PRESIDENT’S 2024 NEW YEAR MESSAGE
January 4, 2024
B. Comm. (Hons.), M. Ed., CTDP, CAMS, CFE
President & Chief Executive Officer
Happy New Year!
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners is the world’s largest anti-fraud organization that works to reduce occupational fraud and other financial crime worldwide. Serving Central and Southwestern Ontario, the GTA Chapter supports the mission of the ACFE by:
- Delivering best-in-class Continuing Professional Education (CPE) & Training that is affordable, high quality, and Canadian-based wherever possible,
- Fostering an interactive network of anti-fraud professionals, and
- Encouraging the next generation of anti-fraud professionals through Outreach programs to local colleges and universities.
Delivering Best-in-Class CPE Training
During 2023, the Chapter offered 32 hours of CPE Training at an average cost of $18.69 per CPE for Chapter Members, and $24.16 per CPE for Non-Chapter Members (all before HST). CFEs who pay the $75 to be a Chapter Member saved $100 if they attended all 6 course offerings. In 2024, the savings will increase to $223, as the Chapter standardizes the average discount to Chapter Members at ~30%.
Our 2024 Training Plan is complete and you can now register for all 2024 events on our website. The Training Committee has worked diligently to bring you another year of outstanding speakers. In keeping with the wishes of a significant majority of attendees (over 75%), Chapter events will continue to be virtual through Zoom, with the exception of the Annual General Meeting & Networking Reception, which will be an “In‑Person” event only.
In 2024, we will be introducing a new signature training event in the April time-slot. “Fighting Fraud in the Twenty-First Century” is the successor program to our Fraud Investigation Techniques (FIT) Forum, which we co-hosted with the Council of Professional Investigators for the past ten years or so. Times change, as do expectations and requirements. The Chapter is grateful for the past FIT training partnership with the CPIO and we wish them continued success in their endeavours going forward.
Fostering an Interactive Network of Anti-Fraud ProfessionalsEncouraging Next Generation of Fraud Fighters
In June, over 85 folks attended our In-Person Networking Reception & Annual General Meeting. We welcomed some of our third-party suppliers as well, including Larry Levi (Levi Software in Belleville) and Thomas Hunter, JD (from SV Law in Guelph). The annual Reception is an excellent opportunity to meet colleagues and friends, as well as build new professional relationships. All CFEs, as well as members of the greater community fighting financial crime are invited to attend the 2024 Networking Reception on June 13 at the Amsterdam Barrel House in the East York district of Toronto.
In 2023, we moved forward with our vision to support students enrolled in local college fraud examination and investigation programs through a new scholarship program, free enrolment in Chapter Training events, and the opportunity to volunteer with the Chapter and network with CFEs. As 2024 progresses, we anticipate a further expansion of the Scholarship program to one or two universities in our territory.
The Chapter delivered Scholarships (paying all costs associated with the CFE Exam Prep Course & the Exam itself) to 5 students in the Fraud Examination & Forensic Accounting Post-Graduate Certificate Program (FEA) at Seneca Polytechnic in Toronto. All five winners obtained their CFE credential by the end of the summer. I represent the Chapter on Seneca’s FEA Program Advisory Committee. We want to thank one of our first scholarship winners, Chakshu Verma, CFE, for signing on as a Chapter Volunteer, and for his insight and support over the past five months.
We also forged a new relationship with Conestoga College in Kitchener, and will be offering the same Scholarship program to students in their Fraud Investigation & Risk Management Post-Graduate Certificate Program (FIRM). Andrew Kautz, CFE, the Secretary to the Board, is now a member of Conestoga’s FIRM Program Advisory Committee.Chapter Administration
In June, at the AGM, all existing Directors, with the exception of two, stood for and were re-elected to another four-year term. We welcomed Mandy Yousif, CFE and Stephanie Greenwald, CFE, and thanked Tim Zimmerman, CFE and Jordan McManus, CFE, who stood down as their term ended.
In August, a Special Members’ meeting was held, attended by 17 voting, paid-up Members of the Chapter, where an ‘Extraordinary Resolution’ as required under the ONCA (2010) was unanimously passed authorizing that for the Fiscal Year ending December 31, 2023, the ACFE-GTA Chapter (a) not appoint a Licensed Public Accountant; (b) not have an audit; (c) not have a review engagement; and (d) to have a regular review of the Fiscal 2023 Financial Statements by an independent Chartered Professional Accountant and not a Licensed Public Accountant; and (e) to appoint Jagmohan (Jag) Budwal, CPA, CFE, CFI, Q. Med., to act as the person to conduct such review.
In October, the Chapter Board of Directors was well represented at the 2023 ACFE Fraud Conference Canada, held this year in Montreal. Dorian Dwyer, CFE, Past President & Chair of the Board, Mandy Yousif, CFE, Director, and I attended. Mandy and I made a presentation on Managing Third Party Fraud Risk, which was well attended and received.
In December, our EVP & Chief Compliance Officer, Kyle Kanstein, CFE, represented the Chapter at the inaugural Chapter Leaders’ Summit in Austin, Texas. Over 50 leaders from across the United States & Canada exchanged ideas and discussed ways to make the local chapters more successful. Kyle was able to become acquainted with other chapter leaders, and deepen our relationship with the ACFE Chapter Development Manager, Joe Broccolo, CFE, as well as the ACFE CEO, John Warren, JD, CFE, and the ACFE President, John Gill, JD, CFE, both newly appointed in their roles.
e-Learning On-Demand Platform
Our Director, Chapter Liaison, Penny Hill, along with Larry Levi, our external IT advisor, has been working diligently to improve the e-Learning Platform. Over the next three or four months, you will see an improved interface and simplified process for ordering an on-demand course. This is just one more way your Chapter is trying to deliver value-added services to all CFEs in our territory and at a reasonable cost. If time is running out for you to acquire your required CPE credits at annual credential renewal time, look no further than our e-Learning Platform!
Your Board of Directors continues to work tirelessly to actualize our purpose while fostering a true sense of professionalism and camaraderie among CFEs. In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank all members of our volunteer Board of Directors for their contributions over the past year. We are a strong and dedicated team that continues the proud heritage of the GTA Chapter. However, our efforts are only successful and meaningful when we have an engaged and committed community of CFEs. The Board is grateful for your continued support of the Chapter and dedication to our profession. We look forward to seeing everyone at our CPE and Networking events in 2024!