Data Analysis Techniques for Fraud Examiners (Online Self-Study)

CPE Credit: 4 
Course Level: Overview
Prerequisite: None


Data analysis is a powerful tool for fraud examiners. By searching for patterns, anomalies, trends and outliers, you might discover a cleverly hidden scheme. A skillful fraudster is adept at covering his tracks. However, data analytics empowers you to uncover even the most thoroughly hidden fraud. Furthermore, data analytics can be used to continuously monitor an organization so that red flags of fraud are discovered and investigated as soon as they occur. 

This course explores the basics of using data analysis to uncover fraud. You will work through several interactive examples to illustrate simple analysis techniques. With these examples, you will learn how to perform a variety of tests and interpret the results to identify common red flags of fraud.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Advantages and challenges of using data analytics to detect fraud
  • Phases of the data analysis process
  • Data analysis techniques for specific fraud schemes
  • Red flags for suspicious or fraudulent data
  • Basic analytical procedures

Preview Course

ACFE Ordering and Return Policy

CPE Information:

You Will Learn How To:

  • Identify the benefits and challenges of using data analytics
  • Categorize the four phases of the data analysis process
  • Recognize common red flags for data that appears to be suspicious or fraudulent
  • Distinguish various data analysis techniques that can be applied based on the type of fraud scheme(s) under investigation





Table of Contents:

  • Part I: Data Analytics
  • Lesson 1: What is Data Analysis?
  • Lesson 2: Why Do We Use Data Analytics to Detect Fraud?
  • Lesson 3: Advantages of Using Data Analytics to Detect Fraud
  • Lesson 4: Challenges of Using Data Analytics to Detect Fraud
  • Part II: The Data Analysis Process
  • Lesson 5: The Planning Phase
  • Lesson 6: The Preparation Phase
  • Lesson 7: The Testing and Interpretation Phase
  • Lesson 8: The Post-Analysis Phase
  • Part III: Data Analysis Techniques
  • Lesson 9: Basic Analytical Procedures
  • Lesson 10: Data Analytics and Scheme-Specific Frauds
  • Lesson 11: Billing Schemes
  • Lesson 12: Check Tampering Schemes
  • Lesson 13: Payroll Schemes
  • Lesson 14: Expense Reimbursement Schemes
  • Lesson 15: Theft of Cash Receipts Schemes
  • Lesson 16: Noncash Asset Schemes
  • Lesson 17: Corruption Schemes
  • Lesson 18: Financial Statement Fraud Schemes
  • Lesson 19: Financial Statement Analysis
  • Lesson 20: Benford's Law
  • Lesson 21: Textual Analytics
  • Lesson 22: Conclusion

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 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
Google Chrome

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 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 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.