Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) Skill Set
The CFE process focuses on four bodies of knowledge critical to the fight against fraud: Financial Transactions and Fraud Schemes, Law, Investigation, and Fraud Prevention and Deterrence. CFEs have the ability to:
Understand how fraud is committed and how it can be identified;
Examine books and records to detect and trace fraudulent transactions;
Interview suspects to obtain information and confessions;
Write investigation reports, advise clients as to their findings, and testify at trial; and
Understand the underlying factors that motivate individuals to commit fraud.
What is the CFE credential?
The Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential denotes proven expertise in fraud prevention, detection and deterrence. CFEs are trained to identify the warning signs and red flags that indicate evidence of fraud and fraud risk. CFEs must pass a rigorous test on the four major disciplines that comprise the fraud examination body of knowledge: Fraud Investigation Methods, Financial Transactions and Fraud Schemes, Law, and Fraud Prevention and Deterrence. Candidates must have a minimum of two years’ professional experience in a fraud-related field and a minimum of 50 points. Points are based on a combination of academic achievement, professional certifications and licenses, and work experience. To maintain the credential, CFEs must earn at least 20 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) every 12-month period. CFEs are required to follow the ACFE Code of Professional Ethics and the ACFE Code of Professional Standards.
What do CFEs do?
Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs) perform a variety of services in many different industries throughout all sectors of an organization. They are part accountant, part investigator, part attorney and part criminologist.
Job Title Examples
Information Systems Auditor
Director of Loss Prevention
Industries with Highest Percentages of CFEs
Public Accounting, Accounting, and Bookkeeping
Services Management Consulting
Banking & Financial Institutions
Insurance Carriers, Agents, Services
State and Provincial
Federal and National
Types of Services Performed
The types of services performed by CFEs vary based on the professional’s specific role and background. Services provided by CFEs can include:
Examine records for fraud
Investigating employee theft, corruption, conflicts of interest, insurance fraud and other types of misconduct
Analyzing data, transactions and financial statements
Examining documents and other records for signs of fraud
Interviewing witnesses and suspects
Presenting investigation findings
Testifying in court
Providing litigation support
Locating and recovering hidden assets
Conducting background checks
Reconstructing accounting records
Compensation of Certified Fraud Examiners
The ACFE's 2017/2018 Compensation Guide for Anti-Fraud Professionals is a comprehensive report on compensation for anti-fraud professionals in multiple industries, functional areas and levels of seniority. According to this guide, Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs) are earning significantly more than professionals without the CFE credential.
This report, based on a global salary survey conducted by an independent research group, determined that professionals with the CFE credential earned 31 percent more in salary than professionals in comparable positions who do not hold the CFE.
ACFE.com/Compguide to learn more about how earning the CFE credential could impact your bottom line.
How Does the CFE Support Your Career?
CFE Skill Set
Resources for Passing the CFE Exam
Test Your Knowledge
Frequently Asked Questions