Mentoring Success Story: Steve and Melissa

Mentoring Success Story: Steve and Melissa

Stephen Pedneault, CFE, CPA, is the Principal of Forensic Accounting Services, LLC, a CPA firm focused exclusively on forensic accounting, fraud and litigation support matters. Through his investigative work, Steve has examined frauds ranging from a few thousand dollars to amounts well in excess of $5 million. Steve recently participated in the ACFE Mentoring Program, where he served as a mentor for Melissa Frausto.

Melissa, founder and owner of A Paper Trail, is a CFE with years of accounting experience but wanted to take her career to the next level by starting her own consulting practice. That’s where the Mentoring Program came in. She was looking for a mentor who could help guide her through this rocky, uncertain territory.

Together, Steve and Melissa forged a strong partnership that is still in place today. They have some wisdom to share with those who are considering joining the ACFE Mentoring Program.

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How to Step Up and Stand Out in Your Role

How to Step Up and Stand Out in Your Role

The theme of this year’s conference was Step Up, Stand Out. As I reflected on what that means to us as fraud examiners, I realized it was more than just a snappy phrase. There are a few trends in our profession that run parallel to this year’s theme.

Stepping up and standing out — two actions that can at times be uncomfortable and confrontational, but also exhilarating and rewarding.

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Flipping the Classroom in Fraud Education

Flipping the Classroom in Fraud Education

The days of the traditional college classroom, where the professor lectures on a topic and later gives exams on that material, are gone forever. The preferred style today, both by the professor as well as the student, is case-based learning. Students are expected to do the relative background reading beforehand and come to class ready to take on a case study, laser focused on the topic. Faculty spend their time doing the research and writing the case study for use in the classroom. This is a lot more interesting for all involved, students and faculty alike. It drives home the salient points of the subject matter and gives the students more real-world experience.

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Mentoring Success Story: Rémi and Thomas

Mentoring Success Story: Rémi and Thomas

After being a CFO for a global health care leader in the Middle East, Rémi Gayraud, CFE, dedicated more than 10 years in investigations and project management to forensic firms as a partner with Grant Thornton. Rémi now works on the corporate investigations team for a science-led health care company overseeing Europe and Africa. He’s also a co-author of two French books and has collaborated with ACFE’s president and CEO, Bruce Dorris, on the first CFE Exam Review Course in France. Rémi is part of the ACFE Mentoring Program. He serves as a mentor, and one of his former mentees was Thomas Bouloutsos.

Thomas is an Assistant to Internal Audit for a European Union Agency. Thomas joined the ACFE Mentoring Program because he hoped to meet and connect with others in his field. He also wanted to create a solid career path for himself with the guidance of a seasoned professional. These two created a lasting friendship and have a few tips to share with those who are considering joining the ACFE Mentoring Program.

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Gamblers Can Be Defrauded Too

Gamblers Can Be Defrauded Too

If you ask any internet search engine to execute a query about “gambling” and “fraud,” almost all information returned will be addressing the fact that gamblers are typical potential fraudsters. Indeed, gambling addiction generates pressure to commit fraud and is considered a high fraud risk factor. Gamblers will try anything to continue feeding their excessive gambling habits. Most fraud examiners are aware of this risk, and organizations should be attentive to their employees’ conduct. If a gambling problem rises, the organization should assist the employee through adequate employee support programs.

However, rarely do we see anyone raise the matter that gamblers could be defrauded too. Subconsciously, we might act as if gamblers are wrongdoers and therefore have no rights to claim. This bias would prevent us from admitting that gamblers are consumers and should be considered so. And if they are victims of a fraud scheme, they deserve it. It’s a punishment “morally” deserved.

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