What is the ACFE and what does it offer?
Leslie Simpson, CFE Director of Membership Association of Certified Fraud Examiners World Headquarters, Austin, Texas, USA
The ACFE is the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education. We have more than 60,000 members worldwide who are united by the common goal of preventing and detecting fraud. They represent a global community of individuals from the private and public sectors and organizations of all sizes. From entry-level fraud investigators to top-level executives, from accountants to IT professionals and those transitioning from one line of work to another — all find a professional home at the ACFE.
- What is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and how do you become one?
A Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) is a leader in the anti-fraud community and is noted as a specialist in the prevention and deterrence of fraud. CFEs represent the highest standards held by the ACFE and possess expertise in all aspects of the anti-fraud profession. The standards are set by the ACFE’s Board of Regents, who are elected by CFE members and drawn from our most experienced members.
The CFE credential is open to those interested in taking their career to the next level by earning the standard of professional excellence in the anti-fraud profession. It is increasingly being designated as a preferred credential in the hiring practices of businesses, government entities and law enforcement agencies. The steps to become a member are:
1. Be an Associate member of the ACFE in good standing.
2. Submit the CFE Exam application with proof of education and professional recommendations.
3. Prepare for the CFE Exam. We offer a couple different options for preparing to take the CFE Exam:
Study with the CFE Exam Prep Course.The prep course is a computer self-study course produced by the ACFE. Available in US, Canada and International editions, the CFE Exam Prep Course mirrors the format of the actual exam and comes with a Money-Back Pass Guarantee. An electronic copy of the Fraud Examiners Manual is included.
Attend the CFE Exam Review Course. This 3½-day, instructor-led course provides the essentials needed to pass the CFE Exam and become a Certified Fraud Examiner. This course, in combination with the CFE Exam Prep Course software, will provide you with an unbeatable combination for passing the exam.
Study on your own.Approximately 90 percent of the CFE Exam’s questions are derived from material contained in the Fraud Examiners Manual while the remainder is compiled from the Corporate Fraud Handbook.
4. Pass the CFE Exam. The CFE Exam is a Windows-based program that tests your knowledge and expertise in the four primary areas of fraud examination: Fraudulent Financial Transactions, Legal Elements of Fraud, Investigation Methods, and Fraud Prevention and Deterrence. 5. Gain final approval from the certification committee and become a CFE. You will officially become a CFE once your exam and credentials are approved by the certification committee. Those who have attained the CFE credential will be invoiced at the CFE dues rate upon annual membership renewal.
- What are the benefits of becoming a CFE?
Earning the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential positions you as a leader and expert in the anti-fraud field. Becoming a CFE enables you to increase your earnings, improve your marketability and job security, and develop a network of professional contacts who can provide their solutions and insights to help you face your toughest challenges.
Additionally, we have seen companies and government agencies now place a higher degree of importance on hiring and promoting CFEs to tackle today’s tough anti-fraud challenges and to anticipate the problems of tomorrow. As a result, businesses, government entities and law enforcement agencies are increasingly designating the CFE as a preferred credential in their hiring practices.
- Every two years, the ACFE publishes a “Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse”. The next one is scheduled to be released soon. Could you tell us more about it?
In May, we released the ACFE's 2012 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse. It is based on data compiled from a study of 1,388 cases of occupational fraud that occurred worldwide between January 2010 and December 2011. All information was provided by the Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs) who investigated those cases. The fraud cases in our study came from 94 nations — providing a truly global view into the plague of occupational fraud. Since 1996 we have released six updated editions — in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and the current version in 2012. Like the first Report, each subsequent edition has been based on detailed case information provided by Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs). With each new edition of the Report, we add to and modify the questions we ask of our survey participants in order to enhance the quality of the data we collect. This evolution of the Report to the Nations has enabled us to continue to draw more meaningful information from the experiences of CFEs and the frauds they encounter. The 2010 edition marked the widening of our study to include cases from countries outside the United States. We continued this trend in the 2012 Report, and the international expansion allows us to more fully explore the truly global nature of occupational fraud and provides an enhanced view into the severity and impact of these crimes. Additionally, we are able to compare the anti-fraud measures taken by organizations worldwide in order to give fraud fighters the most applicable and useful information to help them in their fraud prevention and detection efforts.
I encourage you to review the findings online: http://www.acfe.com/rttn-highlights.aspx
- Could you discuss the influence of the ACFE on professionals in the private sector or on national or international decision makers?
In today’s economic climate, companies are forced to ask themselves, “Who is helping to protect my company and clients from the devastating impact fraud can have?” It is more important than ever to be proactive when it comes to fraud, so for many companies it means making sure their staff is sufficiently educated and has the tools they need to implement fraud prevention and detection programs. CFEs around the world are trained to identify the warning signs and red flags that indicate fraud and help protect the global economy by exposing fraud and implementing processes to prevent fraud from occurring in the first place.
The ACFE understands the challenges anti-fraud professionals face and we have the resources and network our members value. As stated by our mission, we are dedicated to reducing the incident of fraud and white-collar crime and to assisting our membership in fraud detection and deterrence. To accomplish this we focus on quality and a commitment to service.
Tags : anti-fraud, ACFE, certified examiner, occupational fraud and abuse