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Muna Dora Buchahin Abulhosn, CFE, CGAP, CICA, MA
Director General of Forensic Audit
Superior Audit Office of Mexico
From the second Muna Dora Buchahin Abulhosn, CFE, CGAP, CICA, MA, Director General of Forensic Audit, steps into the Superior Audit Office of Mexico, there is only one thing on her mind: the progress of her division's ongoing forensic audits. Abulhosn's diligence and passion for her job is what led her to earn her CFE credential, an achievement she considered a requirement for her professional development.
Describe your job function (a day in the life of):
As head of the forensic audit office, I organize and supervise all activities aimed at reviewing accounts using several types of forensic audits. We process complaints and carry out forensic audits aimed at documenting and demonstrating frauds perpetrated by public officers or third parties using public resources like suppliers or contractors. We also examine misconduct perpetrated either by omissions or actions and considered as criminal offences.
What made you decide to become a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)?
I decided I needed this international certification because it would give me worldwide recognition regarding deterrence, prevention, detection and investigation of frauds, and would be an added value to my professional career. I was interested in acquiring and promoting professional excellence in the fields of auditing, internal controls and fraud examination, deterrence and prevention. It also represented a personal challenge that required my dedication, while keeping me in touch with specialists focused on fields that are currently prominent within the auditing function. It would have been inconsistent for me to want more in my professional life and do nothing about it.
You've been to two of the most recent annual ACFE fraud conferences and attended this year's as well. What keeps you coming back? What do find most useful among the benefits of attending?
The ACFE conference lets me connect with experienced speakers, experts and anti-fraud professionals, as well as provides me with resources and information to help me in my daily practice against fraud. I keep coming back to update my knowledge of the most contemporary techniques and methodologies in the field regarding fraud prevention and deterrence. This knowledge, as well as experience-sharing opportunities with other members, keeps me coming back. I learn new ideas and different ways to prevent fraud, as well as new things to add to our daily practice. The opportunity to exchange job experiences is really incredible.
How has earning the CFE credential benefited you in your career?
Obtaining the CFE credential sets me apart from the rest of my colleagues. It keeps me updated and compels me to promote the profession and to share my knowledge. Putting into practice my enhanced knowledge gives an added value to the institution I work for. It conveys a professional status and supports my function, as well as earns recognition from my community. I am very proud to have become a CFE. Obtaining my CFE credential helped me to get promoted and I was appointed as head of the forensic audit department. It set me apart from my partners and I can see the value.
What do you enjoy most about your career as a CFE?
I most enjoy being part of a community that shares my professional interests based on ethical and collaborative principles like auditing, internal controls and anti-fraud issues. It is also enriching to exchange ideas about fraud schemes, experiences and results. Because my responsibilities include anti-fraud examinations and audits, I want to become a true professional in the field. To achieve that purpose, continuing to update the CFE credential is necessary.
In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges and opportunities for CFEs today? What were some of the more challenging tasks you've personally faced as a CFE?
One of the largest challenges is "thinking outside of the box" with the latest techniques that are used to commit fraud. The opportunities are both satisfaction in a job well done, as well as the ability to assist peers in new techniques used for investigations and fraud detection.
What were some of the more challenging tasks you've personally faced as a CFE?
To keep up the pace with new ways in which fraudulent crimes occur, due to the technological advance and the complexity of today's financial transactions.
What are some of the benefits/advantages to a company with CFEs on its staff?
CFEs assemble a specialized team, incorporate their work in anti-fraud areas and carry out functions based on internationally recognized standards and practices. We generate confidence to the users of our activities like the legislative branch. CFEs add valuable perspectives that enhance anti-fraud professional practice, as well as display professional excellence in the fields of auditing, internal controls, fraud examination, deterrence and prevention.
Strengthening knowledge and analysis regarding fraud allows for understanding the different situations that lead to irregularities, which makes me add value when I examine and explore new methodologies and approaches to bring on each case.
What is your personal motto?
Everything is attainable by means of perseverance. Take care of your own actions; recognition will come by itself.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to follow a similar career path as you?
Be professionally skeptic, preserve your beliefs, always use best professional practices and, above all, read. Read a lot. Be informed at all times. Develop skills and abilities. Work with integrity and determination to benefit your career, organization and society. Also, take advantage of the professional specializations available today that will enhance your professional practice.
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