Ralph Summerford, CFE
President, Forensic Strategic Solutions
The premier annual conference for anti-fraud professionals just concluded in Nashville at Music City Center. Nashville has every reason to beat its chest about this new venue — it is just fantastic. It’s as good as, if not better than, any conference center in any major city across the country.
The ACFE Global Fraud Conference just gets better and better every year. The ACFE now has more than 80,000 members, more than 3,100 of which attended this conference. These members allow the conference to grow exponentially each year, making it the place to be for anyone serious about the detection and prevention of fraud.
The world of fraud is rapidly changing, making the ACFE Global Fraud Conference a necessity. For example, nowadays a bank robber can remain in his basement and commit 15,000 robberies through his computer. He doesn’t even have to go to the bank, and he can cover his tracks through the Dark Web of the internet. Internet 2.0 is coming — it looks great and security will be better for everyone, but it will take some time.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, computer hacking, ransomware and theft through the computer continue to grow exponentially. These trending topics and more were covered extensively at the immeasurably valuable conference.
Specialists in the multifarious ways of fraud detection and prevention shared the latest and greatest methods to find and investigate fraud in today’s environment. Anti-fraud specialists know our world functions best through personal networking. The conference gives attendees the chance to connect with peers from around the world. I continue to connect with peers I met more than 20 years ago, as well as those I have met in the last few years. My new connections will be just as valuable as the old ones.
Speaking at the conference is a gratifying experience. The ACFE selects only speakers who can teach and offer valuable insights on their selected subject matter because the members are not timid about offering criticism and feedback. This year marked my 15th year to speak, and I presented two sessions on the auditor’s responsibility to detect fraud. The main takeaway for the presentation was that if fraud is committed and the auditor does not detect that fraud, there is likely a 99 percent chance the auditor will be sued. I shared information on professional standards and the devastating consequences of the auditor’s failure to discover a fraud scheme.
What a treat to attend and speak at one of the most professional, informative and well-organized conferences in the world. I look forward to returning to the conference in Las Vegas next year!
Be sure to register for next year's conference by August 31 to lock in 2017 pricing!