ACFE Chapter Leader Profile: Michael Rosten, CFE, CPA

“Let’s dive in, and get it done.” This motto has helped guide Mike Rosten’sprofessional career for more than 30 years. Mike has been the president of the Las Vegas Chapter since 2014. When he’s not working at Piercy Bowler Taylor & Kern, he’s likely spending time with his wife and three kids, grilling and hiking in the mountains.

What do you do for a living?
As a Principal, I help my clients solve problems by providing litigation, forensic and fraud investigation services. This includes suspected embezzlement investigations, economic damage assessments (lost profits, breach of contract, reasonability from a defensive perspective, etc.), alter ego analyses and asset tracing. I also develop business intelligence and insight for clients from financial data and public-source information.

Why did you decide to enter the anti-fraud field?
After working in both tax and audit, I saw the anti-fraud field as one of the most interesting and exciting parts of accounting. It’s the “rock and roll” part of our industry. I’ve always had an aptitude for solving problems and determining the substance of transactions. I find it very rewarding to locate the hidden or underlying picture/facts.

How has the CFE benefited your career?
The CFE has provided me recognition as an anti-fraud professional in the business and professional accountancy communities, and has opened many doors for me professionally and personally.

When I first became a CFE nearly 20 years ago, I recall explaining to various contacts that I performed forensic accounting and fraud investigations. At that time, I was commonly asked if I was performing accounting for deceased individuals!

We have certainly come a long way as a CFE community, and through our future leaders I hope the ACFE and its chapters continue to evolve in increasingly positive ways.

How long have you been involved with the chapter?
I joined the Las Vegas ACFE Chapter not long after relocating from the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 2004 as a way to network among the fraud prevention and detection community, and to obtain training. I received the CFE credential in 1997 and it was important for me to maintain my involvement with the ACFE as I had in Texas.

What has been a highlight during your time on the board?
Seeing the attendance increase at our quarterly training sessions has been very rewarding for me. When I first became president we averaged around 70-80 individuals. Now the current attendance level is 125-135 participants.

I have also enjoyed working with the various qualified and energetic personnel at the ACFE headquarters in Austin..

What goals would you like to help the chapter accomplish?
I would like our Las Vegas chapter to be a forum for training qualified personnel who will then go out and advance the mission of the ACFE using their diverse individual skills and knowledge. Our chapter should enable professional and personal networking among like-minded professionals and create a richer experience for everyone involved with fraud investigation, fraud prevention and forensic accounting work.

Do you have any advice for other chapter leaders?
Foster an environment of inclusion of the various chapters domestically and around the world by:
1. Keeping the organization ahead of personal agendas and emotions. Through your leadership, don’t get in the way, but instead be a facilitator.
2. Soliciting input from all factions of the local chapter membership. Consider polling members through Survey Monkey or other similar protocols. Add new blood to the chapter board of directors to gain additional points of view.
3. Implementing an official or ad hoc educational/training committee.
4. Keeping costs low — extraordinary cost does not necessarily make for an effective chapter. In Las Vegas, we have a turn-key pricing structure where all members pay a $175 flat fee, which can be prorated for new members based upon remaining training hours in a year; however, that fee covers all meals — full breakfast or lunch and attendance at all training events. There are no additional costs.

What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?
Being a father to three energetic children and a 29-year marriage to my wonderful wife.

What are your favorite activities and hobbies outside of work?
I enjoy grilling on my barrel smoker that survived the move from Texas 12 years ago and is still in use. Some favorites include chicken fajitas and teriyaki flank steak during our wonderful springtime weather in Nevada. I also spend a lot of my free time hiking and endurance trail running. Although Southern Nevada is a desert, the surrounding mountains stretch upwards to approximately 12,000 feet in elevation and the views are amazing!

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