What is a Certified Fraud Examiner?

The Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) is a credential awarded by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education. The CFE has a unique set of skills that are not found in any other career field or discipline. They combine a knowledge of complex financial transactions with proven expertise in fraud prevention, detection and deterrence. Fraud examiners are trained to understand not only how fraud occurs, but why. The CFE credential is recognized in many countries worldwide.

How is a CFE different from a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)? A CPA has demonstrated knowledge of auditing and attestation, business environment and concepts, financial accounting and reporting and regulation. The CPA is required to take ongoing professional training to maintain this credential and stay current on these areas of expertise. This broad range of knowledge provides a CPA with the skills to be a trusted advisor; however it does not focus on specific areas of risk like the CFE credential.

Training for the CFE credential includes a specific focus on identifying and analyzing fraud schemes, internal controls that can be implemented to help prevent fraud and reduce its risk in an organization, and other subjects unique to fraud prevention and detection.   A CFE is required to pass an exam to demonstrate their knowledge and to maintain their CFE credential by attending ongoing fraud training.

What Can a CFE Do For You?

According to a 2014 study conducted by the ACFE, 5% of all revenues are lost annually as a result of fraud and the median dollar loss was $145,000. The study also notes that in 92% of the cases that were reviewed, the fraudster exhibited certain behaviors that are commonly identified as warning signs, but often go unnoticed by most business owners. A CFE is trained to not only identify these warning signs, but also to:

  • Assist with fraud risk assessments
  • Assist with internal control reviews
  • Examine data and records if fraud has occurred or is suspected
  • Detect and trace fraudulent transactions
  • Interview suspects
  • Write investigation reports/advise client of findings
  • Testify in court
  • Understand the law as it relates to fraud and investigations
  • Understand the behavioral and other factors that motivate fraudsters to commit fraud
  • Educate others on fraud prevention controls

A CFE can be instrumental in the implementation of anti-fraud controls which have been directly associated with reduced fraud losses and shorter fraud duration. Together with more than 65,000 members, the ACFE is reducing business fraud world-wide and inspiring public confidence in the integrity and objectivity within the profession.

For more information on the CFE credential, visit acfe.com. For more information on Olsen Thielen’s Fraud and Forensic services, visit our website, www.otcpas.com.

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DISCLAIMER: This blog is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for obtaining accounting, tax, or financial advice from a professional accountant. Presentation of the information in this article does not create nor constitute an accountant-client relationship. While we use reasonable efforts to furnish accurate and up-to-date information, the evolving landscape surrounding these topics is supported by regulations or guidance that are subject to change.

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