It wasn't all fun and gaming for the 54 construction firms at the Construction Contractors Alliance "Pitfalls and Profits" meeting in Las Vegas. In fact, after guest speakers at the March 1-3 meeting enlightened the PHCC peer group on employee fraud and embezzlement, many of the large construction contractors were wishing they were home auditing their businesses - several members were ready to make emergency cellular calls to their accountants.

"You think it's a full-time job making your money, it's a full-time job watching your money," said featured speaker Joel Moscowitz of Clark County Nevada's Major Fraud Unit. "There's always someone out there who doesn't want to work half as hard as you, but wants as much money as you." The meeting at the Bellagio resort and casino was also the debut of the Kohler-PHCC Educational Foundation Seminar Series. Guest speakers such as Moscowitz, Tom Miller, a former special agent of the FBI, and Joseph Kotwicki, CPA, were invited to speak at length about the painful realities of protecting businesses from employee fraud and embezzlement.

Besides learning to safeguard their businesses, the more than 75 attendees were able to network with other contractors and discuss employee management, industry concerns and future developments. The "employment guru," David Schein, was on hand to answer any employment-related question the members might have. A qualified mediator and licensed attorney, Schein urged the contractors to "cover their butts" by documenting and fairly and evenly enforcing all company rules and regulations to avoid costly litigation.

A trustee business meeting was also held, in which two new CCA Peer Groups were formed and two new trustees were elected to replace those whose terms have expired.

Also, the group welcomed five new companies into the fold since its meeting last year in Baltimore, Md., bringing the total represented membership to 26 construction firms.

"Because we're successful, we're able to go first-class and get top-notch speakers and offer seminar education," said Chairman Dave Cooper. He spoke of the importance for contractors to join peer groups and take advantage of learning opportunities in a noncompetitive environment.

The next CCA meeting and Kohler-PHCC Educational Foundational Seminar Series, will be held Sept. 14-16, 2000, at the Riverside Hilton in New Orleans. For more information on "Structuring Your Contracting Business for a Successful Future," call 800/544-7694.