In today’s world and in this line of work, I often wonder whether I am the only person who really cares about fighting for integrity and holding people accountable for their actions. So I was super excited to attend my first ACFE Global Fraud Conference last month and be surrounded for several days by over 3,000 fraud fighting professionals. How refreshing! With a conference theme of “Where Heroes Unite,” I couldn’t help but be proud that what I do every day somehow makes a difference. Here are a few of my insights from the weeklong conference:
- My favorite session was about effectively communicating complex data presented by Jeremy Clopton. The most important things to know, he stressed, are who your audience is and the purpose of communicating the data. Each message has to be tailored for the audience and the purpose. The same set of data can be presented in multiple ways. It is the presenter’s job to find the way that the audience will best understand and absorb it. He also urged participants to focus on what is important and “remove the junk.”
- We explored using social media for investigative purposes. Diana Ngo discussed techniques on identifying potential relationships between parties. We also learned about privacy issues and the pros and cons of various social media platforms.
- Financial reporting fraud is changing. Gerard Zack discussed how companies are using more “non-GAAP” measures to describe performance. There are many issues with this including the inability to compare companies across an industry, the potential lack of standardized meaning, and the lack of audit comfort that readers of the financial statements can rely on.
We learned so much throughout the week that it seems almost impossible to boil it down to a few bullet points. But, the number one take home from the week for all us fraud fighters is to keep fighting! All in all, it was great week to recharge my fraud-fighting battery.
For weekly insights on fighting financial fraud, click here: