Elements of Internal Investigations: Gathering and Protecting Evidence (Online Self-Study)



CPE Credit: 4
Course Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: Understanding of basic fraud examination techniques


Conducting an internal investigation can be a difficult task. Internal investigations, by their very nature, tend to involve accusations of wrongdoing against employees within the organization and can be disruptive, costly, distracting, and time consuming. However, internal investigations are often necessary for the well-being of the company. This online self-study course explores the process of gathering and protecting evidence to ensure your investigation is successful.

You Will Learn How To:

Identify situations that call for an internal fraud investigation

Explain the elements of planning internal fraud investigations

Apply the fraud theory approach and fraud examination methodology to internal investigations

Differentiate the characteristics of civil and criminal actions for fraud

Assess legal concerns encountered when conducting internal fraud investigations

Recognize employees’ rights during internal fraud investigations

Describe processes to assess, collect, maintain and organize information obtained in an investigation

Evaluate processes to help ensure the admissibility of tangible and digital evidence in court

Apply techniques for preserving the confidentiality of internal investigations

Identify methods for collecting relevant information from internal and external sources


Preview Course


Field of study: Specialized Knowledge and Applications

Last updated: December 2014


ACFE Ordering and Return Policy 


Please note: To be eligible for CPE credit, you must complete the final exam within one year of purchase date. You may only claim CPE credit for a course once.  

Table of Contents: 


Lesson 1: Introduction

Lesson 2: Deciding Whether to Conduct an Investigation

Lesson 3: Accountants' and Auditors' Duties to Investigate

Lesson 4: Planning the Investigation

Lesson 5: Fraud Examination Methodology

Lesson 6: Steps in a Fraud Examination

Lesson 7: Collecting Documentary Evidence

Lesson 8: Legal Requirements Related to Document Collection

Lesson 9: Digital Evidence

Lesson 10: Internal Sources of Documentary Evidence

Lesson 11: External Sources of Documentary Evidence

Lesson 12: Organizing Documentary Evidence

Lesson 13: Preserving the Confidentiality of the Investigation

Lesson 14: Employees' Rights and Duties During an Internal Investigation

Lesson 15: Employees' Privacy Rights During an Internal Investigation

Lesson 16: Criminal Actions for Fraud

Lesson 17: Remedies in a Criminal Fraud Case

Lesson 18: Civil Actions for Fraud

Lesson 19: Establishing Elements of Fraud Claims

Lesson 20: Federal Criminal Statutes Pertaining to Fraud

Lesson 21: Discharging Employees


ACFE online self-study courses feature:

24/7 access to courses through your Internet browser
Save time and quickly earn CPE credits with instant access, grading and printable certificate
The flexibility to start or stop a course and pick-up right where you left off
No additional shipping fees 

Learn more about accessing your online self-study course.

Learn more about online self-study courses and their features.


System requirements:


Internet access: High-speed connection recommended

Free Adobe Flash Player 

Speakers required for video sound

Online Self-Study Troubleshooting Guide:

Problem: When I attempt to access my courses from “My Online Learning,” the course never launches, or I receive an error message saying my pop-up blocker needs to be turned off.

Solution: Your web browser must be configured to allow pop-ups in order to access ACFE Self-Study courses. Your browser may prompt you to allow pop-ups, or you may have to allow them manually. You may either allow them for all sites, or allow them just for the current site.

For information on how to manage your pop-up blocker settings in a specific browser, click the link below that corresponds to the browser you are using:

  Internet Explorer
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Also note that many toolbars, such as the Google Toolbar and Yahoo! include pop-up blockers as well. If you have one or more toolbars installed on your browser with built-in pop-up blockers, you must configure them to allow pop-ups.

Problem: When I click on a course from “My Online Learning,” I am presented with a login page, but my ACFE.com username and password won’t allow me to log in.

Solution: You do not have to log in a second time to access your online self-study. You most likely reached the login page because you clicked the link labeled “Click Here” as shown below:


  Online SS Image Absorb Error 


Do not click that link; instead, allow your browser to automatically open the eLearning window on its own, which should happen after a few seconds. This will log you in automatically so that you can access your online courses.


Problem: I receive the following error when I try to load a different lesson with a course:


  SS Online API Error 


Solution: This occurs in Internet Explorer when trying to load a different lesson without closing the current lesson. This error can be avoided two different ways:


Always close the current lesson before going to another one. Always click the Close Window button (usually the red “X” in the upper right corner) of the current lesson before clicking on another lesson.

Use a different browser. This error seems to only occur in Internet Explorer, so using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome should resolve the issue (see below for links to download either of these browsers).

Other Troubleshooting Tips: If you encounter other errors, such as courses freezing or crashing, we recommend taking the following action:

Try a different browser. ACFE online self-study courses are designed to run on all modern web browsers, but if you encounter a problem that is not solved using one of the suggestions above, you can try using a different web browser to see if it eliminates the problem. We have most frequently seen where using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome has resolved an issue that was seen in Internet Explorer.

Mozilla Firefox can be downloaded here
Google Chrome can be downloaded here 


Make sure you are running the latest version of Flash. Go to Adobe.com to see what version of Flash you are running, and then compare that to the table on that page to see what the latest version is for your operating system/browser combination. If you are not running the newest version, you should upgrade and see if that resolves the problem.