In order to ensure the confidentiality of the data, the ACFE contracted an objective, third-party research company, Western Management Group, to collect and compile the results. An email with a link to an online questionnaire was sent to approximately 62,000 ACFE members in early February 2015. A total of 10,436 completed and useable responses were received by the end of February in time for processing, representing a 17% response rate. Based on 10,436 presumably random responses and 62,000 for the total population, this study has a +/- 0.87% margin of error (MOE) at a 95% level of confidence. In other words, we can be 95% certain that for a question with 10,436 responses, the survey's figure would be within +/- 0.87% percentage points of the actual universe's response. A margin of error of +/- 5% is typically accepted as the “standard” in association research, so this study's +/- 0.87% figure indicates a stronger than typical level of statistical integrity.
Upon receipt, all responses were assigned a unique identification number, and any remaining identification was removed from the survey form. All data were checked both manually and by a specially designed computer editing procedure. Strict confidence of survey responses was maintained throughout the course of the project.
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