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Letter From the President: Many Professions Unite to Fight Fraud

One important distinction of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) from other associations is the diversity of our professional base. Most members of accounting organizations, of course, are accountants. Internal auditors have a group dedicated just to them. Bar associations are comprised of attorneys. Physicians fill the rosters of medical associations.

But ACFE members don’t have a single occupation that unites us. We work in dozens of different professions, including accounting, consulting, law enforcement, cybersecurity, and banking and law, to name a few. What does bind us together is the single ideology of detecting and preventing fraudsters from taking advantage of honest, hard-working people in more than 160 countries from Asia to the Americas to Europe.

I’ve been an enthusiastic fraud fighter for over 30 years, starting as a young lawyer working consumer fraud cases until now as the president of the ACFE. And part of my passion centers around that basic sense of fairness, which for me comes from my upbringing.

My parents grew up in small towns in southern Arkansas and had few advantages. They couldn’t afford college, so they both started working for the largest employer in the area — a paper mill, where they earned a living for over 40 years before retiring. Their salaries were modest, and they earned every cent they made. They were a wonderful example of doing things the right way. You work hard and you earn what you make. You follow the rules because that’s the right thing to do.

We come in every day and work hard for what we earn. How dare someone try to “skip the line” and get the rewards without doing the work to get them! That makes me mad. Talking with members, I hear that sentiment echoed.

A good fraud examiner is someone who believes it’s wrong to ignore the rules and steal. Nor is it right when someone enriches themself at the expense of other employees who are following the rules and thinking of others. I’m so proud to meet and talk with like-minded souls online and at events all over the world.

Fighting fraud is everyone’s responsibility, and I thank all of you, our members, for rising to the challenge. Thank you also for finding and rooting out those people who try to grab the rewards without putting in the hard work. That passion for fairness and justice is the glue that binds us and makes us stronger — regardless of our professional titles. I’m proud we’re part of the solution and not the problem.

SOURCE: ACFE Insights – A Publication of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

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