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Become a CFE - The Certified Fraud Examiner Program

Certified Fraud Examiners represent the highest standards held by the ACFE and are the leaders in the field. CFE’s undergo a rigorous testing and credentialing process. Typically they are employed in the anti-fraud fields. The Certified Fraud Examiner program is an accrediting process for individuals who possess the specialized skills required to detect, investigate and deter fraud. Typical Certified Fraud Examiners include internal and independent auditors, fraud investigators, forensic accountants, loss prevention professionals, attorneys, law enforcement professionals, researchers and academicians.

Qualifications for the Certified Fraud Examiner

If you are interested in becoming a Certified Fraud Examiner and are not resident in the US or Canada you must still join the US Association at the Associate Member level. Thereafter, if you meet the necessary requirements and are an Associate Member in good standing, you may apply separately to become a CFE. Assuming that you reside with the Czech Republic, once your membership has been establish you are welcome to join the local chapter which will allow you to participate in local chapter member discounts on seminars, continuing professional education (CPE credits) and future events.

All Certified Fraud Examiners must exemplify the highest moral and ethical standards, and must agree to abide to the Certified Fraud Examiner Code of Professional Ethics and the bylaws of the Association. The Board of Regents is responsible for adjudging individual qualifications and its decisions are final.

Admission Requirements

All Certified Fraud Examiner candidates must meet strict standards of admission. The Certified Fraud Examiner must demonstrate professional skills in the area of fraud detection and deterrence. Generally, applicants for CFE have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) from a recognized institution of higher learning. No specific field of study is required. If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, you may substitute two years of fraud-related professional experience for each year of academic study. For example, if you successfully attended college full-time for only two years, you would need an additional four years of professional experience to qualify for the education requirements. Click on the image to learn more.

At the time you are certified, you must have at least two years professional experience in a field related, either directly or indirectly, to the detection or deterrence of fraud. The Board of Regents has established the following categories as acceptable related experience:

  • accounting and auditing
  • criminology or sociology
  • fraud investigation
  • loss prevention
  • law

Depending on the circumstances, other categories may be acceptable. If your experience does not clearly fall into one of the above mentioned professional fields but your responsibilities include the detection, investigation and deterrence of fraud, we encourage you to submit your application along with a detailed description of your background. If you are not accepted for membership, your fees will be refunded in their entirety.

CFE Exam

Residents of the Czech Republic must successfully pass the CFE Examination. It is a standardized, four-part computerized test that takes up to ten hours to complete. The CFE Exam covers the following four areas: Fraud Prevention and Deterrence, Financial Transactions, Fraud Investigation and Legal Elements of Fraud.

A minimum of 50 hours of preparation time is recommended. The exam is administered on CD-ROM, and may be taken at any time convenient to the examinee. You are eligible to take the exam once you meet the minimum education requirement. However, you cannot be certified until you also have the minimum experience required.

Code of Ethics

Because of the nature of their work, all Certified Fraud Examiners must agree to adhere to a strict Code of Professional Ethics. Violations are investigated by the Association’s Board of Review, which recommends appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including the revocation of certification.

Continuing Professional Education

In addition to periodic payment of Association dues, all CFE’s are required to complete 20 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) annually.

CPE Requirements

CFEs need to complete 20 hours of CPE per 12-month period. At least 10 of these must relate directly to the detection and deterrence of fraud and 2 hours must relate directly to ethics. If a CFE has earned more than 20 CPE hours of CPE in previous year, they may carry forward up to 10 of these extra hours to meet their CPE requirements in following year.

CFEs are responsible for keeping track of their CPE and retaining for three years supporting documents for CPE credit they earn, such as CPE certificates, letters of attendance or letters of completion. The ACFE does not maintain CPE records for members.

Generally, CPE documentation must include:

  • Name of attendee
  • Course Description
  • Course Sponsor name
  • Number of CPE hours earned
  • Date of Course

Additional Information

For additional information please use the following links:

You can find self-study materials and fraud-related books by CFEs and other anti-fraud experts in the ACFE Bookstore. If you're ready to advance your career and position yourself as a leader in the anti-fraud profession, take the next step and become a CFE.

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