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The effectiveness of internal control activities to combat occupational fraud risk in fast-moving consumer goods small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME’s) in the Cape Metropole
South African Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) play an important role in the stimulation of the national economy. However, according to previous research studies, these business entities have one of the worst sustainability rates in the world as approximately 80% of South African SMMEs tend to fail after being in operation for only three years. Taking the weak sustainability rate of these business entities into account, further studies suggest that South African SMMEs operate in a harsh economic environment, which, in turn, creates a breeding ground for risks to realise in, including that of occupational fraud risk. According to scholarly literature, the occurrence of occupational fraud risk is believed to stem from the utilisation of inadequate and/or ineffective internal control activities – South African SMMEs, in general, are believed to make use of inadequate and/or ineffective internal control activities. For this research study, focus was placed on investigating the effectiveness of internal control activities used within South African fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) SMMEs to combat occupational fraud risk. This was achieved by conducting a literature review (see Chapter 2) to assist in the development of a survey to, in turn, conduct empirical research by collecting quantitative data from respondents (see Chapter 3). All relevant quantitative data gleaned were analysed using both descriptive statistics and inferential statistics (see Chapter 4). Based on the analysed data, it was found that although implemented internal control activities in sampled South African FMCG SMMEs were customised, a few internal control activities assisted in the combating of occupational fraud risk while the bulk of internal control activities did not assist in combating occupational fraud risk. Stemming from the study conducted, the inference was made that the occurrence (realisation) of occupational fraud risk may be exacerbated by the implemented internal control activities in South African FMCG SMMEs due to their ineffectiveness.