Fraud No Longer a Dirty Word


Kevin Taparauskas, CFE
ACFE Events & Marketing Director

Fraud is no longer a dirty word. Ten to 15 years ago, you couldn’t find a company executive out there who was willing to speak frankly on the subject. I suppose they thought that if they didn’t talk about it, everyone would think that it didn’t exist within their organization. Then came Enron…and Worldcom…and Madoff. Thanks in part to these high-profile scandals and publications such as the ACFE’s 2010 Report to the Nations, the prevailing opinion regarding occupational fraud has shifted. It is no longer a question of whether it is taking place within your company, but rather what are you doing about it?

Clearly, the answer to that question for many professionals was to join the ACFE and learn, develop and hone their anti-fraud skill set. Our association has grown exponentially over the past 10 years at a time when many trade groups are either treading water or shrinking in size. Throughout the course of our history, it has been largely an individual decision to become involved with the association and pursue the CFE credential. The reason for this was simple: it was about the knowledge and skills of that particular person. To that end, we built and cultivated relationships with people and not companies. And this model has proven to be successful – both for the anti-fraud professionals that have gained personally and professionally and for the ACFE, which has thrived as an association.

With the changing mindset towards the subject of white collar crime, many large organizations are now interested in making it clear to shareholders, regulators, the media and investors that they are taking proactive measures to prevent, detect and deter fraud. And it’s no wonder, as a recent study found that news of an alleged fraud resulted in a 17 percent stock price decline in the two days surrounding the announcement. Wanting to send a strong message, many members have reached out to us over the last few years seeking opportunities for their companies to become involved with the ACFE. And we have listened.

Last month, at the ACFE Annual Fraud Conference in San Diego, we rolled out the new ACFE Corporate Alliance Program to the delight of many members. This program has been in the works for several years and in pilot mode since last December with three Fortune 150 organizations. Our goal is to support anti-fraud best practices by providing large companies with access to the world-class tools, training and resources that the ACFE has come to be known for. Oh, and they will get to use a cool new logo, too.

In the coming months, the ACFE will be forging partnerships with companies choosing to join the new Corporate Alliance. I invite you to learn more about the program and find out whether it is a fit for your organization.