Special Interest Panel

Event: Special Interest Group Panel

Date: March 7, 2018


Interest Group VPs:

  • Ka Lok (Lois) Chow – ACFE VP

  • Elvin Paik – IIA VP

  • Sunny Sharma – IMA VP

  • Katherine Diep – ISACA VP

Panelists:

  • Representing ACFE - OC Chapter:

  • Kim Chatani, CPA, CFE, CISA, FCPA, CGMA, CFSA

  • Gabriela Colden, MBA, CFE

  • Representing IIA - OC Chapter:

  • Raj Sawhney, Director of IT Audit at Focal Point, MS, MBA

  • Representing IMA - OC Chapter:

  • Clyde W. Sleigh II, MBA, CPA, CMI, CMA

  • Representing ISACA - OC Chapter:

  • Chris Thompson, Risk Assurance Director at PwC, CISA, CIA

Kim Chatani:

  • Vice President of ACFE

  • Was previously an audit partner at Arthur Anderson in Chicago

  • He left before the firm went under

  • Was also a consultant at KPMG

  • Currently he serves as:

  • Audit committee chair of a bank

  • Teaches at UCI

  • Says students interested in joining forensic accounting should actually join public accounting first to get exposure to clients, companies, and see how they operate

  • Accounts like receivables, inventory, and sales are more common to have fraud take place

  • These accounts directly affect the bottom line of the company

  • Getting exposure to companies at a CPA firm will help give people experience and interest in forensic accounting

  • Cyber security is one of the biggest trends, and threats, in accounting

  • This threatens actual people and clients

  • Hacks have the potential to wreak havoc on financial markets and individual companies

  • Cyber is just another form of fraud

  • Cloud is another trend that people need to focus on

  • This is another potential way for fraud to occur and is a giant threat

  • Advice to students:

  • "You need to network even when you don't think you need to network."

  • "Don't burn bridges."

Gabriela Colden:

  • President of ACFE

  • Founder of the Arch 360 group

  • A consulting firm focusing on the financial industry

  • Was previously a partner at a consulting firm in ChicagoStarted college as a Financial Engineering major in Europe, but when she moved to the United States she pursued a MBA in Finance

  • Joined a committee on foreign relations, and this is where she met professionals at a consulting firm where she ended up working at

  • She was exposed fraud examining here and was inspired to pursue her career as a fraud examiner

  • After moving to California, she decided to find a consulting firm four years ago using her expertise in fraud, finance, and business

  • Advises students to:

  • Ask yourselves if this job is really what you want to do

  • "Your choosing not only a job, but a career" - Gabriela

Raj Sawhney:

  • Director of IT Audit at Focal Point

  • Previously worked at Deloitte and KPMG consulting

  • A lot of the work he does is focused on the finance and operations side of businesses as

  • "This line of business gives you the best of both worlds, because I'm exposed to the IT side and operations side of a business" - Raj

  • Started at Edison working consulting, then moved to Deloitte

  • He wanted to get as much experience as he could before moving from a private company to a public firm

  • "The experience you get at the big four really stays with you." - Raj

  • Now he has his own consulting practice where he consults with clients he used to work with at public accounting firms, but works for a private company

  • Recommends taking basic courses about how IT security works (ERM), or how applications are developed, will give students a huge leg up

  • Technology is becoming more important in day to day lives of people in the accounting industry

  • CASP - Security engineer certification that gives you experience with firewall building

  • $6.76 Billion associated to IT fraud last year

  • "That number will probably grow this year." - Raj

  • Because everything is done online, and things are moved to the cloud, individuals are no longer restricted by boarders to commit fraud, only experience

  • If the criminals are more experienced then the cybersecurity team at a company, there is a huge risk of the company being threatened

  • Advice to students:

  • Add value

  • Its different depending on which company/department

  • Know the politics of the organization

  • If you can't gather people to support you, then you won't make it far in the organization

Clyde Sleigh:

  • CSUF Alumni (Class of 83)

  • Pursued an MBA at CSUF too (Class of 89)

  • Previously worked at

  • Arthur Anderson

  • PwC

  • Was an advisor to the California BOE after working at PwC

  • The target group for the IMA is for CFOs, Controllers, and cost accountants were in the same range of professionals he wanted to network and work with

  • This is why he pursued and got involved with IMA

  • Also, he had a very good cost accounting professor at CSUF who inspired him to get more involved in IMA

  • IBM and Maersk is developing a third company which is creating new ways to monitor how to ship products across the world

  • Recommends students who have a major or minor in marketing and graphic design to pursue a career in the accounting industry because they're actually in high demand

  • Smart Contracts

  • Advice to students:

  • Make time for yourself

  • Don't neglect your family or friends

  • Be involved professionally/privately with other groups like a charity or a church

Chris Thompson:

  • Previously worked at Arthur Anderson

  • UCR Alumni

  • Worked as a mortgage originator before joining PwC

  • Works as Risk Assurance Director at PwC focusing on IT Audit

  • Sees many clients have ERM tools in place already, but only the Board knows about it

  • Management is unaware of ERM tools or how its used and implemented

  • Therefore, company operation's are not monitored properly

  • As technology, like AI, get more developed they will be more ingrained into public accounting

  • AI can never replace people completely because they lack human judgement, and there will always be a need of human contact within the industry

  • "You still need people how know when and how to apply rules, and that's when you need people with accounting expertise." - Chris

Advises students to ask themselves the following five questions:

  • "Learn what subjects matter to you"

  • "Learn what the work is and if its interesting to you"

  • "Know what you're actually doing at your job"

  • "Assess the people you'll be working with"

  • "Where is the organization going"

#accounting #CSUF #ACFE #IIA #IMA #ISACA
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