Jim Oakes, CFE, CFCI, ACFE Regent, ACFE UK Chapter President
Managing Director, Financial Crime Risk, Ltd.
As 2014 approaches and my term in office as chair of the Board of Regents sadly draws to an end, I would like to reflect on what seems like an all too brief, but extremely fulfilling, experience. I first became aware of the ACFE when I left law enforcement to join Citibank as an investigator in the mid-90s. Recognition of the ACFE here in the UK at this time was restricted mainly to U.S.-based international corporations, but that was about to change following the establishment of the ACFE UK Chapter in 1996. Since that time our chapter membership has grown to more than 900 members.
Although I have served on the board of the UK Chapter initially serving as vice president in 2004 for nine years and serving as Chapter president since 2013, the internal workings of the ACFE, so far away in Austin, were much of a mystery to me. In 2011 I was shortlisted as a proposed candidate for election to serve on the 2012-2013 Board of Regents. This was the highlight of my professional career. I did not expect to be elected against such worthy and highly qualified fellow candidates, and I was extremely proud just to have been shortlisted. Needless to say I was delighted upon being elected by my peers to serve on the ACFE Board of Regents.
On arrival at the Gregor Building, ACFE’s headquarters in Austin, Texas, in February 2012 to be installed on the Board, I was surprised to discover behind the historic former private dwelling, which forms the key offices of the executives of the Association, a large complex of several modern office buildings housing more than 75 permanent staff, the powerhouse of the ACFE. On meeting the staff, one can only be impressed by their enthusiasm and professionalism, which are keys to the ongoing success of our organisation.
As a member of the Board of Regents I have performed several integral functions. Under the current bylaws, the Board of Regents has sole authority over the admission of members, including but not limited to, examination standards. The Board is responsible for establishing, modifying and enforcing the CFE Code of Professional Ethics and all other matters necessary to maintain the high standards of the ACFE around the world. Acting as the final decision makers on disciplinary matters and upholding the principles and standards of the Association can be a challenging aspect and is not taken lightly.
Give a fellow CFE the opportunity to represent you on the Board of Regents by voting right now for the two representatives of your choice. Act now to help a colleague begin their role as a future leader in the premier anti-fraud organization in the world. You won't regret it, and those elected to represent you will always remember your grassroots support just like I have done over the years.