The Fight Against Fraud Goes Global

Fraud conferences in Japan and South Africa lead the way for international anti-fraud professionals

By Mandy Moody


japan-conference.jpgThis past fall, the fight against fraud crossed international boundaries when the ACFE South Africa Chapter and ACFE Japan hosted fraud conferences in their respective countries. As the third annual conference for the South Africa Chapter and the first-ever for ACFE Japan, both highlighted relevant fraud trends like the importance of risk management, fraud prevention on a global scale and the role of the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) in the auditing function.

“Both of these events highlighted the increasingly global nature of the anti-fraud profession,” Scott Grossfeld, CFE, CPA and ACFE CEO, said. “Their success and the interest that the fraud conferences sparked reinforce the ACFE as the premier provider of education, training and networking to fraud fighters worldwide.”

Africa’s Premier Anti-Fraud Event  

The ACFE’s South Africa Chapter hosted its third annual South Africa Fraud Conference in Johannesburg, Sept. 13-15, 2010. The conference attracted attendees from not only South Africa, but from places all over Africa like Zimbabwe, Namibia, Kenya and Nigeria. With session titles such as, “Business Unusual: Dealing with Fraud and its Aftermath in a World Where the Rules Have Changed” and “Benchmarking Your Fraud Risk Management Strategies,” more than 500 attendees received the latest fraud education, participated in workshops and training, and networked with fraud professionals from different functions and locations.

“In the current economic climate the numbers we attracted were impressive, especially taking into consideration that there are a number of similar events available in the market,” Susan Swart, ACFE South Africa Chapter operations manager, said. “We are pleased that the event attracted a large number of non-members. It was the ideal opportunity to introduce the ACFE, and we had a high percentage of new members joining as a direct result.”

The First of its Kind  

ACFE Japan hosted its first fraud conference, “Internal Control and Fraud Related to Corporate Group” in Tokyo, Oct. 13, 2010. More than 400 anti-fraud professionals from all over Japan were able to participate in workshops, a panel discussion with four influential CFEs and a special lecture from Kiyotaka Sasaki, director of strategy and policy coordination division of the Financial Services Agency (FSA). Sasaki spoke about the importance of enhancing fraud measurements in the private sector in Japan, especially in agencies like the FSA and Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC).

“Mr. Sasaki emphasized the important role that CFEs play in government agencies,” Tomohiro Yoshida, ACFE Japan director, said. “Attendees also enjoyed the keynote from ACFE Chairman of the Board of Regents Jonathan Turner. It was a valuable opportunity for them to hear the latest information relating to fraud prevention on a global level.”

Yoshida led the conference’s efforts to address topics such as fraud in the financial securities market, fraud prevention at facilities distant from corporate headquarters and using Benford’s law to identify fraud. The conference not only served as a venue for practicing CFEs to gain additional education and insight, but it also served as a valuable educational event for non-CFEs and non-ACFE members.

“A lot of non-member attendees took part in the event,” Yoshida said. “The fraud prevention market in Japan has still not matured, but we sense that fraud prevention has caught many people’s interests. Next year, we aim to make the conference an even better event that attracts attendees from outside Japan.”

The individual successes of the ACFE South Africa Chapter and ACFE Japan conferences serve as examples to future international fraud conferences. As ACFE Japan hopes to attract more attendees from surrounding areas of Japan, the ACFE South Africa Chapter aims to create more customized conferences with courses available to anti-fraud professionals at different levels in their careers.

“Our conference is now the premier anti-fraud event in Southern Africa, if not in all of Africa,” Swart said. “However, it is getting big and we plan to respond to this by providing different levels and tracks for attendees. Otherwise, we have a winning formula, and we are thankful for the support.”

View conference photos at

For more information or to view a calendar of upcoming fraud events, conferences and seminars, go here.

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