Maui, Hawaii (Oct. 23, 2002) -- The American Institute of CPAs has put the issue of fraud at the top of its priority list, AICPA leaders told Council members gathered here.The AICPA is undertaking an aggressive campaign against fraud, chief executive Barry Melancon told Council members during their two-day meeting. In addition to the newly issued fraud standard, SAS 99, which will be available to the public at the end of this month, the institute plans to launch an online fraud resource center on its Web site in December, Melancon said.

The AICPA will tackle the "huge expectation gap with the public of what auditors’ responsibilities are for detecting fraud," Melancon said.

The AICPA has also hooked up with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and the University of Texas at Austin to form a research center for fraud studies. The center's first research project will be a study on how investors can do more to protect themselves against fraud.

The AICPA will hold a fraud summit in early 2003, and plans to unveil a new fraud competency model that will include a free fraud training course for corporate executives, as well as new continuing professional education in fraud for members.

-- Melissa Klein

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