Together, Reducing Fraud Worldwide

  • Public Accountant

    Public Accountants work for firms ranging from small, local accounting practices to large, international organizations. Public Accountants specialize in tax, audit, management, consulting and many other disciplines.

     
    Public Accountant 

    Benefits of the CFE Credential

    The CFE credential provides accountants with the knowledge to detect and deter fraud by evaluating accounting systems for weaknesses, determining the degree of organizational fraud risk, interpreting financial data for unusual trends and following up on fraud indicators. The CFE credential is preferred by many employers, and candidates who have earned it are looked to as leading experts in the field.

    The ACFE’s global salary study found that CFEs earn a 11 percent income premium over their peers without the credential, which demonstrates the value employers place on the credential. The study also provides valuable information and comparisons helpful to all anti-fraud professionals in benchmarking their compensation levels and career growth. The training, fraud resources and continuing education provided by the ACFE will help in any stage of your career path. Refer to the Compensation section below for more information about compensation ranges for Public Accountants.

    Job Types

    Entry-level accountants prepare and review financial statements, perform financial reporting, administer A/R and A/P functions, and assist management with budgeting and planning. A bachelor’s degree is required and some companies encourage experience from an internship.

     

    Lead/senior accountants are responsible for performing audits and preparing financial statements, as well as improving internal controls and providing direction and assignments for staff accountants. A bachelor’s degree is required and three to six years of experience.

     

    Accountant supervisors/managers supervise the entry-level and senior accountants. They are responsible for the planning and approving of accounting practices, including the audit program, internal control procedures, operational budgets and business financing. A bachelor’s degree is required and six to eight years of experience.

    Back to Top 

     

    Education

    A bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting, finance or a related field is required for public accountants. Many universities offer a five-year program to obtain both bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as provide hands-on experience through internships. Many companies encourage obtaining the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), and/or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).

    Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

    It is important to plan and conduct an honest self-assessment of your knowledge, skills and abilities. In particular, employers are looking for:

    Knowledge 

    Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

    Overall business function

    Computer systems and applications

    Government structure and function

    Financial data analysis

    Evidence integrity analysis

    Compiling information

    Eliciting other experts’ assistance

    Maintaining documentation

    Damage assessment

    Tracing illicit funds

    Locating hidden assets

     

    Due diligence reviews

    Forensic intelligence gathering

    Business valuation

     

    Skills 

    Testifying as an expert witness

     

    Abilities 

    Analytical

    Interpersonal communication

    Written communication

    Verbal communication

    Independence

    Back to Top 

     

    Compensation

    Below are compensation ranges by several different accounting job functions taken from the 2013/2014 Compensation Guide for Anti-Fraud Professionals:

     

     

    Back to Top 

     

  • Career Paths

    Accounting

    Forensic Accountant 

    Government Accountant 

    Public Accountant 

     

    Auditing

    Internal Auditor 

    External Auditor 

     

    Investigation

    Private-Sector Investigator 

    Public-Sector Investigator 

     

    Governance, Risk Management and Compliance

    Compliance Professional 

    Risk Management Professional 

     

    Connect

    Search for jobs on the ACFE Job Board 

    Post Your Resume 

    Visit the Employment Discussion Forum 

     

    Join the Conversation 

    LinkedIn Facebook Twitter 

     

     Video: How to Leverage the CFE Credential to Jump Start Your Career     

     

    Read the ACFE's Blogs: 

    ACFE Insights
    FraudInfo