What is a Certified Fraud Examiner?

Fraud is a deceptive action intended for personal or financial gain and a certified fraud examiner is a highly qualified professional who investigates cases of criminal and civil fraud. Fraud comes in all forms, such as embezzlement, payroll frauds, skimming, and expense report frauds. Majority of entities, from small businesses to large corporations have dealt with fraud in some way, shape, or form, which decrease gross revenue every year. A certified fraud examiner uses his or her knowledge of multifaceted financial transactions with their understanding of law, techniques, and ways to resolve fraud allegations. He or she has a solid understanding of how and why fraud occurs. A certified fraud examiner has specific duties, qualifications, and career outlook.

Certified Fraud Examiner Duties

A certified fraud examiner plays three essential roles: identifying evidence of fraud, conducting interviews and writing reports, and proactively evaluating the fraud risk of a business or organization. He or she identifies and gathers the evidence of fraud incidences to form a case, such as billing trends, financial relationships, and financial data. He or she also interviews witnesses and documents statements to include in the report. A certified fraud examiner often testifies his or her findings in cases of fraud allegations to resolve the issues. He or she commonly works with attorneys and law enforcement officers and assists in the arrest of individuals charged with fraud. Many certified fraud examiners help organizations organize fraud detection and prevention efforts. A certified fraud examiner may design, apply, and maintain fraud detection procedures and tools. Some also train others in fraud detection and prevention methods.

Certified Fraud Examiner Qualifications

A certified fraud examiners must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting and at least two years work experience in the field. He or she must also receive a passing score on the comprehensive certification examination administered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). The ACFE is the only organization that offers the credential to qualified professionals. To maintain the certification, a certified fraud examiner must complete at least 20 hours of continuing professional education on a yearly basis. A certified fraud examiner must maintain knowledge of current events and trends in fraud related activity, such as criminal techniques and money laundering. In addition to extensive knowledge and understanding of fraud, a certified fraud examiner must have great communication skills to listen to individuals carefully to determine if they are being truthful about fraudulent activity. He or she must also have a keen business sense and financial skills to be able to identify the red flags of fraud.

Related Resource: Government Accountant

Career Outlook for a Certified Fraud Examiner

With the incidence of fraud on the rise, costs about $600 billion in just the U.S. and trillions of dollars around the world; the demand for certified fraud examiners is constantly increasing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a rise of about 10 percent in employment of fraud examiners by the year 2024.
With today’s highly technological society filled with a variety of tools to assist criminal masterminds with financial deception, fraud is likely to rise at an alarming rate. A certified fraud examiner has a unique set of skills not found in any other field to help a wide range of businesses and organizations detect and resolve fraud. Working as certified fraud examiner is both a rewarding and lucrative career that makes a difference in our dynamic marketplace.