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AmCham Organizes Business Today Seminar on Corporate Compliance & Fraud Investigation

Business Today Seminars

14.12.2011. | Belgrade

A seminar on the topic of Corporate Compliance and Fraud Investigation, held on December 12, with representatives of the Karanović and Nikolić Law Office and Ernst & Young consultancy, was a continuation of AmCham efforts to draw attention to the internal and external resources and mechanisms corporations have for addressing ethical and regulatory compliance.

AmCham Organizes Business Today Seminar on Corporate Compliance & Fraud Investigation - Documents

Over 20 representatives of AmCham member companies from a variety of industries had the opportunity to learn about the importance of awareness of management’s focus on legal compliance and the consequences of failing to do so. They also received an overview of the scope of requirements imposed by Serbian Law and extra-territorial application of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act. At the time of an increased pace of adopting the new Serbian regulations required by the EU, signing international treaties regarding commercial matters, as well as enacting laws with extra-territorial application of broadening scope, participants were introduced to best practices and tools for utilizing internal and external legal and accounting resources to manage the compliance burden.
Click here for the photo gallery from the event.

Finally, the results of a European fraud survey this year accentuate the importance of anti-fraud policies within corporate sector, especially in times of crisis in developing markets. Having in mind regulatory incentives, reduced or waived penalties for companies with compliance policies, the benefits of a systematic approach to compliance issues becomes even more obvious.

Slobodan Doklestić, a Partner at Karanović & Nikolic Law office, presented the scope and coverage of legal compliance in general, reasons for ex ante legal compliance planning as well as the specific compliance burden imposed by Serbian legislation, with highlights from the recently adopted Company Law. He shared his practical experiences of the complexity of compliance in specific sectors with a multitude of local and international regulations, and advised managing risk of penalties through internal and external resources for performing a legal risk audit.

Patrick Callinan, Senior Associate at Karanović & Nikolić Law Office, presented a comparison between the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act, pointing to the enlarged scope of compliance. In effect, subject to the UK Bribery Act are UK incorporated companies (or partnerships) wherever the doubtful conduct occurred, entities carrying on business or part of business in UK and bribes made outside the UK by an associated person with no connection to the UK.

Filip Bojović, Manager of the Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services at Ernst&Young, with extensive experience in the field in the Czech Republic, shared his views based on internal audits of companies in the CEE region. He presented the E&Y European fraud survey 2011, emphasizing that increased pressure to achieve targets due to the crisis, coupled with the low level of compliance culture shown through the region, resulted in more exposure to the risk of fraudulent behaviour in comparison to the previous survey done in 2009. He also presented sector-specific experiences, described red flags in internal audits, and the role of internal audits in detecting weak links and designing effective anti-fraud corporate policies.