Guide to U.S. Anti-Money Laundering Requirements: Frequently Asked Questions (2Nd Edition)

By Haber, Jeffry R. | The CPA Journal, April 2006 | Go to article overview

Guide to U.S. Anti-Money Laundering Requirements: Frequently Asked Questions (2Nd Edition)


Haber, Jeffry R., The CPA Journal


Guide to U.S. Anti-Money Laundering Requirements: Frequently Asked Questions (2nd Edition) Published by Protiviti; available for free download at www.protiviti.com; copyright 2005; 122 pages

As more businesses fall under the requirements of anti-money laundering reporting, more CPAs will need to become familiar with the applicable standards. Protiviti. a consulting company that provides services in the areas of business risk, technology risk, internal audit, and anti-money laundering (AML), recently revised its Guide to U.S. Anti-Money Laundering Requirements.

The guide uses a question-and-answer approach to cover what anyone working in AML needs to know. For someone new to AML, the guide is indispensable. The best parts are the appendices; these alone would still be a valuable reference. Even the most experienced and knowledgeable AML expert would want these appendices handy. The appendices are:

* Commonly used acronyms;

* AML/BSA (Bank Secrecy Act) statutes and regulations; and

* Pertinent websites.

A question-and-answer format can be difficult to manage. While questions can be selected and framed to follow a logical and sequential path through the material, they are not as clear and understandable as standard prose. The 475 questions are organized into the chapters of fundamentals, BSA, the Patriot Act, customer identification programs, risk assessments, the AML program, transaction monitoring, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), implementation of AML laws and regulations, nonbank financial institutions, and nonfmancial institutions.

For the professional new to AML, this organization takes the reader from the earlier act (BSA) through the sweeping Patriot Act, discussing the general rules and application. The guide then discusses the rules and regulations from the industry perspective, so the reader could use the table of contents to focus on a particular industry classification. In some ways, this organization can be very useful, asking questions that the newcomer may not have thought of, while still conveying basic information. In other ways, this organization can be superficial. For the professional with an intermediate level of knowledge, this organization may be less useful, because specific questions may not be covered as directly as necessary. Particularly when working in the field, these professionals would be looking for an answer to a particular situation.

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