Financial Investigations for Non-Financial Professionals (Online Self-Study)

CPE Credit: 4 
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None


Financial statements can be daunting to non-financial professionals, yet many times that is exactly where fraud is concealed. This course will prepare you to uncover indicators of fraud concealed in financial records, even if you’re not an accountant. 


You will review the essential financial statements and their components, the basic accounting principles that drive the numbers on these statements, examples of typical occupational fraud schemes that can be uncovered using financial statements and rudimentary financial analysis techniques that can point you toward suspicious activity. 


Key Takeaways:  

  • Detecting fraud using financial statements 
  • An understanding of fundamental accounting concepts 
  • How financial analysis can help to detect suspicious activity 
  • Common forms of occupational fraud schemes 

Preview Course

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CPE Information:

You Will Learn How To: 

  • Recognize the fundamental accounting concepts used to prepare financial statements 
  • Discern financial analysis techniques used to analyze financial statements 
  • Determine how financial statements and records can be used to detect fraud 
  • Identify occupational fraud schemes by examining financial records and statements 





Table of Contents:

  • Lesson 1: Introduction
  • Lesson 2: What Is Accounting?
  • Lesson 3: What Is a Balance Sheet?
  • Lesson 4: What Is an Income Statement?
  • Lesson 5: What Is a Statement of Cash Flows?
  • Lesson 6: Putting Together the Statements
  • Lesson 7: Basic Accounting Concepts
  • Lesson 8: Financial Analysis Techniques
  • Lesson 9: Financial Statement Fraud
  • Lesson 10: Cash Receipt Schemes
  • Lesson 11: Fraudulent Disbursements
  • Lesson 12: Asset Misappropriation - Inventory and Other Assets
  • Lesson 13: Corruption and Bribery
  • Lesson 14: Obtaining and Using Data
  • Lesson 15: Interviews
  • Lesson 16: Role of Auditors
  • Lesson 17: 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.

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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.