Swiss Council on Occupational Fraud Declared Operational
AUSTIN, TX - October 20, 2005 - The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), the world's largest anti-fraud organization, declared the Swiss Council on Occupational Fraud (SCOF) established and operational.
In an effort to thwart the increasingly prominent challenge of fraud globally, the ACFE initiated the formation of the Swiss Council on Occupational Fraud, (SCOF) a blue-ribbon committee that is also a member of the European Council on Occupational Fraud. The SCOF is a joint effort between the public and private sectors in Switzerland to study the problem of fraud and to make recommendations on how to curb its enormous cost.
On 24 September 2005, Toby Bishop, President & CEO, ACFE; and the Swiss Council members, Alexander Blauer, Ganden Tethong Blattner, Ernst Esslinger, Haluk F. Gursel, Philippe Lvy, Deniz Saral, Larry Weiss, John D. Wilkinson, gathered in Bern, where Bishop declared the Swiss Council on Occupational Fraud established and operational. Council members focused on plans to identify key fraud issues in Switzerland and strengths and weaknesses in the methods being used to address them. These issues and methods will then be discussed with representatives of the other national councils at meetings of the European Council on Occupational Fraud (ECOF). The ECOF's role is to identify European fraud trends, common issues and best practices for fighting fraud efficiently and effectively.
Dr Haluk F. Gursel, CFE, President of the Swiss Chapter of the ACFE, was instrumental in organizing the SCOF. He said, Although this is not the first joint public/private sector program in Switzerland aimed at fighting occupational fraud, I believe that the particular importance of this new initiative lies in its local and European focus as well as its international resources. We believe that with the implementation of appropriate risk management measures, the cost of occupational fraud and abuse can be reduced. The Swiss and European Councils on Occupational Fraud will be able to tap into the collective experience of the ACFE and will be able to promote initiatives aimed at reducing the costs and negative consequences of occupational fraud globally.
The collaboration of anti-fraud specialists from across Europe in this initiative reflects the increasingly cross-border nature of frauds and fraudsters. Businesses and government departments are now threatened by sophisticated organized criminal groups from around the world as well as local fraudsters, explains Bishop. By creating a European forum to share issues and effective solutions, we can identify trends earlier, implement the most effective anti-fraud measures and put to better use the huge amounts of shareholders and taxpayers money currently going to line the pockets of fraudsters.
Finally, CPAs can only audit what is presented to them. "Under-the-table deals, sham transactions and the like can be easily concealed," Wells states. "Holding CPAs to a standard that requires them to detect all material fraud puts them in a no-win situation and they know it. Still, auditors can certainly do a much better job than they've done in the past."
In addition to Switzerland, other national councils have so far been formed in Germany, Poland, Denmark, Bulgaria, The Netherlands and the Czech Republic. Additional councils are being organized in other European nations.
Made up of independent councils in European countries, 13 of which are currently active or in formation, the European Council on Occupational Fraud (ECOF) is an initiative to create synergy between business and government to study the problem of fraud and to make recommendations on how to curb its enormous economic threat in Europe. For additional information visit www.ECOF.eu.com
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