How To Become A Certified Fraud Examiner


I get this question ALL the time!

As I wrote in the earlier article this week, being a certified fraud examiner or fraud investigator is one of the sexier things you can do in accounting.

But how can you actually get started on a path to fighting the bad guys?

1) Start following fraud examiners on twitter

I just searched for “fraud examiner” in people on twitter and tons of people came up. Follow them, check out their website and LinkedIn page, and eventually send them an email.

Here are three I found right off the bat:

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 9.42.13 AM

See more on Ron’s Blog on how Fraudsters think

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 9.42.20 AM

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 9.42.28 AM

And there are many, many more.

2) Find fraud examiners near you and ask for a cup of coffee

In helping a Bean Counter fan whose resume I was reviewing, I did a little research and found out that the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners has a database of every CFE.

Lucky for you.

Click here to search.

I just did a quick search and all I entered was “Florida”.

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 10.14.16 AM

Then, tons of CFE’s popped up, many with personal email addresses!

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 10.16.21 AM

Once I found a few CFE’s in my local area, I’d research them on LinkedIn and google.

Then send an email like this:

Subject: I’d like to meet you and learn about your CFE


I’m writing in hopes of learning more about becoming a CFE.

I am currently a student from [INSERT NAME] and will be graduating in [INSERT GRAD MONTH AND YEAR]. I am eager to discuss you path to becoming a CFE and your work as [INSERT THEIR TITLE AND COMPNAY]. I took a look at your LinkedIn profile and am specifically interested in learning more about [INSERT ONE THING YOU RESEARCH]

Are you opening to meeting with me? If so, what does your calendar look like?

Best regards,


You can also send this same email to the people you find on twitter. While you probably won’t be able to meet them for coffee, a 30 minute phone call should do the trick.

3) Become a Certified Fraud Examiner by passing the exam

I hear the exam is actually quite easy. As is usual with these types of certifications, applying is half the battle. Becoming a CFE requires specific qualifications and is achieved by passing the CFE Exam, but the process to apply is fairly straightforward and I’ve included all the steps below:

Step 1. Become a member of the ACFE

Membership is required to take the CFE Exam and become a CFE.

Apply for an Associate Membership Here

Step 2. Prepare for the Exam

There are many different ways you can prepare, but I always recommend getting a review course. The CFE Exam Prep Course is a computer self-study course produced by the ACFE. You learn more by clicking here about the CFE Exam and how to prepare to take it.

Step 3. Submit the CFE Exam application with proof of education and professional recommendations

The cost to take the CFE Exam is US $350. If you have purchased the CFE Exam Prep Course, you will receive a US $100 credit on the cost of the CFE Exam fee, reducing the CFE Exam fee to US $250.

Complete applications and supporting documentation may be submitted to

Education Requirements: You must have at least a bachers degree, luck for you it doesn’t matter what discipline it’s in.

Professional requirement: At the time you are certified (not when you take the exam), you must have at least two years of professional experience in a field either directly or indirectly related to the detection or deterrence of fraud.

There are ways around the professional year requirement and you can learn more about that here. 

Step 4. Pass the CFE Exam.

Obviously, you need to pass the exam

Step 5. Receive Final approval from the certification committee

You officially become a Certified Fraud Examiner once your CFE exam and qualifications are approved by the certification committee.

There you have it. Those are the first three steps I would take if I woke up tomorrow and wanted to become a fraud examiner, fighting evil!

What do you say? Are you up for it?

  • Fermin Lucky

    Thought-provoking blog post . I Appreciate the info – Does anyone know where my business can find a template IRS 1040 – Schedule E example to edit ?

  • KateGreen

    It is good idea about twitter, i will try that way.