Letter from the President

By James D. Ratley, CFE



Global fraud losses are estimated in the ACFE’s 2010 “Report to the Nations” at 5 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). In the U.S., that comes to $700 billion. But in these days of a $14 trillion U.S. national debt, bad news denominated in billions no longer commands everyone’s attention. And that in itself is a serious problem.

Looked at another way, $700 billion is the combined GDP of, for example, Hungary, Kuwait, New Zealand, Nigeria and Peru. In other words, fraudsters are stealing from American businesses and individuals the equivalent of these five nations' entire economic output.

And because the 5 percent fraud ratio is based on the median of estimates by CFEs around the world, the “typical” nation suffers from this scourge more or less as much as America does. In fact, it was precisely because of fraud’s soaring global dimensions that the ACFE in 2010 broadened the scope of the “Report to the Nations” to present a comprehensive overview of fraud everywhere.

As always, the ACFE has been assessing the effectiveness of methodologies that can facilitate fraud prevention, detection and deterrence. Of particular interest to many members is the Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC) approach, which aims to integrate organizational management, asset protection and regulatory adherence under one operational umbrella. Nearly two-fifths (38 percent) of ACFE members count GRC as one of their primary interests, and approximately 8 percent list GRC as their primary or secondary occupational specialty — the fourth-largest and fastest-growing segment of the ACFE membership.


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