College of Business and Economics News

New study: Two heads are not better than one when it comes to preventing fraud

Monday, November 23, 2020, 12:20am by

Separation of Duties has long been thought to be the most effective control to prevent fraud and errors. It turns out that Separation of Duties IS very effective for preventing errors. But, when you want to prevent your employees from stealing from your company, it doesn’t work well at all. According to new research by Emerita Professor of Accounting Bobbi Barra and colleagues, “Separation of Duties” doesn’t necessarily reduce fraud. In practice, the possibility of collusion pretty much wipes out any advantage of separation of duties. The researchers suspect that people are not afraid of pointing out others’ mistakes, but shy away from pointing out theft and other crimes. No one likes a tattler, after all.

How it all started

The idea came up when Roberta noticed there was no research into fraud controls; only conjecture by well meaning auditors. The authors set out to discover if the conjectures surrounding the most common control, separation of duties, was correct. The analysis presented here is theory that now should be tested empirically. After revisions and strenuous peer review the paper was accepted for publication in the Journal of Forensic Accounting Research (JFAR). JFAR is the premier accounting journal in the United States for research on fraud topics.

What does this mean for your business?

Reliance on Separation of Duties may give you a false sense of security when it comes to fraud. It might be wise to invest in other fraud controls such as a tip hotline, something which the Association of Fraud Examiners has shown to be the most common way fraud is discovered.

About the Authors

Roberta Barra, CPA, PhD., is a retired Professor of Accounting from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. She has had many years of teaching and research experience in auditing, systems and software consulting involving accounting and ERP software. Her research focused on accounting information systems including internal controls, accounting software evaluations and documentation techniques. Her secondary interests include international accounting and audit-related research. She has presented her research at conference proceedings nationally and internationally. She earned an MBA from the University of Houston and a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Arline Savage is Professor of Accounting and former Department Chair for Accounting and Finance in the Collat School of Business at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. As a Chartered Accountant, she has worked in industry, the accounting profession and as a consultant. As a professor, she has taught a wide variety of courses at universities in South Africa, Canada and the United States. Arline has been a Deloitte Faculty Fellow, received the Ernst & Young Leader in Ethics Award, the Fluor Corporation Excellence in Teaching Award, the Ernst & Young Outstanding Educator Award and the Loudell Teaching Award. Arline serves on the editorial boards of the two highest ranked accounting education journals, Issues in Accounting Education and the Journal of Accounting Education. She is also a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Business Information Systems. Arline has over 40 academic and professional publications to her credit, as well as two scholarly books and two textbooks. Among her academic research honors in the United States are six best conference paper awards. In the United States, she has consulted for private equity investors on various accounting and finance projects in the wholesale food, apparel, engineering, and manufacturing industries, and has served as accounting advisor to the chairman of an audit committee of a public company. She also served as interim CFO for an engineering company in California during the post-acquisition phase and has performed business valuations for acquisition and accounting purposes.

Eric Im, professor of economics, joined the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo faculty in 1983. His first and foremost interest was in quantitative economics. His substantial research output covered a wide range of topics in both theory and application: econometric theory, matrix theory, international finance, education, natural resources, taxation, tourism, transportation, and transnational terrorism. Professor Im passed away in 2017.

Roberta A Barra, Arline Savage, Eric Im; Mathematical Formulation of the Effectiveness of ‘Separation of Duties’ as a Preventive Control Activity. Journal of Forensic Accounting Research doi: https://doi.org/10.2308/JFAR-19-012 

File under Business Majors can do Anything: CoBE accounting alumna enrolls in top medical school

Thursday, October 29, 2020, 12:12am by

Raisa Ancheta (formerly Raisa Evora) earned her BBA from CoBE and started as a Senior Accountant at a brokerage firm in the Bay Area. Then she completed a second Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2018 with a 4.0 (Summa Cum Laude).

Now she is headed to the UC Irvine School of Medicine, a top-50 medical school that accepts under 2% of applicants each year.

How did she move from accounting to medical school? A long commute, an unexpected move, and a lifelong interest in science:

I was fortunate to work in one of the greatest work environments as a senior accountant. However, I found myself constantly reading science textbooks on my commute to work. I, unfortunately, had to leave my job in the Bay Area when my husband was deployed and stationed in Wisconsin. I took advantage of my new freedom during this time of transition to pursue a passion for science that I had developed. Furthermore, I realized that I could not only have tremendous fun working in a field that I love, but I also had the advantage of understanding the management/accounting/marketing related aspects of business which is an integral part of the health care system.

Her business background and her experience at CoBE made her uniquely prepared for her studies in life sciences and medicine.

I do not think I could have succeeded this way had it not been for the strong foundation I received at University of Hawaii at Hilo. All my professors and mentors at UHH were beyond kind and encouraging. They offered me so many opportunities to shine academically and made me feel like I could succeed in anything I set my mind towards.

Raisa notes that the support of her family has been central to her success.

I am also grateful for the support of all my family on the Big Island of Hawai’i. My mother, Sunday Leimomi Nelson, M.Ed, has been an especially empowering influence on my decision to become a medical student. She advocated for children and families of East Hawai’i in the pursuit of mental health parity. Now, in the dissertation phase of her Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership with a focus on Mental Health, she demonstrates a life-long love of learning at any age. Her commitment to learning and the support I had from the UHH faculty inspired me to combine my business background, my love of science, and my desire to help others into a career in medicine.

Raisa lives in California with her husband, two daughters, and two sons.

CoBE and Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce team up to offer Virtual Reverse Career Fair

Monday, October 26, 2020, 5:27am by

A Virtual Reverse Career Fair flips the table on a typical career fair – Students have an opportunity to showcase their achievements and talents to potential employers virtually via a pre-recorded 5 minute video.

Students

Your submission packet will include your resume so interested employers are able to contact you for an interview or further questions. Register here.

Employers

This is your opportunity to review some remarkable prospective job and/or internship applicants being produced by the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. The Chamber Young Professionals Program has partnered with UH Hilo to present this Virtual Reverse Career Fair. Click here to register to receive access to a Google Drive folder which will include 5-minute videos of the students creatively marketing themselves and their skills. You will also be able to download their resumes.

Who may participate

All interested students and alumni from all colleges are welcome to participate in this event. The submissions will be organized for viewing by colleges and career interests. Job-seekers have until 11:59 pm, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020 to submit their video and resume. The entries will go “live” and be accessible to employers starting Thursday, Nov. 19 at 12:00 noon. For students, the $35 registration fee includes a one-year student membership in the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, which includes access to the HICC Young Professionals networking events. Alumni who register for the Virtual Reverse Career Fair and submit their videos, resumes, and registration fees are eligible to apply for a Chamber Individual Membership at a one-time only discounted annual rate of $100, a savings of $50 off the regular rate.

The Chamber has provided tips for making the best possible impression.

For more information, contact the Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce office at 808-935-7178 or email miles.yoshioka@hicc.biz or taylor.escalona@hicc.biz. CoBE students and alumni may contact Helen Tien at htien@hawaii.edu.

CoBE finance students collaborate with peers in Asia and North America, thanks to technology and creative faculty

Monday, October 19, 2020, 9:50am by

 

Imagine logging in to your UH Hilo finance class and connecting with students and professors in Japan, the Philippines, Korea, Myanmar, Canada, and Indonesia.  Starting with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11, you collaborate with your global classmates to plan to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. The research will be applied to Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines, and the perspectives of all students will be taken into account.

 

Finance professor Kelly Moran is providing this experience to his students thanks to a teaching method called COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning). COIL classes provide interactive, virtual, international engagement in a structured setting.

The methodology was pioneered at SUNY and Kansai University. The COIL program was introduced to UH Hilo by Director of International Student Services Jim Mellon, and later taken on by Todd Shumway, Director of Global Exchange at UH Hilo’s Center for Global Education and Exchange.

 

This semester’s three-way COIL partnership among UH Hilo, Kansai University, and San Pedro College involves a total of 98 students and 5 faculty members participating. There are 12 COIL teams, of which three are led by UH Hilo students. The participating classes are FIN 220, Personal Finance, and FIN 494, an advanced special topics course on real estate finance and investment in Hawaiʻi.
“I loved talking with others from a different place,” says  Alyah Cortez, noting that students around the world were all dealing with COVID-19 and the challenge of switching to online learning. “I found it very interesting that they are required to be in clubs at the University so that they can make friends and build up their resume. I would want UH Hilo to do that as well.” Now that she’s made connections online, Cortez feels comfortable with the idea of one day meeting up with her network.

 

As a student of linguistics and a two-time study abroad alum, Jake Unger was pleasantly surprised by the opportunity to collaborate with international students in his finance class. “It was right down my alley,” he says, adding that his study abroad experiences in Spain and Brazil enhanced the COIL experience. “I would not have truly appreciated what this Finance class is doing if it wasn’t for my personal intercultural exchange.”
“When I registered for personal finance, I expected to mainly learn about finance basics,” says student Dason Albano. “But I didn’t know that I’d also be improving my networking skills thanks to COIL.”

 

“The students are very excited about becoming global citizens,” Moran says. “This is a great opportunity for creative thinking and intercultural understanding. I expect students to be able to use skills coming out of this COIL collaboration to facilitate career paths and create lifelong connections. This is a global business environment we are in and those are the skills needed to prosper.”

CoBE Student receives tourism scholarship from Skål International

Wednesday, September 9, 2020, 10:39pm by

The Skål International Hawaii Chapter has awarded a $1500 scholarship to CoBE senior Reynelson Martin Jr. This is the first time the scholarship has been awarded to a UH Hilo student.  He was nominated by Dr. Angela Fa‘anunu, Kitaro Watanabe Distinguished Visiting Professor of Tourism at the College of Business and Economics.

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Money and Banking course sees record enrollment as students seek to understand current events

Monday, August 24, 2020, 7:07pm by

The College of Business and Economics is seeing unprecedented enrollment in ECON 340, Money and Banking.

The course covers:

  • The relationship between the monetary system and price levels, employment and income.
  • The nature and functions of money and banking.
  • The role of money in international trade and inflation.

ECON 340 fulfills a requirement for the BBA degree, but it is also attracting attention from other majors and even non-students.

Dr. Amir Mohammadian, who teaches ECON 340, says he is not surprised that in this volatile and often-confusing era, students want to learn how our economic systems work:

Basically, every financial decision we make depends on what is happening in the financial markets. This course helps you gain a clear understanding of how financial markets work, how they are connected to each other, and the role of monetary policy.

ECON 340 gives students a glimpse behind the curtain at the impact the Federal Reserve, the central banking system of the United States, has on the economy. Dr. Mohammadian says,

What I find even more interesting about this course is that we learn about the channel through which the Fed influences the banking system, financial markets and as a result our life, career, and economic well-being. The knowledge you gain in this class will help you to make rational, thoughtful, and educated decisions for your financial plans based on current and future economic conditions.

CoBE is working to accommodate everyone who wants to take the class. Those wishing to take Money and Banking on a non-credit basis, please contact the College of Business and Economics Executive Education program at exedcobe@hawaii.edu or 808.932.7272.

Thropp scholarship assists as Covid hits

Saturday, August 1, 2020, 6:19pm by

Last year, the College of Business & Economics received a scholarship endowment from the estate of James P.D. Thropp, Jr.

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CoBE agri-tourism expert Fa`anunu featured panelist in July 21 webinar

Monday, July 20, 2020, 10:54pm by

The Hawai‘i Island Farm Trails smartphone application and website, a venture co-founded by CoBE’s Dr. Angela Fa‘anunu, has won $5,000 in the MahiX Open Innovation ChallengeHawai‘i Farm Trails connects farmers to visitors by promoting farm tours, farmers markets, and agricultural events on Hawai‘i Island. (more…)

Certificates in Business, IT, and Finance sought as pandemic disrupts careers

Thursday, June 25, 2020, 7:25am by

Strada Education reports that over half of Americans are concerned about job security in the wake of the pandemic, and many of those believe a career change would require more education. Career-changers prefer certificates over 4-year degrees.

Potential career-switchers prefer non-degree programs

Source: Strada Education

The most popular fields to switch into are Business, Information Technology, and Finance.

18% want to switch to business; 14% to IT; and 9% to finance.

Source: Strada Education

The  University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo offers non-degree certificates in  AccountingBusiness AdministrationData Science,  Finance, and Health Care Administration.  Apply here to enroll in a non-degree certificate; no application fee is required.

The College of Business and Economics also offers executive education and proctoring of professional exams. Contact cobeuhh@hawaii.edu for more information.

CoBE summer class counsels local businesses on surviving COVID-19

Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 5:57am by

How can small businesses survive Covid? Thanks to Helen Tien’s Marketing 394 (Retail & Distribution Management) course, some local businesses are better prepared to survive the pandemic. Students enrolled in this summer’s marketing course on retail and distribution (MKT 394) at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo offered themselves as a resource to local small businesses dealing with problems caused by coronavirus restrictions. Small business owners were invited to submit information about their marketing issues and then schedule a one-hour video conference session with the 24 senior students and instructor of the class Helen Tien, who also serves as the College of Business and Economics‘s academic and career advisor.

“Projects with real clients or companies are the ones you remember as a graduate, so thank you to the companies who opened their doors to our class,” says Tien. “This goes beyond COVID-19, we want to strengthen the relationship between our students and the community.”

The consultation was free and businesses were selected on the basis of how relevant their problem was to the course. The class received requests for help from Cafe 100, RK Woods, Augustine Guitars, Aloha Pawz, and Conscious Communities. Advice was offered about moving businesses online, finding out more about customers, analyzing marketing effectiveness, providing customer service, website feedback, and more.

“It was really awesome to work with Cafe 100,” says a student in the class. “They were very open to us looking at their operations and listened to our creative ideas for utilizing existing retail space. I felt like we all saw first-hand just how difficult it was to run a successful retail location.”

Story by Susan Enright, a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.

https://hilo.hawaii.edu/chancellor/stories/2020/06/19/marketing-students-counsel-local-businesses/