CFEs Earn Nearly 22% More Than Colleagues Worldwide


Compensation Study Provides Insight, Comparative Data for Anti-Fraud Professionals


October 7, 2010 - AUSTIN, Texas-- Despite the economic challenges of the past two years, companies worldwide continue to recognize the need for anti-fraud professionals and give preference to those with the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential, according to a new compensation study conducted for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

The results of the study, published in the ACFE's 2010/2011 Compensation Guide for Anti-Fraud Professionals, find that CFEs earn nearly 22 percent more than their non-certified colleagues in the anti-fraud profession. The research is based on the survey responses of more than 3,000 ACFE members (both CFEs and non-CFEs) conducted by independent research firm Industry Insights in May 2010.

For the first time, the scope of the study was widened to feature data from members outside the United States, said Leslie Simpson, CFE, the ACFE's director of membership. She said that the findings are consistent with previous compensation studies conducted for the ACFE.

"What we found most encouraging about the data is how consistent the patterns have remained despite the economic downturn of the past two years," Simpson said. "The pay advantage for having the CFE credential is as evident and significant as it was in our previous study."

Findings in the 2010/2011 Compensation Guide for Anti-Fraud Professionals include:

The CFE is especially valuable to forensic accountants, IRS agents, external auditors and management accountants. These were among the top ranking job functions that showed the highest median salary advantage for having the CFE credential, with CFEs earning 39–45 percent more than non-CFEs.
In the U.S., respondents in almost every geographic region reported that having the CFE credential increased their compensation. CFEs in the northeast U.S. region reported the highest salary premiums, earning 25 percent more than non-CFEs. Outside the U.S., CFEs earned 35 percent more than non-CFEs in the same position.
The majority of respondents had five years or more of fraud-related experience. More than 20 percent of the responding CFEs had more than 20 years of fraud-related experience.
In addition, the report contains compensation information relating to job function, primary industry of focus, level of education completed, age, years of fraud-related experience, level of responsibility and geographic region; and also compares respondents' benefits and retirement plans. The report allows anti-fraud professionals to easily compare their compensation levels and benefits with those of their peers.

"While this study demonstrates the value of the credential for prospective CFEs, it also provides valuable information and comparison points helpful to all anti-fraud professionals in measuring their compensation levels and career growth," Simpson said.

Results of the study reinforce the stature of the CFE as the foremost credential for professionals whose job duties involve the detection, prevention and/or deterrence of fraud in any capacity. A study by Robert Half International, a leading specialist in financial staffing, identified the CFE as "in-demand" and listed it as one of the most marketable credentials today, while executive search firm A.E. Feldman has referred to the CFE as the "gold standard" in the area of fraud.

To become a CFE, one must pass a rigorous examination administered by the ACFE and meet specific education and professional requirements. As experts in the four major areas of fraud (fraud prevention and deterrence, fraudulent financial transactions, fraud investigation and legal elements of fraud), CFEs are trained to see the warning signs and red flags that indicate both actual fraud and fraud risk.

The full 2010/2011 Compensation Guide for Anti-Fraud Professionals is available for download (in PDF) at:

About Industry Insights
Industry Insights is an independent, third-party research firm headquartered in Columbus, Ohio that has specialized in conducting operating benchmarking surveys, compensation studies, customer satisfaction research, educational programs and other forms of customized research since 1980.

About the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
The ACFE is the world's largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education. Together with nearly 55,000 members, the ACFE is reducing business fraud world-wide and inspiring public confidence in the integrity and objectivity within the profession. For more information, visit

Contact the ACFE
For more information, email