If there's one thing the ACFE and its members know, it's that the world never stops changing.
Technology evolves. Fraudsters adapt. New threats emerge.
All the while, you are there at the forefront, pushing yourselves to keep up with each dramatic twist and turn.
This year, we've traveled to several countries, meeting many of you all over the world — Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Zurich and even our hometown of Austin, Texas — and what strikes me about each interaction is that you all possess an unflinching resolve.
This resolve carries you through each challenge, each hurdle, each setback. It buoys you up when it seems like the fraudsters might be winning. This resolve is with you, step by step, as you pave new, unforeseen paths in the anti-fraud profession. It is a privilege to witness.
As we head into another year of preventing, detecting and deterring fraud, please take a moment to join me and the ACFE in commending all that you and your fellow members accomplished in 2019.
Bruce Dorris, J.D., CFE, CPA
ACFE President and CEO
In 2018, DeBoer, a detective with the Waterloo Regional Police Service (Ontario, Canada) for 29 years, completed the precedent-setting $12 million financial advisor fraud case of Daniel P. Reeve, who received a 14-year prison sentence. DeBoer was the lone investigator. “Now that the case is finally over,” DeBoer says, “I'm meeting with many of the victims, who have been so patient through this process, to allow them to ask questions and help provide the closure that many of them need.”
While the Houston Chapter has continued to be a high-performing and high-contributing chapter of the ACFE, last year they looked at making what was great even better. They held 19 educational opportunities for a total of 66 CPE credits offered. These events included nine monthly luncheons, a sold-out two-day conference, trainings at local universities and more. From new membership initiatives to greater support for future fraud fighters, the Houston Chapter proved that they make an impact to their members and the community.
Cindy Greenman, Ph.D., CFE, is an associate professor at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. One of her students recently said of her, “By explaining that we are the next generation to help prevent and detect fraud, she encourages us to be the best detectives, investigators or analysts wherever we end up.” Greenman is part of the Anti-Fraud Education Partnership, which assists colleges and universities in providing expert anti-fraud training to their students.
Kapardis helped found the ACFE Cyprus Chapter and Transparency International Cyprus. With her advocacy work and research, she has worked with the Ministry of Justice and Public Order in Cyprus to prepare legislations on whistleblower protection, lobbying and asset declaration for elected politicians. She also worked with Cyprus' President to create a national action plan against corruption and helped set up an anti-corruption agency, all while maintaining her full-time job as an associate professor at Cyprus University of Technology.
The Dallas Area Chapter put a lot of effort into its website over the last few years, which began with a unique redesign. Over the last year, they made additional improvements to increase communication, add more information about the ACFE, and provide resources for members and their community. They also added a Fraud Resources section to the site, which includes basic fraud education, recent articles, a collection of links and resources, and a directory of local CFEs.
The ACFE annually presents the Hubbard Award to the best feature article in Fraud Magazine, as decided by the members of the ACFE Editorial Advisory Committee. This year’s Hubbard Award winner is Eric A. Kreuter, Ph.D., CFE, for his article, “Staying Cool in the Deposition Hot Seat: How to Handle an Aggressive Attorney’s Questioning.” Kreuter’s article provides tips on how to keep cool, do a great job for your client and not let your performance suffer as an expert witness during a deposition.
Report to the Nations is the largest global study on occupational fraud. More than 2,500 cases provided by CFEs were studied for the ACFE’s upcoming 2020 Report to the Nations.
Fraud Magazine® is a bimonthly publication that gives readers practical "down-in-the-trenches" information they can apply immediately. This year, Fraud Magazine had a total of 53 contributors.
This year, 133 members were ACFE conference speakers.
In 2019, the Institute of Fraud Prevention (IFP) merged with the ACFE Foundation, which expanded the Foundation's mission beyond college scholarships to cutting-edge, anti-fraud research that's accessible to all CFEs. The IFP will now be known as the ACFE Research Institute.
With a new decade, comes a renewed focus on innovation. You can expect to see more collaboration, more distribution and more channels to distribute the ACFE Research Institute's findings.
This year, 6,276 Associate members became CFEs.
CPE credits earned in 2019
The 90-Day CFE Exam Challenge provides Associate members with study tips and peer support to help them stay motivated and on track to reach their goal of passing the CFE Exam. The challenge is designed to help members successfully complete the exam in three months. It is one of the most popular ways our members prepare for the CFE Exam.
When I got the email that I had passed, I yelled "YES!" and I did a little happy dance. I felt ecstatic, relieved and accomplished (and smart, haha). And then I called everyone who knew I was taking the exam to share my great news. I was so excited. I celebrated with ice cream immediately, and then my husband took me out to my favorite restaurant for dinner that weekend.
Throughout the challenge, it helps to know that there are people in the same boat as you, struggling to find the time or understand a particular topic. The moderators are great at responding to questions in the discussion forum and via email, and the encouragement from other participants is seriously invaluable.“”
The ACFE Foundation supports students who want to pursue a career in fraud examination. Each year, ACFE chapters and individual members donate money to fund the Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship, which provides an opportunity for students to advance their education and anti-fraud career paths.
This investment in my education means that I can become the first female in my family to graduate from university with a degree in accounting. This scholarship means I can continue to pursue my dreams of one day becoming a fraud examiner. It means that there are people who care so much about the anti-fraud profession that they decided to donate a portion of their hard-earned money to help people like me.“”
for the Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship in 2019
Through in-person interactions during the conference, Steve could see Melissa's passion for the anti-fraud profession. She was starting her own practice from scratch, something he'd done 13 years before, and he knew that sharing his experiences would accelerate Melissa's launch.
Melissa was looking for a mentor who had a successful consulting practice and who was approachable. After they met at a conference networking event, Steve's willingness to share his insight with the group and his candidness inspired Melissa to send him a mentor request.
Through their long-standing partnership, Steve guided Melissa through the process of starting her own consulting firm. He knew when to push forward and when to take a step back. Wearing several hats in a solo operation is not easy, and Steve's encouragement helped Melissa through tough challenges.
His guidance has been instrumental in her success, and she hopes to pay it forward in the future.
543 mentors and 638 mentees
282 mentors and 850 mentees
The ACFE's most recent report highlights data from ACFE members who work as a part of in-house teams performing fraud investigations for their employing organizations. The information provided in this report can be used to compare an investigation team with teams at other organizations of a similar size or in the same industry. It can also help improve investigation teams' processes and allocation of resources.
This year, the ACFE conducted a benchmarking study to help organizations understand what anti-fraud technologies their peers are using and to assist in guiding future adoption of anti-fraud technologies. The Anti-Fraud Technology Benchmarking Report, developed in partnership with SAS, aims to help organizations effectively evaluate anti-fraud technologies so that they can remain one step ahead of potential fraud perpetrators.
Each of the 2,690 real cases of occupational fraud reported in the ACFE’s 2018 Report to the Nations has a unique story behind it. For the first time since releasing this biannual report, you can dive deeper into five of these cases by reading the stories behind the numbers, which were provided by the investigating CFEs.
Highlights from a few of the most popular conferences in 2019
Abu Dhabi, UAE
The ACFE's largest regional conference with more than 450 attendees.
Keynote speakers included Gretta Fenner, Sir Rob Wainwright, Dr. Alexander Wagner and more.
3,400+ attendees and 62,956.4 CPE credits earned
Keynote speakers included Bill Browder, Tyler Shultz, Theresa Payton and more.
234 chapters worldwide
Chapters act as local representatives of the ACFE, providing continued support for members worldwide. Members connect and collaborate with other fraud fighters in their area and participate in events that promote awareness of the anti-fraud profession. This year, we welcomed 9 new chapters to the ACFE.
The ACFE introduced the Authorised Trainer Program to provide members and other candidates outside of the U.S. with the opportunity to attend a live CFE Exam Review Course and learn from qualified third-party instructors. The program has grown across 46 countries this year.
Thank you, members, for making 2019 such a memorable year. Your dedication, passion and willingness to help others continue to make the ACFE a standout organization. We look forward to providing you with new tools, resources and training opportunities in the future.