How to Find Your Way as an Anti-Fraud Professional
Determining your career path or navigating your career in a different direction can be a daunting task. With insight into what your career path could offer, you can make an educated decision that meets your professional goals. Research the career paths below to learn more about the exciting opportunities in each field.
Forensic accountants combine accounting knowledge with investigative skills in litigation support and other settings. Due to heightened awareness and growing intolerance of fraudulent activity, the demand for forensic accountants is higher than ever.
Government accountants are employed at government, federal, state and local levels to ensure the proper use of taxpayer funds.
Public or chartered accountants perform independent consultancy services for clients. They work for public accounting firms of varying sizes ranging from small, local accounting practices to larger international firms. Public or chartered accountants provide tax, audit, management and consulting services. Refer to the External Auditor section for more information about what public or chartered accountants do to prevent and detect fraud.
External auditors are hired independently to audit a company’s financial statements to ensure they are presented fairly in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and free of material misstatement.
Internal auditors provide an independent, objective evaluation of an organization’s risk management, internal controls and governance processes. They verify internal controls are in place and are working effectively to prevent and detect fraud.
Compliance professionals ensure management and personnel are complying with the company’s policies and procedures, as well as applicable laws and regulations. A strong compliance program is an essential component in identifying and mitigating the risk of fraud.
Risk management professionals seek to identify, analyze and document the risks associated with a company’s business operations, as well as monitor the effectiveness of risk management processes and implement needed changes. The risk management department focuses attention on company-wide operational, compliance, financial, technology and asset-related risks.
Private-sector investigators work in the loss prevention department for retail and warehouse security, as independent or agency private investigators, or as internal or external fraud analysts for an organization. Most businesses that possess an inventory of goods in a warehouse or retail environment have a Loss Prevention (LP) department committed to reducing inventory shrinkage and preventing retail larceny. Private investigators gather facts and collect evidence to conduct investigations into a variety of different crimes. Internal fraud analysis is primarily concerned with monitoring a company’s own employees, whereas external fraud analysis deals with outside fraudsters.
There are countless agencies employing investigators at the federal, state and local levels. Positions range from local police detectives to special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Investigators at the state and local levels investigate criminal cases and typically specialize in one type of crime, such as white-collar crime or financial crime. Special agents at the federal level conduct investigations for criminal violations of federal laws and regulations.