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CFE Financial Transactions and Fraud Schemes Certified Fraud Examiner
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Killexams : ACFE study - BingNews Search results Killexams : ACFE study - BingNews Killexams : ACFE Harps on Collective Efforts to Fight Fraud

By Omolabake Fasogbon

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), has  called on stakeholders in  both the public and private sectors to take the fight against corruption up a notch through collaborative  efforts.

President of ACFE ,  Prof. Godwin  Oyedokun, stated this at the 3rd annual conference of the association that took place in Lagos recently.

Oyedokun noted that despite  the efforts being deployed so far to nip corruption in the bud, the situation appeared to  be getting worst in the country.

He explained that the status quo informed the theme of the conference: “Anti Corruption Crusade: Stakeholders  Call to Action”, so as to bring all stakeholders together to  study the threat and find a common ground.

The conference had in attendance resource persons and facilitators from diverse backgrounds ranging from security, taxation auditing, capital market, banking, ICT as well as players from the public sector,amongst others.

In the conference keynote address delivered by  President of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Dame Olajumoke  Simplice, stated that while corruption is not peculiar to Nigeria, the prevalence and impact is alarming in the country.

Quoting reports, she said: “ In 2012, Nigeria was estimated to have lost over $400 billion to corruption since independence while corruption also reduces its GDP by 0.5 per cent”.

In stemming the tide, Simplice called for the enforcement of existing laws as well  as proper governance structure in both public and private institutions.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, in his  session, themed: “Power Distance, Cultural Affinity and  Political Tone in Fighting Fraud in Nigeria”, stated that corruption Index in Nigeria averaged 27  Points according to Transparency International.

He added that corruption was high in this clime as a result of Nigerians inability to report cases.

He opined that if Nigeria must overcome corruption, it must  strengthen  the enforcement of whistle blowing policy as he maintained that such  was the biggest anti corruption tool.

Also, Forensic expert from Delloitte & Touche, Beulah  Adeoye, advised on more concentration on technology, by exploring artificial intelligence in combating fraud ,an offshoot of corruption.

Also speaking at the even, the 2nd Vice President of ACFE, Dr. Titilayo Fowokan, stated that in addition to making members be up to date with their credit, the conference promised to impact on individual and the country at large as all collectively put their hands on deck to confront the menace of corruption.

Mon, 25 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : North Carolina sheriff stocking schools with AR-15 rifles

MARSHALL, N.C. (AP) — When schools in one North Carolina county reopen later this month, new security measures will include stocking AR-15 rifles for school resource officers to use in the event of an active shooter.

Spurred by the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two teachers dead in May, school officials and Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood have placed one of the semiautomatic rifles in each of the county's six schools. Each of the guns will be locked inside a safe, Harwood said.

The North Carolina school district and sheriff's office are collaborating to enhance security after the Uvalde shooting revealed systemic failures and "egregiously poor decision-making," resulting in more than an hour of chaos before the gunman was finally confronted and killed by law enforcement, according to a report written by an investigative committee from the Texas House of Representatives.

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"Those officers were in that building for so long, and that suspect was able to infiltrate that building and injure and kill so many kids," Harwood told the Asheville Citizen Times. "I just want to make sure my deputies are prepared in the event that happens."

Family and friends of those killed and injured in the school shootings at Robb Elementary take part in a protest march and rally July 10, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas.

The idea of having AR-15s in schools does not sit well with Dorothy Espelage, a UNC Chapel Hill professor in the School of Education who has conducted decades of study and research on school safety and student well-being.

"What's going to happen is we're going to have accidents with these guns," Espelage told WLOS-TV. Just the presence of an SRO increases violence in the schools. There's more arrests of kids. Why is it that they have to have these AR-15s? It doesn't make any sense."

Madison County Schools Superintendent Will Hoffman said school administrators have been meeting regularly with local law enforcement officials, including Harwood, to discuss the updated safety measures.

Harwood said the county's school resource officers have been training with instructors from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

Harwood said the safes where the AR-15s will be kept will also hold ammunition and breaching tools for barricaded doors.

"We'll have those tools to be able to breach that door if needed. I do not want to have to run back out to the car to grab an AR, because that's time lost. Hopefully we'll never need it, but I want my guys to be as prepared as prepared can be," he said.

Schools are scheduled to reopen Aug. 22, according to the Madison County Schools website.

While the optics of school resource officers potentially handling AR-15s in schools may be discomforting to some, Harwood said he believes it is a necessary response.

"I hate that we've come to a place in our nation where I've got to put a safe in our schools, and lock that safe up for my deputies to be able to acquire an AR-15. But, we can shut it off and say it won't happen in Madison County, but we never know," Harwood said.

Mon, 08 Aug 2022 06:30:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Forensic Accounting Certificate

Follow the Money With a Certificate in Forensic Accounting

In the wake of scandals such as Madoff, Wells Fargo, Enron and others, the demand for Forensic Accountants has grown about 20% per year. It is estimated by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners that approximately 5% annual revenue around the world is lost to fraud. With an on-campus certificate in Forensic Accounting, you'll have what tomorrow needs.

Forensic accountants generally enjoy a 31% income premium over their peers. There are two main certification options for Forensic Accountants, the CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) and CFF (Certified in Financial Forensics). This certificate assists students in passing those examinations.

Who is This Certificate For?

This certificate is for qualified professionals who want to enhance their skill set and can be a foundation to continue toward a graduate degree. It is also valuable for degree-seeking students looking to develop a concentration that gives them an edge in their career path.

What You Need to Know

Students in the graduate certificate Forensic Accounting program learn to investigate and prevent white-collar criminal activity in the financial and banking sectors. They combine their accounting knowledge with investigative skills in various litigation support. Forensic accountants also have the knowledge to assist in development of corporate accounting systems and risk assessment to help prevent fraud. They are employed by public accounting firms, corporations, and governmental units.


To enroll in this certificate program, students must have taken Intermediate Accounting I. See complete admissions requirements.

Accelerated Option

Michigan Tech Bachelor's + 1 Semester = Accelerated Graduate Certificate

Current Michigan Tech undergraduates or accurate alumni, get started right away. Our accelerated graduate certificates are a fast, affordable way to add graduate credentials to your bachelor's degree in as little as one semester. Be more marketable in your industry or prepare for your master's degree. Explore accelerated certificate options.


This graduate certificate requires a minimum of 9 total credits. Students may apply the credits earned for this certificate toward a graduate degree at Michigan Tech.

Related Certificates

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Thu, 01 Jul 2021 17:58:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Detecting Financial Statement Fraud

On Dec. 2, 2001, energy behemoth Enron shocked the world with its widely-publicized bankruptcy after the firm was busted for committing egregious accounting fraud. Its dubious tactics were aimed at artificially improving the appearance of the firm's financial outlook by creating off-balance-sheet special purpose vehicles (SPVs) that hid liabilities and inflated earnings. But in late 2000, The Wall Street Journal caught wind of the firm's shady dealings, which ultimately led to the then-largest U.S. bankruptcy in history. And after the dust settled, a new regulatory infrastructure was created to mitigate future fraudulent dealings.

Key Takeaways

  • Financial statement fraud occurs when corporations misrepresent or deceive investors into believing that they are more profitable than they actually are.
  • Enron's 2001 bankruptcy in 2001 led to the creation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which expands reporting requirements for all U.S. public companies.
  • Tell-tale signs of accounting fraud include growing revenues without a corresponding growth in cash flows, consistent sales growth while competitors are struggling, and a significant surge in a company's performance within the final reporting period of the fiscal year.
  • There are a few methods to inconsistencies, including vertical and horizontal financial statement analysis or by using the total assets as a comparison benchmark.

Detecting Financial Statement Fraud

What Is Financial Statement Fraud?

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) defines accounting fraud as "deception or misrepresentation that an individual or entity makes knowing that the misrepresentation could result in some unauthorized benefit to the individual or to the entity or some other party." Put simply, financial statement fraud occurs when a company alters the figures on its financial statements to make it appear more profitable than it actually is, which is what happened in the case of Enron.

Financial statement fraud is a deliberate action wherein an individual "cooks the books" to either mislead investors.

According to the ACFE, financial statement fraud is the least common type of fraud in the corporate world, accounting for only 10% of detected cases. But when it does occur, it is the most costly type of crime, resulting in a median loss of $954,000. Compare this to the most common and least costly type of fraud—asset misappropriation, which accounts for 85% of cases and a median loss of only $100,000. Nearly one-third of all fraud cases were the result of insufficient internal controls. About half of all the fraud reported in the world were executed in the United States and Canada, with a total of 895 reported cases or 46%.

The FBI counts corporate fraud, including financial statement fraud, among the major threats that contribute to white-collar crime. The agency states that most cases involve accounting schemes where share prices, financial data, and other valuation methods are manipulated to make a public company appear more profitable.

Types of Financial Statement Fraud

And then there's the outright fabrication of statements. This, for instance, famously occurred when disgraced investment advisor Bernie Madoff collectively bilked some 4,800 clients out of nearly $65 billion by conducting an elaborate Ponzi scheme that involved wholly falsifying account statements.

Financial statement fraud can take multiple forms, including:

Another type of financial statement fraud involves cookie-jar accounting practices, where firms understate revenues in one accounting period and maintain them as a reserve for future periods with worse performances, in a broader effort to temper the appearance of volatility.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is a federal law that expands reporting requirements for all U.S. public company boards, management, and public accounting firms. The Act, often abbreviated as Sarbanes–Oxley or SOX, was established by Congress to ensure that companies report their financials honestly and to protect investors.

The rules and policies outlined in SOX are enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and broadly focus on the following principal areas:

  1. Corporate responsibility
  2. Increased criminal punishment
  3. Accounting regulation
  4. New protections

The law is not voluntary., which means that all companies must comply. Those that don't adhere to the are subject to fines, penalties, and even prosecution.

Financial Statement Fraud Red Flags

Financial statement red flags can signal potentially fraudulent practices. The most common warning signs include:

  • Accounting anomalies, such as growing revenues without a corresponding growth in cash flows.
  • Consistent sales growth while competitors are struggling.
  • A significant surge in a company's performance within the final reporting period of a fiscal year.
  • Depreciation methods and estimates of assets' useful life that don't correspond to those of the overall industry.
  • Weak internal corporate governance, which increases the likelihood of financial statement fraud occurring unchecked.
  • Outsized frequency of complex third-party transactions, many of which do not add tangible value, and can be used to conceal balance sheet debt.
  • The sudden replacement of an auditor resulting in missing paperwork.
  • A disproportionate amount of management compensation derived from bonuses based on short-term targets, which incentivizes fraud.

Financial Statement Fraud Detection Methods

While spotting red flags is difficult, vertical and horizontal financial statement analysis introduces a straightforward approach to fraud detection. Vertical analysis involves taking every item in the income statement as a percentage of revenue and comparing the year-over-year trends that could be a potential flag cause of concern.

A similar approach can also be applied to the balance sheet, using total assets as the comparison benchmark, to monitor significant deviations from normal activity. Horizontal analysis implements a similar approach, whereby rather than having an account serve as the point of reference, financial information is represented as a percentage of the base years' figures.

Comparative ratio analysis likewise helps analysts and auditors spot accounting irregularities. By analyzing ratios, information regarding day's sales in receivables, leverage multiples, and other vital metrics can be determined and analyzed for inconsistencies.

A mathematical approach known as the Beneish Model evaluates eight ratios to determine the likelihood of earnings manipulation, including asset quality, depreciation, gross margin, and leverage. After combining the variables into the model, an M-score is calculated. A value greater than -2.22 warrants further investigation, while an M-score less than -2.22 suggests that the company is not a manipulator.

The Bottom Line

Federal authorities have put laws in place that make sure companies report their financials truthfully while protecting the best interests of investors. But while there are protections in place, it also helps that investors know what they need to look out for when reviewing a company's financial statements. Knowing the red flags can help individuals detect unscrupulous accounting practices and stay one step ahead of bad actors attempting to hide losses, launder money, or otherwise defraud unsuspecting investors.

Wed, 12 Aug 2020 20:41:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Godwin Oyedokun: My Wife Has the Keys, She Knows How to Get What She Wants from Me

Godwin Oyedokun is the Chief Executive Officer of OGE Professional Services Ltd, OGE Business School and the President of Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, ACFE, Lagos Chapter. As a fraud examiner, chartered and forensic accountant, he belongs to the family of one of the untamed and unsafe professions, which goes beyond doing the numbers. Disciplined and widely read, he talks about his life as an anti-fraud specialist, dark corners of the profession and balancing the home front. Omolabake Fasogbon presents the excerpts

Not many people are in anti-fraud profession in Nigeria. Why do you think it is so?

Yes, you are right, we are very few in Nigeria. Even some parading themselves as anti-fraud professionals are only using their accountancy experience. The reasons for this are due to the low level of awareness and the cost of training. It will interest you to note that few of us in this field travel as far as South Africa, UK, Canada and USA for anti-fraud and forensic training. 


The nature of your job- to detect and expose fraudulent acts is vulnerable to risks. How do you manage them?

There is no job without its risks. As a journalist, you have your job-inherent risks. As an accountant, there are so many risks and so also it is for us in anti-fraud and forensic accounting field. Now, back to your question, in this field, we were trained on how to manage risk and we put it to use in ensuring that the impacts of such risk are not directly felt by mitigating such risk.


Aside security, what are the other risks that come with the job?

Majorly, most of our clients don’t bother to pay the remaining balance of our professional fees if the forensic report does not go their way. On the other hands, our work ethics demand that we engage other professionals to be sure of the fact that we have closed all ends in our engagements; this poses risk which may be termed financial risk.


How does your wife feel about your job considering the risks involved?

He who finds a wife, finds a good thing and obtains favour from God. My wife is a gift from God and her ways of life complement mine.  She loves what I do and her prayers also help in achieving my aim on any engagement. She was there for me when I was just an accountant in a company, this function comes with closing late and series of accounting issues, she is also here with me as I moved on in my career. She is the manager of my house and she does that well. My wife is a director in our company and a major signatory to all our bank accounts. This shows she is with me on this and we both mitigate risk together.

Most ladies would reject an accountant for husband on the excuse that accountants are stingy. How did you convince your wife?

Being an accountant is a thing of pride and people around us always need one favor or the other from us. My wife and I both worked in the same organisation some 15 years ago and she was highly respected to have had an accountant as a man. On the issue of stinginess, I do not think accountants are stingy, we are only prudent in spending, we want to know what a kobo collected from us is spent on and we need people around us to supply account of what was entrusted to them. As for me, I have a good blend of so many professions and none could be said to have a domineering effect on me. My wife has my key and she knows how to get what she wants to get from me. She is reasonable. I allow her to have her ways all the time and that suggests why we are still enjoying this common union till tomorrow


There have been commendation and condemnations for the anti-corruption fight of this government. Where does your association belong on this?

I think it is better for me to go with the later than the former. This is not because they are not doing anything at all but because there is not much result to show for the expenditure and efforts on same. Action and reaction are opposite and equal. This fight must be fought with less of talking on the pages of newspapers. There should be less of political jingoism. I want to see a situation where the news would be: Mr. A was convicted of a crime so so so and not that we are going to raid Mr. A or we are planning to arraign Mr. B.


Would you report your family members?

Yes because to be fore-warned is to be fore-armed.


As a professional, suggest other ways Nigeria can tackle financial fraud

We all need to go back home and do it right from there. What we see today in our society is a true reflection of our homes. Our value system is faulty; there is no respect for humanity. Some do bad things with impunity and there is no fear of God. We should ensure strong institution and not strong individual; rule of law should be taken seriously. Our punitive and corrective regime should be above board. More importantly, both private and public organisations should strive to engage anti-fraud professionals.


Are you saying that there are no anti-fraud professionals in our institutions?

I have not said that we do not have anti-fraud professionals in our various institutions and organisations. However, the problem we have in Nigeria is that of ‘body Language’ of those charged with authority to determine the direction where these people will go. This, we can all confirm from one administration to the other. Our people need change of orientation. We are sure that those with ACFE credentials are trained to even leave their job instead of joining the bandwagon.


Fraud is carried out everywhere even at the home front, like women inflating prices of foodstuffs or a child wanting to increase price of handout. How do you detect and handle such cases at home?

We have virtuous women out there who would not engage in any kind of fraudulent activities. However, we have those that are desperate and are ready to do anything to achieve their objectives. Yes, there are red flags to professional fraud and same exist for home fronts. Red flags are signs that things are not right (possibility of existence of fraud). In this situation, you see the suspect living beyond his or her means of income, extravagancy, staff that do not wish to go on leave year in year out, staff refusing promotion, staff wanting to help others perform their duties, resuming early and closing late in office etc. At the home front, that is when you see women  buying cloths and other related materials far and above what the husband provided, receiving unnecessary visitors or attending associations’ function, shrinking food stuff at home, agitating for more money to buy food stuff, fighting the husband for helping to buy food stuff at home etc. This is common where the husband is the sole provider at home. As for my children, it is a no go area as the kind of school my children attend would not supply room for such fraudulent acts. Like I said, we need to begin from our home in order to change our country. I do not have the opportunity of defrauding my parent when I was in school for the purchase of handouts, may be because, I was not begged to go to school; I facilitated my going to school through the help of my parents. 


What is your greatest achievement in life?

My greatest achievement is the fact that I am now the Group Managing Director/CEO of a Group of Companies after working for so many organisations; and secondly, for obtaining doctoral degree in Finance.


How far do you intend to go in this career?

I have done a lot in this profession and I have written so many articles for upcoming professionals to read in this field to enhance their performances both academically and professionally. These can be accessed free of charge at and by just searching with my full name. This is to ensure that even when I am no more, generation to come would still continue to enjoy my work.


Not too many practice what they studied in school, but you did, what inspired you?

I have carefully chosen this path and I will continue in it as long as I live. It was the wish of my father to study within sciences but I made him realise the fact that I wanted accounting. He gave his blessing and I am not regretting my action. I cannot really say what inspired me about accounting-related fields but for the level of intelligence required to be an accountant. In school then, only good students picked accounting. This also spurred me to take up my ICAN examination and other related professional examinations.


As a fraud examiner, does that mean you have never indulged in any fraudulent act?

I’m trying to recall. But I can boldly say that I have not involved myself in any fraudulent activities before. Here, the definition of fraud is necessary. Fraud is defined as an intentional (deliberate) deception resulting in injury to another person. In a broad strokes definition, fraud is a deliberate misrepresentation which causes another person to suffer damages, usually monetary losses. Most people consider the act of lying to be fraudulent, but in a legal sense, lying is only one small element of actual fraud. Fraud usually involves lying for a specific gain that causes someone loss while lying does not always include hurt.


Is it possible that we get a society free of corruption?

Yes, this is achievable. I will explain this with my experience in Mushin, one of the notable towns in Lagos where I had spent over eight years. I realised that people of Mushin apart from the known political fight, don’t engage in armed robbery (I cannot say they don’t do so outside Mushin) just because of the punitive regime. Once you are caught, the judgement comes immediately before law enforcement would arrive. With this, residence can sleep with their two eyes closed. In year 2011, I took a new Toyota Corolla to this town and parked on the street of Ogunbaye and till today, I still have the car with others. If those charged with governance of this country are serious about the business of governance, they will set the right tone at the top – obey rule of law, ensure free and fair election and others – and you will see a changed people of Nigeria. You cannot live your life at the expense of other citizens and expect them to continue to keep quiet and do nothing.


You have practiced within and outside the shores of the country, compare how fraud is tackled here and how it is addressed outside?

This is just like comparing sleep with death! Over there, they have government, professionals, tools, and enabling environment with sound judicial system, but here, you know the story. It is easy for a plaintiff to become the defendant in Nigeria. I am sure you understand me well. At times, it is difficult for those charged with governance in Nigeria to fight fraud because of the fact that ‘he who seeks equity must do equity’ and also ‘he who comes into equity must come with clean hands’.

Tue, 26 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : What Are Internal Controls & Their Purpose?

Internal controls encompass all the methods and procedures that an organization adopts to protect its facilities, assets and property. In a broad sense, internal controls make it possible for an organization to lawfully conduct business operations without interference, loss or interruption. Perhaps most importantly, internal controls act as a deterrent to fraud or abuse, identify evidence of fraud already committed and spot errors in financial information and records.

Basic Controls

  1. The most basic level of protection for an organization is the physical protection of facilities and assets. This level of protection includes perimeter fences, doors, locks, video surveillance, security checkpoints and limitations on access to certain areas using keys, passwords or biometric access restrictions. These types of physical restrictions are methods of internal control. Such limitations on access provide a layered set of defenses to protect inventory, cash and employees. Internal controls that protect accounting data, information assets, bank accounts and payments can be understood in the same way.

Preventative Controls

  1. Physical controls already noted are a legitimate component of the internal control system. The centerpiece to all preventative controls are the written policies and procedures that each employee must understand and agree to follow. Examples of internal controls that will be included in written form include segregating the duties of accounting personnel, requiring monthly reconciliation of bank accounts, registration of all vendors, supervisory approval of new vendor accounts, requiring more than one signature for disbursements over a designated amount, establishing a policy for mandating prior management approval of large expenses and separation of duties concerning receipt of payments and credits to accounts receivable. These represent just some of the internal controls that act to prevent or deter fraud.

Detective Controls

  1. Internal controls that can detect the presence of fraud are often referred to as detective controls. This category of internal controls is audit-oriented and would include requiring management review of reconciliations, physical inventories to check against inventory and purchasing records, and internal audit of accounts. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners' 2012 Report to the Nations, the proper approach to detecting fraud is multifaceted. Adding to conventional internal controls, ACFE suggests setting up an anonymous tip line and increased employee awareness and education. Tips were the source of detection for 40 percent of the cases of occupational fraud and abuse reviewed in the study compared to about 14 percent of the cases discovered by conventional auditing techniques.

Corrective Controls

  1. Internal controls do not exist just to discover fraud. In an organization where internal controls are enforced and compliance is monitored, many red flag indicators will reveal simple errors and unintentional irregularities that need to be remedied. Corrective controls are internal controls developed to remedy errors that can be systematically corrected. At times this may also involve additional training or employee disciplinary action. Following discovery of major fraud, corrective controls are developed to counter the particular scheme employed by the perpetrator.


  1. The Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act, better known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, was a reaction to major corporate and accounting scandals involving public companies such as Enron and WorldCom. Section 404 of the Act requires management and external auditors to publish an assessment on the adequacy of the company's internal controls on financial reporting. Despite the increased regulatory and legal requirements for support of internal controls, a high percentage of frauds committed by people at the management level involve the deliberate override of internal controls to allow commission of the fraud. These developments serve as instructive reminders to small business that internal controls are an important matter for any organization.

Mon, 30 Mar 2015 13:18:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : How Can Internal Control Overcome Payroll Fraud?

Establish internal controls requiring separation of payroll duties. Personnel who create or maintain payroll data and lists should not be allowed to make changes or add employees without management approval. Payroll changes should be approved by two designated individuals. People who compute pay rates and accumulated hours for payroll should not be allowed to write payroll checks or submit the hours for payment by a payroll service without supervisory approval.

Have payroll accounts reconciled monthly and reviewed by management. Audit payroll information for duplicate deposit account information and repeated Social Security numbers or addresses.

Most banks provide a positive pay service where check numbers, amounts and employee names provided by the company are checked against any incoming payroll check. If direct deposit is used exclusively, require employees to pick up their paychecks in person with photo ID at least once per year at human resources or another designated department.

Small business should consider outside sourcing of payroll to a contractor, but this does not remove the requirement for a monthly audit of all disbursements made to assure that only certified employees are being paid.

Fri, 05 Oct 2012 22:22:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Children are bombarded with violence in the news — here's how to help them cope

With the ever-increasing media coverage of mass shootings in the U.S., even the youngest children are now repeatedly exposed to violent images on TV and online. Blend Images/Inti St Clair/Tetra Images via Getty Images

Over 100 mass shootings have taken place in the U.S. since the rampage in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022. Not a single week in 2022 has passed without at least four mass shootings.

With gun violence, war and other tragedies in the news, children are often exposed to scary images and information.

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Parents and caregivers are faced with the dilemma of wondering how to speak with their children about the unspeakable. How can adults help children feel safe when imagery about tragedies abounds throughout the media?

We are communication scholars who specialize in children and media. We have extensively studied children’s views of and responses to violence in the media. Our research findings and those of other scholars offer insights into how news can contribute to children’s fears and on how to help children cope.

Surrounded by news and information

In an era of 24-hour news coverage, it is likely that children will come across disturbing news content. For some kids, this exposure is deliberate. Teenagers report that they find it important to follow current events. And more than half of teens get their news from social media and slightly fewer get their news from YouTube.

Children under 12 show little interest in the news, yet many still encounter it. Young children’s news exposure is almost always accidental, either through background television viewing or through family discussions of current events.

No matter how much parents or caregivers try to shield children, then, they are likely to come upon the news.

The news as a catalyst for fear

Several studies have examined children’s fear responses to news. Six months after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Boston-area parents reported that children who viewed more news coverage on the day of the attack were more likely to display symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, have behavior problems and show hyperactivity and/or inattention than children who watched less news.

More recently, an international survey of over 4,000 9-to-13-year-olds from 42 countries found that over half of the children were scared by news stories about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fear and anxiety can also be spurred by exposure to news events that are more commonplace. In a 2012 study of elementary school children in California, nearly half of them said they saw something on the news that made them scared. The news stories that were most frequently mentioned were natural disasters, kidnappings and burglaries.

Sadly, we live in a country where gun violence is common. A 2022 study found that children’s exposure to news coverage of mass shootings not only made them afraid for their personal safety, but was correlated with the belief that their school and society at large were dangerous.

Whether catastrophic or common, fear reactions endure. A survey of college students found that 50% of them could remember a specific news story that they had seen during childhood that frightened, worried or upset them. The effects included feeling scared and being unable to sleep. And 7% of participants said they were still frightened of that event at their present college age.

How to talk with kids about tragedies and traumatic events.

Age of the child matters

Clearly, media can frighten children and adolescents. But decades of research show that fright-inducing content does not affect all children the same way. Young children demonstrate what researchers call “perceptual dependence,” which means that they react to stimuli in terms of what those stimuli look, sound or feel like.

This often comes as a surprise to parents, but it helps explain why preschoolers may cry when they see movie characters like the Grinch or E.T. Preschool children are more likely to be frightened by something that looks scary but is actually harmless than by something that looks attractive but is truly harmful.

As children mature, they develop the capacity to be frightened by abstract threats. Studies of children’s reactions to news coverage of wars show that although children of all ages are affected, younger kids respond mainly to the visual aspects of coverage such as homes torn apart, whereas older children are more responsive to abstract aspects such as fears that the conflict will spread.

How to help children cope

Just as age affects how children absorb the news, age also influences which strategies are most effective in helping children cope. Noncognitive strategies typically involve avoidance or distraction. Closing one’s eyes, holding on to an attachment object, leaving the room or avoiding news altogether are examples. These strategies work best with younger children.

Cognitive strategies require the child to think about whatever is frightening them in a different way, with an adult often providing a verbal explanation to help. These strategies work best with older children. When dealing with depictions of fantasy, for example, a cognitive strategy that is quite effective is reminding children that what they see “is not real.”

Unfortunately, mass shootings are real. In these cases, the adult can emphasize that the news event is over, that it was far away or that such events are rare. Providing a reassuring message — that the child is safe and loved — also helps.

Mental health experts say parents need to initiate age-appropriate conversations with their children about mass shootings.

Recommendations for the youngest kids

For kids under 7, it is critical to limit exposure to the news. Watching a tragedy on the news can include graphic images and sounds. Very young children will not understand that what they see are replays of the same event and not another tragedy happening again.

Reassure the child. Kids at this age are most worried about their personal safety. It’s important to make them feel safe, even when the adults themselves are worried, as studies show that fear is contagious.

Distraction is also helpful. Although it is important to listen and not downplay concerns, doing something fun together that takes a child’s mind off what is happening can go a long way.

How to help kids in the 8-12 range

For kids between the ages of 8 and 12, it is still important to limit exposure. Admittedly this is more challenging as children age. But making a concerted effort to turn off the news is helpful, especially if the child is sensitive.

Talk about news. If kids go online, try to go with them. Consider setting URLs to open to nonnews portals.

Be available for conversation. Ask kids about what they know. Correct any misconceptions with facts. Listen carefully and ask what questions kids have, and then respond honestly with a focus on the basics. Reassure children that they’re safe and that it is OK to feel upset.

Do something to help. Consider ways to help survivors and their loved ones.

Dialing in with teens’ needs

When it comes to teens, it is critically important to check in. In all likelihood, teens learn of news events independent of their parents. But parents and caregivers should offer to talk with them to get a sense of what they know about the situation. This also gives the adult an opportunity to listen to underlying fears and offer insights. Again, try to address concerns without dismissing or minimizing them.

Help teens develop news literacy. If parents or caregivers disagree with how a news event is portrayed in the media, they should discuss this with their child. Emphasizing that there can be misinformation, repetition or exaggeration might help teens put tragic events into a wider perspective.

The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

Sun, 24 Jul 2022 01:24:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Dominic Peltier-Rivest, PhD, MAcc, CFE

Dr. Peltier-Rivest conducts research and teaches courses on corruption and fraud prevention & detection at the John Molson School of Business. His teaching focuses on the role of management in the prevention and detection of occupational fraud & corruption. In addition, his teaching specifically helps to recognize and analyze the red flags of fraud during audit missions. Dr. Peltier-Rivest's research has been published in such journals as the Journal of Financial Crime; the Journal of Forensic Accounting; Fraud Magazine; the Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation; Advances in International Accounting; and the Quarterly Journal of Business and Economics. He has also presented his research at various international conferences and has served as an external advisor on anti-fraud related issues, including for the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.

Dr. Peltier-Rivest received his Master’s Degree in Accounting (M.Acc.) from Florida State University in 1993. He earned his Ph.D. in accounting and finance from the same university in December 1996. He worked as Assistant and then Associate Professor of Accounting at the Université du Québec à Montréal. He also served as Director of the Bachelor’s Degree Program in Management Accounting for two years at the same institution. At Concordia University, in addition to his contributions as Professor, he worked as Executive Director of the Centre for Academic Leadership for nearly two years. At the John Molson School of Business, he served as Associate Dean, Academic Relations, for almost two years and as Chairman of the Department of Accountancy for nearly six years. He also obtained the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) professional designation in 2005.


Ph.D. (Florida State University)
M.Acc. (Florida State University)
CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner)

Areas of expertise

Fraud detection & prevention
Forensic accounting
Earnings manipulations
Agency theory

Refereed Journal Articles

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2021, “Corruption at Rolls-Royce: Can it Happen Again?”, Journal of Financial Crime 28(2), 433-447.

Peltier-Rivest, D. and C. Pacini, 2019, “Detecting Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Drugs: A Multi-Stakeholder Forensic Accounting Strategy,” Journal of Financial Crime 26(4), 1027-1047.

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2018, “The Battle Against Fraud: Do Reporting Mechanisms Work?” Journal of Financial Crime 25(3), pp. 784-794.

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2018, “A Model for Preventing Corruption,” Journal of Financial Crime 25(2), pp. 545-561.

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2017, “The Prevention & Detection of Corruption in Pharmaceutical Companies,” Pharmaceuticals Policy and Law 19 (1-2), pp. 17-31.

Peltier-Rivest, D., and N. Lanoue, 2015, “Cutting Fraud Losses in Canadian Organizations”, Journal of Financial Crime 22(3), 295-304.

Peltier-Rivest D., 2014, “Back to School: Universities Need Remedial Anti-Fraud Measures,” Fraud Magazine 29(1), 36-42.

Peltier-Rivest, D., and N. Lanoue, 2012, “Thieves from Within: Occupational Fraud in Canada,” Journal of Financial Crime 19 (1), 54-64.

Peltier-Rivest D., 2010, “Prévention et détection des fraudes: Que font les organisations canadiennes?,” Gestion: Revue internationale de gestion 35(2), 23-34.

Peltier-Rivest D., 2010, “La fraude,” Gestion: Revue internationale de gestion 35(2), 21-22.

Lanoue, N., and D. Peltier-Rivest, 2009, “Manipulation des bénéfices et rachats d’actions: le cas des entreprises du secteur pétrolier et gazier,” Revue française de gestion 35(197), 65-81.

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2009, “An Analysis of the Victims of Occupational Fraud: A Canadian Perspective,” Journal of Financial Crime 16(1), 60-66.

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2007, “Anonymous Reporting Programs: Building Canadian Employee Awareness,” Fraud Magazine 21(5), 20-23.

ACFE and D. Peltier-Rivest, 2007, “Detecting Occupational Fraud in Canada: A Study of its Victims and Perpetrators,” A supplement to Fraud Magazine 21(2), 39 pages.

Peltier-Rivest, D., and C. Pacini, 2006, “Earnings Manipulation by Paper Industry Firms in Litigation,” Oil Gas & Energy Quarterly 55(1), 87-103.

Lanoue, N., and D. Peltier-Rivest, 2006, “Gestion stratégique d’une modification comptable: le cas des impôts sur les bénéfices des sociétés,” Revue française de gestion 32(161), 49-66.

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2002, “Implicit Claim Incentives on the Accounting Choices of Troubled Companies,” Journal of Forensic Accounting 3(2), 165-184.

For earlier publications please refer to Dr. Peltier-Rivest's CV

Refereed Conference Presentations

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2021, “Corruption in the Beer Market: Has Anheuser-Busch InBev Learned its Lesson?,” Irish Accounting & Finance Association Annual Conference (via Zoom) (Cork, Ireland).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2019, “Corruption at Rolls-Royce: Can it Happen Again?,” British Accounting & Finance Association Workshop on Accounting & Finance in Emerging Economies (Prague, Czech Republic).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2019, Discussant of “Do political connection and governance practice influence financial performance of non-profit organizations: the case of China’s charitable foundations,” Authored by Qingyi Zhou & Tam Nguyen, British Accounting & Finance Association Workshop on Accounting & Finance in Emerging Economies (Prague, Czech Republic).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2019, “Corruption at Rolls-Royce: Can it Happen Again?,” Irish Accounting & Finance Association Annual Conference (Dublin, Ireland).

Peltier-Rivest, D. and C. Pacini, 2018, “Detecting Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Drugs: A Multi-Stakeholder Forensic Accounting Strategy,” Irish Accounting & Finance Association Annual Conference (Limerick, Ireland).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2017, “The Battle Against Fraud: Do Reporting Mechanisms Work?” European Accounting Association Annual Conference (Valencia, Spain).

Peltier-Rivest,D. and C. Pacini, 2017, “Detecting Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Drugs: A Multi-Stakeholder Forensic Accounting Strategy,” American Accounting Association Forensic Accounting Conference (Orlando, Florida).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2017, “The Battle Against Fraud: Do Reporting Mechanisms Work?” American Accounting Association Forensic Accounting Conference (Orlando, Florida).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2016, “The Battle Against Fraud: Do Reporting Mechanisms Work?” Irish Accounting & Finance Association Annual Conference (Waterford, Ireland).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2015, “The Prevention & Detection of Corruption in Pharmaceutical Companies,” European Network for Research in Organisational and Accounting Change Conference (Galway, Ireland).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2015, “The Prevention & Detection of Corruption in Pharmaceutical Companies,” Irish Accounting & Finance Association Annual Conference (Dublin, Ireland).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2014, “A Model for Preventing Corruption,” Irish Accounting & Finance Association Annual Conference (Belfast, Northern Ireland).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2014, “A Model for Preventing Corruption,” European Accounting Association Annual Conference (Tallinn, Estonia).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2014, “A Model for Preventing Corruption,” American Accounting Association Forensic Accounting Conference (San-Antonio, Texas).

Peltier-Rivest, D., and N. Lanoue, 2011, “Thieves from Within: Occupational Fraud in Canada,” American Accounting Association Annual Conference (Denver, Colorado).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2009, “An Analysis of the Victims of Occupational Fraud: A Canadian Perspective,” European Accounting Association Annual Conference (Tampere, Finland).

ACFE and D. Peltier-Rivest, 2008, “Detecting Occupational Fraud in Canada: A Study of its Victims and Perpetrators,” MMPA Conference on Forensic Accounting, University of Toronto (Mississauga, Canada).

Peltier-Rivest, D., and C. Pacini, 2006, “Earnings Manipulation by Paper Industry Firms in Litigation,” European Accounting Association Annual Conference (Dublin, Ireland).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2002, “Implicit Claim Incentives on the Accounting Choices of Troubled Companies,” European Accounting Association Annual Conference (Copenhagen, Denmark).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2002, “Implicit Claim Incentives on the Accounting Choices of Troubled Companies,” American Accounting Association Northeast Regional Conference (Providence, Rhode Island).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2001, “Implicit Claim Incentives on the Accounting Choices of Troubled Companies,” Canadian Academic Accounting Association Annual Conference (Calgary, Alberta).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2001, “Implicit Claim Incentives on the Accounting Choices of Troubled Companies,” American Accounting Association Southeast Regional Conference (Tampa, Florida).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2001, “Implicit Claim Incentives on the Accounting Choices of Troubled Companies,” Laval University’s Ernst & Young Colloquium (Quebec, Quebec).

For earlier academic presentations please refer to Dr. Peltier-Rivest's CV

Invited Research Talks and Workshops

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2017, “The Prevention & Detection of Corruptionin Pharmaceutical Companies,” ACFE -Montréal Chapter (Montréal, Québec).

Peltier-Rivest, D.,2016, “Prévenir la fraude dans les universités canadiennes,” Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (Montréal, Québec).

Peltier-Rivest, D.,2015, “Preventing and Detecting Fraud & Corruption,” John Molson Executive Centre (Montréal, Québec).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2014, “Corruption : Un modèle de prévention pluridisciplinaire,” École d’été sur la criminalité économique de l’Université Laval (Québec, Québec).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2013, “Preventing Fraud in Canadian Universities,” Canadian Council of Deans of Science Annual Meeting (Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova-Scotia).

Peltier-Rivest, D., 2012, “Fraud and the Canadian University Experience,” Canadian Association of University Business Officers Annual Conference (Montréal, Québec).

For earlier invited talks please refer to Dr. Peltier-Rivest's CV

Thu, 19 Mar 2015 18:58:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Oregon government waste hotline got fewest complaints in 7 years during 2021

Oregon state auditors in the Secretary of State’s office received just 187 reports of alleged government waste, fraud and abuse last year, fewer than in any year since 2014, according to a report released on Wednesday.

People can report concerns about waste, fraud and abuse anonymously to the Secretary of State’s office online, through the mail or by calling 800-336-8218.

“Tips are consistently the most common fraud detection method,” state auditors wrote in their annual government accountability hotline report, required under state law. “According to a global fraud study conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, 42% of frauds were uncovered from tips, with employees being the most common source.”

Last year, the 187 complaints to the state hotline alleging waste, fraud and abuse led to 14 investigations. In all cases, state auditors determined that no fraud took place. However, one case remains open and could result in a letter to the government agencies involved that would outline how they can Strengthen their safeguards against fraud and other problems, state auditors said.

-- Hillary Borrud;; @hborrud

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Wed, 13 Jul 2022 00:26:00 -0500 en text/html
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