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What major should I have if I want to be a fraud examiner?

I am currently an accounting major in college, but recently participating in a leadership conference, my interest in becoming a fraud examiner was re-sparked. However, a lot of the websites I came across only vaguely said to major in a fraud examination related major. Thus, I was wondering what majors are appropriate for a career in fraud examination? #majors #choosing-a-major #accounting #fraud-examination #cfe #choosing-a-major


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Michael’s Answer

Hello Esther,


Fraud is always a big concern in both the private and public sectors. Have you considered becoming a CPA? Pursuing an accounting path will give you great insight into a broad range of topics that can all touch on fraud risk - from internal controls to performance management. Learning about both internal and external audits, and gaining experience conducting them, is likely the best way to gain exposure to the field and see if you're really interested in it.


There are lots of different opportunities to get this sort of exposure - working in public accounting, in the private sector, or in the government (check out the Office of the State Comptroller or look up Auditor General offices). Once you have a feel for it, you can pursue more specialized qualifications as a fraud examiner.


You might also be interested in some related topics such as money laundering and terrorism financing. Take a look at the Financial Action Task Force, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the compliance/due diligence requirements for both financial institutions and private enterprises.


Good luck pursuing your passion!


Best regards,


Mike Langlais



Michael recommends the following next steps:

Look up CPA requirements.
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Consider opportunities in the public and private sectors.
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Explore current topics in corporate fraud and finance.
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Hi Esther. Michael has some really good points that I agree with. As an individual who works in public accounting, gaining knowledge of auditing process (via accounting major) would definitely lead into a Fraud investigation career. Depending on which fraud you are interested addressing (fraud can be financial reporting, compliance with regulations etc.) may influence your major choice (with consideration to what your educational institute/undergrad program offers for majors). Auditing, legal, or other study areas may be useful to you. Majors with knowledge about Information Systems would also be helpful, as many fraudulent transactions are committed via information systems. Hope that helps, good luck! Lindsay Lindsay Johnston

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Jacob’s Answer

Hi, Esther,


I looked into becoming a fraud examiner too. I did research online and also spoke to a forensic accountant to get more insight into that specific part of the industry. The most logical major for you is accounting. If you can, try to take a forensic accounting class. Based on my research, fraud examination is not a realistic option right out of college. Getting accounting experience, passing and becoming certified as a CPA, and preparing to take the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) Exam are the next steps. Check out the link below for more information.


I hope this helps - good luck!

Jacob recommends the following next steps:

http://www.acfe.com/become-cfe-qualifications.aspx
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Bastian’s Answer

I also would recommend to take the CFE exam as a starting point ... the exam itself will not make you an investigator/auditor, but the ACFE provides a lot of addl. online and onsite classes, to develop expertise. The ACFE magazin and community (local chapters in particular), help to stay on top of fraud related trends and topics.

Bastian recommends the following next steps:

Explore the ACFE exam and addl. material/courses offered.
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Jim’s Answer

I'd focus on classes and hopefully you can bundle that into a good major. finance, accounting, forensics, math, analytics, psychology, audit, security management, criminal law. Join the national and local ACFE chapter and volunteer with them. They also have scholarships available each year.

Jim recommends the following next steps:

Consider local law enforcement's citizen's academy
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Take a class on investigative interviewing
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Become a member of ACFE, and volunteer with the national and local chapter
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Brien’s Answer

Accounting! You can also be a certified fraud examiner.


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