I’m a bit late to the after-party, but the 24th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference wrapped up on June 28. I was honored to be one of the presenters on utilizing open sources and public records in the U.S.

The truth is, I learned a lot more than four things from the 24th ACFE conference. In fact, I learned many more than four things, but here are some key takeaways.

Networking is crucial

I am a firm believer in continuing education, but the most valuable things I learned came from other Certified Fraud Examiners. In the three days of classroom experience, I learned just as much from chatting with other CFEs over drinks as I did in the classroom. I don’t diminish the value of learning through the classroom, but I get equal (or greater) value from interacting with others.

Speaking in front of 400 people is hard

I didn’t think it was going to be easy. Last month, I did a webinar for 500 people, and I thought it was hard speaking to a computer screen for an hour. But that was nothing compared to this. I enjoy speaking in front of small groups, but speaking in front of 400 people is a whole different ballgame.

You can’t please everyone

Overall, I think the presentation went well. In hindsight, I certainly would have changed some things, but overall, it was well received. The ACFE does a great job of collecting feedback on the presentations and while it was generally positive, there were some in the audience who might have shot spitballs at me if I had come within striking distance. I learned long ago that pleasing everyone is impossible, especially in a situation where you are dealing with 400 people with varying degrees of experience.

Preet Bahara is going places

Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, spoke at the conference. He’s certainly no secret anymore; he was featured on the cover of Time magazine as the man “Busting Wall Street.” He was funny, engaging and inspiring. I don’t know where he is going to end up, but it’s going to be big. If he has any political aspirations, they might be Oval Office big.

Favorite quote: “People do not steal your money to save it.” ~ Chris Mather

Most predictable moment: Someone jumping in the Aria pool during the ACFE’s cocktail and networking reception.

Photo Courtesy of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

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