What if you could squeeze your CPE in while on hold with your cable company? Or, while you are watching your child’s soccer game? Maybe during a holiday meal that gets a little too heated? Okay, so those are extreme examples. But, the ACFE’s new nano courses do make it easy to earn CPE on even your busiest of days. Our new courses are 10-minute explorations of specific anti-fraud topics, and offer immediate, 24/7 access and NASBA-approved CPE without committing a lot of time or money.Read More
Kelly Ohayon, CFE, CPA, CA, and MD of Financial Governance and Controls at BMO Financial Group, will sit on a panel of experts at an upcoming screening of Collared, a new documentary produced with the support of the Fund for Innovation in Law and Media (FILM) established at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, as well as in partnership with the Hennick Centre for Business and Law. The screening and panel discussion will be at the HotDocs Ted Rogers Cinema, September 20 in Toronto and will offer attendees 2 hours of CPE.Read More
Mark Scott, J.D., CFE
ACFE Research Specialist
As fraud examiners, we operate as professionals committed to the prevention, detection and deterrence of fraud, but as citizens and taxpayers, we are also victims of fraud perpetrated against our governing authorities.
Combating government fraud is an essential component of effective government, and because it touches us all, we all have a stake in it. As citizens, we pay taxes, we must obey laws and regulations, and in return, we receive benefits, such as the use of public capital (e.g., roads and airports), as well as functioning legal and financial systems.
Yet, government institutions are among the most common targets of fraud, and they lose billions of dollars to fraud each year.
In fact, government institutions are victims of every conceivable kind of fraud, and everyone — including government authorities and their employees, taxpayers and beneficiaries of government programs — pays for these frauds in direct and indirect ways.
Government fraud reduces the public funds that a government entity has available, and therefore, it can affect a government’s spending power and lead to a reduction of public services.
Moreover, government fraud can result in a loss of public confidence, and it can cause reputational damage to government officials. And while reputational damage can affect any organization, virtually all government organizations are uniquely exposed to it because they depend on public funds to operate.
Yet, as victims of government fraud, we are not defenseless. Indeed, there are plenty of measures that members of the public, the government and organizations can take to help prevent this form of fraud. Prevention starts with being well informed; the more a person or entity knows about fraud, the less likely they are to be duped.
To help create a more informed public, the ACFE’s new workbook, Fighting Fraud in the Government, provides a comprehensive overview of government fraud and also addresses how Certified Fraud Examiners can help prevent and detect the various schemes that target government institutions. The workbook covers a broad range of schemes — including fraud by government employees, corruption, procurement schemes, and false claims and statements — as well as measures to prevent, detect and investigate such crimes.
Whether an anti-fraud professional works for a government organization, a government-affiliated entity or simply an organization that has dealings with the government, he or she can take away many lessons from this workbook. The fraud schemes are discussed in a government setting, but they occur in virtually every industry. The prevention and detection tips and strategies provide specific actions that fraud examiners can immediately implement in their work. We cover traditional and online investigations and discuss practical resources that are openly available to all fraud examiners.
Consequently, Fighting Fraud in the Government is a valuable addition to any fraud examiner’s resource library.
FROM THE RESOURCE GUIDE
Charles Piper, CFE, CRT
Owner, Charles Piper's Professional Services
Several years ago, before retiring from federal service, I attended an interviewing course for law enforcement officers. I had completed a few interviewing courses before that one, but this particular instructor’s approach was different. The trainer began his introduction by asking our group several basic questions:
Instructor: “How often do you train with your firearms?” Most of the responses were, “Once per quarter.”
Instructor: “How many times have you shot your weapon in the line of duty?” Nobody said a word. The instructor eventually dragged out of us that no one in the room had ever shot their weapon in the line of duty.
Instructor: “How often do you train using your handcuffs?” Most of the students again responded, “Once per quarter.”
Instructor: “How many arrests do you make per day?” The responses varied from one or two per day to one per week and one per month.
Instructor: “How many of you conduct interviews?” Everyone in the class raised their hands.
Instructor: “How many interviews do you conduct a day?” The responses varied from a few to a couple of dozen every single day.
Instructor: “How many of you have previously completed interview training?” Surprisingly, only about half of the students raised their hands.
Instructor: “How many of you would you agree that interviewing is a tool?” All of the students raised their hands.
Instructor: “Isn't that interesting? You all agree that interviewing is a tool. You practice with some of your tools. You practice using your firearm on a quarterly basis, but you never shoot it while on duty. You practice using your handcuffs on a quarterly basis, but you might only use them once a week on average. But you conduct lots of interviews every day and some of you have never received any training on how to use that tool or last received such training when you went through the police academy years ago.”
The instructor made me realize that the training needs of all investigators, fraud examiners and law enforcement officers are not being met, even after they’ve completed all required training. Is that because of a lack of training opportunities, or is it because of a lack of pursuit of training opportunities?
With a brand new year upon us, wouldn’t it be wise for us all to strive to improve our existing professional skills? Even seasoned professionals like me (who just happen to be members of AARP) can still learn a thing or two by taking advantage of training opportunities.
For example, new technology and anti-fraud software keeps getting better (and for me more complicated). Those of us who are fortunate enough to be members of the ACFE have access to some of the world’s best formal anti-fraud training, webinars, podcasts, books and annual conferences. The bi-monthly Fraud Magazine provides great insight from professionals who investigate and examine industries that sometimes I didn’t even know existed.
As you know, those of us who are Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs) also have requirements to earn a certain number of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits on an annual basis. Unlike some professional organizations, the ACFE provides us with a smorgasbord of training opportunities year-round, held at various locations around the world. You know the type of training that you enjoy — why not stretch it a little? Ask some other fraud fighters what they thought of a course you’re considering taking.
Prior to opening my own private investigation and consulting company, I developed somewhat of an expertise in the investigation of health care fraud, bribery and corruption, and contract and procurement fraud. The ACFE offers training courses in all three.
The schemes used by fraudsters in those areas are fascinating, and the ways to launder money to pay bribes, kickbacks and hide assets are ever-changing. In my opinion, you can never get enough interview training (which the ACFE also offers).
Are you taking advantage of training opportunities so that you can, to quote an old Army slogan, “Be All You Can Be” — or are you doing just enough to get by?
This is a new year, a year to progress, and by improving our professional skills this will be a year that even more fraudsters pay the price for their misdeeds.
Knock out your CPE at one of our upcoming live events: Bribery and Corruption in Phoenix, Jan. 26-27; Auditing for Internal Fraud in San Antonio, Jan. 29-30; and, Using Data Analytics to Detect Fraud in Orlando, Feb. 12-13. View a full list of our upcoming events and products in the latest ACFE Resource Guide.
ACFE Communications Coordinator
I have yet to decide my 2015 New Year’s resolutions. And well into the New Year, I am still drawing a blank. In 2012, I resolved to have a “real” job six months after college graduation (check). In 2013, I resolved to buy a home in the crazy Austin, Texas, market (check). And, in 2014, I resolved to live healthier so I joined a gym (check. Well, I joined a gym; whether or not I am active in said gym is not worthy of discussion). Thankfully, as always, the ACFE is prepared this New Year to do more for you in 2015 than ever before.
Offer you even more online resources
With online self-studies, a fraud resource library, Fraud-Magazine.com and more, the ACFE provides a variety of online resources to give you access to cutting-edge anti-fraud knowledge, whenever and wherever you need it. In 2015, the ACFE will expand these offerings, including YouTube videos that are shareable with colleagues and clients, career videos, podcasts and more.
Fraud-Magazine.com will become a responsive site in 2015 and will boast a fresh, new design. This means that whether you are on a computer, tablet or mobile device, your Fraud-Magazine.com experience will be seamless and user-friendly. The site will also offer more online content and make reading the latest in fraud prevention and detection even easier.
Host the largest anti-fraud conference ever, and offer more live events and seminars
The 2015 ACFE Global Fraud Conference is on schedule to be the world’s largest anti-fraud conference to date with more than 3,000 expected to attend in Baltimore. Not only are we concentrating on making this experience memorable and informative, we have also been concentrating on growing our international events. Last year the ACFE held 12 international events, compared to eight events in 2013. This year, we plan to continue to offer international members the opportunity to network and learn in a seminar environment in cities like Dubai, United Arad Emirates, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and more.
The ACFE’s New Year’s resolutions will help all members this year in the office and abroad. Whether you have decided on your resolution or are still pondering like I am, just remember that the ACFE is committed to doing more for you in 2015.