Website of the Month: Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

By Susan B. Anders

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AUGUST 2006 - The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ (ACFE) website ( addresses the needs of ACFE members and also provides excellent free resources to the general public. Many of the searchable articles are available at no charge, as is a large selection of downloadable checklists and other documents.

The well-organized website, with an uncluttered and well-structured appearance, makes it easy to search for information. Many articles and other texts, whether in PDF or HTML, open in separate windows. The homepage has links to Recent News items and More [Information] About the ACFE, including a mission statement. The right side of the homepage is dedicated to a member log-in prompt and links to upcoming seminars. The main horizontal index features links for Home, Membership & Certification, Community, Fraud Resource Center, Career Center, Training & Events, Shop ACFE, and About ACFE. Quick links to Join Now, Local Chapters, Contact Us, My Account, and Login are above the main index. The main pages also provide a secondary index on the left side of the page with links to related pages. The bottom of the homepage and main pages contains hyperlinks to help pages.

Promoting the Organization

“Membership & Certification” is a good place to begin learning about the CFE designation. The subsidiary pages include Getting Started, Become a CFE, Apply Now, Educators, and ACFE Student Resources. “Become a CFE” links to Qualifications, Certification Process, and Details of the CFE Exam, among other topics. “Qualifications” includes an interactive survey to calculate a candidate’s “points” to become certified.

“Local Chapters” is a particularly interesting feature of the website. Users are connected to a listing of chapters in the United States, Canada, and the rest of the world. Selecting a hyperlink for a specific chapter connects to a subsidiary page with detailed contact information. Users can also use the “Find a CFE” or “Ethics Line” links to report suspected fraud via the Fraud Resource Center.

“About ACFE” includes subsidiary pages for Board of Regents, Faculty and Staff, Contact Us, Press Room, and CFE Rules. “Faculty and Staff” presents hyperlinks for each of the instructors, with photographs and brief biographies.

Educators and Students

A large number of free materials are available for educators, students, and anyone interested in learning more about fraud examination. Links to both educator and ACFE student resources are located under “Membership and Certification.” An educator can receive free tools, including a syllabus, teaching aids, and videotapes. Educator and student membership in the ACFE is also offered at a substantial discount, and anyone can access a list of universities that offer fraud examination courses.

Students will also want to review the “Career Center,” which includes a comparison of auditing versus fraud examination, job descriptions, and career profiles. “Test Your Knowledge” is an online CFE practice quiz covering actual CFE exam questions. “Job Board” presents fraud-related positions posted on the ACFE website.

Free Publications and Tools

“Searchable Articles,” under the Fraud Resource Center, allows a user to enter a keyword search or review an index of topical hyperlinks. Members-only articles are denoted with a yellow padlock. Research papers submitted to the ACFE Fellow Program can be downloaded as PDFs.

The Fraud Resource Center also offers some outstanding free resources, including a “Fraud Prevention Check-Up” survey. Four fraud case summaries are available, covering Adelphia, Global Crossing, Parmalat, and Tyco. The large collection of sample documents includes a 40-page sample report and a 20-page fraud examination checklist. “External Links” offers around 700 links, organized by topic.

Susan B. Anders, PhD, CPA, is an associate professor of accounting at St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, N.Y.

Note: CPA Journal Editor-in-Chief Mary-Jo Kranacher is a former member of the ACFE Board of Regents. ACFE founder Joseph T. Wells is a member of The CPA Journal Editorial Board.




















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