was the fact that, despite the many benefits attributed to XBRL, only 137 companies (out of over 10.000 filers) decided to join the voluntary program issued by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). At this point, we wondered if the SEC should have promoted other benefits to encourage companies to use XBRL. To reach our goal, we conducted a Delphi study. Through this study, we asked a panel of XBRL experts their opinion about the reasons that could have led companies to voluntarily disclose their business information in XBRL. Our results show that, according to experts, factors such as to gain a deeper knowledege of XBRL and to acquire a company image as a pioneer in technology played an essential role in the process of voluntary adoption of the standard.

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