The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) 32nd Global Fraud Conference was virtually held June 21-23, 2021. Over 5,000 fraud fighters attended the 3-day conference and were provided with over 90 excellent sessions to expand and update their fraud knowledge. As a certified fraud examiner (CFE), I personally have attended this premier conference the past 12 years and find it an invaluable experience. Each year I always leave growing my skill set, learning new things and meeting new people who are just as passionate about combatting fraud.
This year, the conference theme was “Break Through” with the intent of encouraging attendees to break through the barriers that were presented last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and highlight keynote speakers who are constantly innovating to break barriers in their careers. The conference covered numerous relevant topics which provided great opportunities for fraud examiners to discuss and learn from each other. Some of the topics that were presented are as follows:
- Fraud awareness and deterrence
- Fraud prevention and detection
- Fraud investigation and remediation
- Fraud schemes and case studies
- Emerging issues and trends
- Auditing, data analytics and anti-fraud toolkits
- Professional development and ethics
- Cyber fraud and cybersecurity
The topics that stood out to me this year were data analytics and cyber fraud. Data analytics is a proactive and cost-efficient way to continually monitor your data, trends, and spot high-risk transactions before they become significant and repetitive. It’s a step that is often not performed enough and should be done routinely to ensure your data is safe. Cyber fraud has become a hot topic in the news with what seems like multiple cases being reported each day. It can cause severe disruption and significant financial damage to an organization, perhaps worse than financial loss, fraud can also greatly diminish a company’s reputation. I greatly enjoyed learning more cost-effective ways to mitigate cyber risk and different risk review methods so that we can empower our clients to perform reviews in a timely manner and on a regular basis.
With fraud becoming a more popular topic than ever, it’s crucial for fraud examiners to ensure their knowledge and skills are current so that they can keep tabs on the latest fraud trends. Fraud is an ever-evolving landscape in which cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to conduct their illegal activities. The ACFE annual conference is the perfect opportunity to come together as examiners to fine-tune our techniques so that fraudsters don’t gain an edge. If you are an examiner that hasn’t yet attended, I highly encourage you to consider attending in the future.