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Enugu, Nigeria
Enugu State

Fraud Detection And Control In Payroll Departments

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This research paper fraud detection and control in payroll department the aim of conducting this research work is to investigate into the causes of alarming rate of fraud and its control in our payroll of our various ministries.

Identify the effects and suggest possible solution towards achieving fraud free in our organization payroll. In other words, the aim of the study is also ascertain, investigate and highlight the reason for frauds in payroll department and the organization in generally. How can it be detected checked and controlled? An investigation and the analysis of the data collected the following problems were identified. Using of incompetent staff to carryout the job require in the payroll, absence of good internal control and internal check employing of dishonesty staff or cooks in payroll section, non – motivation of staff. Further more because of the ghost workers exercise done by the Enugu state government in the ministries and department is one of the thing that inspired me to carryout this investigation on how fraud can be controlled or at least reduced to the lowest base minimum, but in the case the introduction of variation control is one of the check. Finally to suggest solution to the problems and make recommendation for future prospects of payroll departments. The following recommendation should be based on the analysis of the questionnaire and oral interview.



TITLE PAGE                                                                                   II

APPROVAL PAGE                                                                         III

DEDICATION                                                                                  IV

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT                                                                V

ABSTRACT                                                                                     VII

TABLE OF CONTENT                                                                             IX


1.0       Introduction                                                                           

1.1       Background of the study                                                      1

1.2       Statement of problem                                                           3      

1.3       Objective of the study                                                           5

1.4       Research Question                                                               6

1.5       Research Hypothesis                                                                    7

1.6       Significance of the study                                                      9

1.7       Scope of the study and        Limitation of the study                             10    

1.8       Definition of terms                                                                 11


2.0       REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE                                      

2.1    Definition of fraud in payroll department                                      16

2.2       Types of fraud in payroll department                                  17

2.3       Causes of fraud in payroll department                               21

2.4       Detection of fraud in payroll department                                      28

2.5       Prevention of fraud                                                               34

Reference                                                                                       37


3.0       RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY                                   

3.1 Research Design                                                                     38

3.2 Area of the study                                                                      38

3.3 Population of the study                                                            38

3.4 Sample method                                                                        39

3.5 Research instrumentation                                                       40

3.6 Validity and reliability of research instrument                        40

3.7 Sources of data                                                                        41

3.8 Analytical Techniques                                                             42



4.1    Analysis of data                                                                              43

4.2    Test of hypothesis                                                                53



5.1    Summary of Findings                                                           58    

5.2       Conclusion                                                                                      60

5.3       Recommendation                                                                 60






In recent times fraud in ministries dominates front page of our Newspapers, radio announcements and television announcements. This fact is indisputable in the minds of the readers, listeners and observers. These fraud stories should be on a matter of greater concern to a patriot worthy of the name. The deeper study and increased analytical approach to ghost workers had led to an over growing realization of the frauds and control in the ministries and autonomous departments and the influence on the success or other wish of government of Nigeria.

According to the research made, it is the impact fraud has on government revenue, big organization, banks, ministries etc. that led into writing this topic.

Furthermore, the ghost workers exercise by the Enugu state government in the ministries and autonomous department in 1995 and the introduction of various control that inspired to carryout this survey and investigation on how fraud can be controlled to at least be reduced to the lowest bares minimum.

According to the oxford advance learners Dictionary of current English, the word fraud simple means criminal deception.

Perhaps the meaning and explanation which consider more is the definition offered in Hamlyn Encyclopedia world dictionary. According to this great master dictionary, the word fraud means deceits, trickery, sharp practice or breach of confidence, by which it stands to gain more some unfair or dishonest advantages over others.

In other words on these definition put forward above, it means that the act exhibited by some one which is pursed towards gaining under and non – meritorious credits at the detriment of the right beneficiary construct an act of fraud is never committed, unless the intention of the perpetrator was present the time the execution of the dubious plan. Therefore any alleged fraud which does not meet this test must be construed and interested as aiding and betting fraud.

Another definition of fraud by the college dictionary of the Random house if simply “a deceit, trackery or breach of confidence use by one person to gain unfair and dishonest advantage over others.

This two definition rather appropriate and adequate for this project because they contain the main element of fraud, which include the following:

1.          There must be decent, trickery or breach of confidence.

2.          There must be unfair and dishonest advantage based on the concept of one man’s loss is another man’s gain.


The recently reported waves of fraud in the ministries is to say the least, very unfortunate frauds, no doubt are being perpetuated in various sub – sectors of the economy but those committed in government organization going by previous and recent reports, are most disconcerting.

A situation as we are experiencing now where incessant care of frauds of the ministries payroll are being reported which could not immediately check erode our future economy. Fraud has continued to cause untold hardship to our people collectively and individually. To capture all fraud has significantly contributed to what is happening in the ministries and departments lapses in the government of Enugu state.

Fraud which may be discovered in payroll department include:

i.            Salary defalcation

ii.           Over easting of salary sheet

iii.         Inflation of figure

iv.         Dummy names or non existence expenses.

v.          Preparing of supplementary voucher.

In effect of this problems posed by fraud in almost every payroll system in Nigerian organization that gave the researcher the impetus to go into research to investigate and find out the rational behind these frauds in payroll. How they are detected checked and control.

In recognition of the above facts, the type of frauds committed and other possible effects of frauds in the payroll system.

The researcher also hopes to make useful recommendations and suggestions that will help completely to a large extent eliminate fraud in ministries payroll.


Fraud in payroll system in most Nigeria organization is comparatively high and this has disturbed the growth and development of certain organization. The main aim of the study is to ascertain the reasons for fraud in payroll, how they are detected, checked and controlled.

1.          To find out the different types of frauds committed in the payroll.

2.          To find out causes of fraud in the payroll system

3.          To find out the step that can be taken to eliminate fraud in the payroll.

4.          To find out the category of workers committing fraud in the payroll system.

5.          To make recommendations based on the finding of the study

6.          To determine the nature and scope of these fraud in payrolls i.e. whether they are fundamental or material.

7.          Finally to suggest solution to problems and make recommendation for future prospect.


1.  What are the types of fraud committed in the payroll department?

2.  What are the causes of fraud in the payroll system?

3.  What are the steps to be taken to eliminate fraud in the payroll department?

4.  Does fraud exist in the payroll department?

5.  Does fraud have any adverse effect on the progress of an organization and country’s economy?

6.  Does poor motivation of employees in ministries cause fraud?


Hypothesis is a proposition out forward as a basis for reasoning a supposition formulated from proved data and presented as temporary explanation of occurrence as in science, in order to establish a basis for future research.

Uzoaga, W.O defined it as “a conjectural statement of the relationship between two or more variables”.

In order to determine the effects of fraud detection and control in payroll departments and Nigerian ministries, the following hypothesis are formulated.


Ho:  Fraudulent activities are not experienced.

Hi:   Fraudulent activities are experienced


Ho:  progress of an organization is not being individual by fraudulent activities.

Hi:   progress of an organization is being individual by fraudulent activities.


Ho:  fraud does not exist in payroll department.

Hi: fraud exist in payroll department


The study is meant to aid payroll system in detecting fraud since the interest of both government and worker is at a risk if unprotected. The study would also aid all other organization that may have a need for assistance in checking fraud, since fraud and some other malpractices are not limited to the ministries alone.

It is hoped that the recommendation and suggestion made in the study would help in the growth and development of government ministries as well as business organization and if necessary replace most of their ineffective internal control checks with more effective and perhaps less dangerous one’s.

The elimination of the payroll would restore the corporate image of the ministries payroll.

Finally, the study would be of immense help to all those who wish to carry out further study of fraud in the ministries payroll or in any other related field.


The scope of the study has been limited to the payroll system in Enugu state due to time and proximity.

Secondly, due to the sensitive nature of the topic most payrollers are generally not disposed to help for the simple reason that the researcher may have been sent by the internal auditors of the payroll system. It tool time to convince the staff to corporate and this was even possible because the researcher was able to prove that he was a student of Institute of Management and Technology (IMT).

Thirdly, since most of the payroll systems have the same methods of operations, it is believed that the needs of the researcher would still be met from the study of the samples from Enugu state.


1.          Corporate image: This refers to the goodwill and public image created by an entirely. It could be as a result of making good quality products, offering efficient services and maintain a satisfied work force.

2.          Internal control: The plan of an organization and all the co-ordinate method and means adopted within a business to safeguard its assets, check the accuracy data, promote operational efficiency and encourage adherence to prescribed managerial policies.

3.          Liquidation: The winding up of a business, is usually as a result of insufficient funds.

4.          Forgery: Forgery is the act of falsely making or receiving any writing for the purpose of doing to another person. Any alteration of a writing made with intent to defraud is a forgery. For instance, the forgery of a staff signature.

5.          Dummy names: This type of fraud is in a way of including non – existence name in the wages sheets.

6.          Falsification of account: This types of fraud is usually committed by the payrollers who are either acting ignorantly, innocently or with proved criminal intent.

7.          Forged cheque: Forged cheque with forged signature remain one of the commonest source of fraud, in this case, cheque books are stolen, customers signature are perfectly forged and many successfully with draw from the bank.

The above terms were defined and explained in order to lend charity to the terms.


According to Onovo (2002), the word fraud and irregularity can be termed as errors and this word error is used to refer to unintentional mistake in financial statements whether or mathematical or clerical nature of whether due to over sight or misinterpretation of the relevant facts.

Irregularities: In a general view from the research made, the word is used to refer to intentional distortions of financial statements for whether purpose and misappropriation of assets.

Frauds: Frauds in this aspect is one type of irregularity. This word is used to refer to irregularities involving the use of criminal deception of obtain unjust or illegal advantage.

Management Responsibility: The primary responsibility for the prevention and detection or errors and irregularities rest with management. This responsibility may be party discharged by the institution of an adequate system of internal control. The responsibility of management in this regard is even higher where assets are help in a fiduciary capacity on behalf of the public in a third party as is the case with banks and insurance companies. In addition, the directors of a company are regarded in law as acting in a stewardship capacity concerning the property which is under their control.

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