DEFINITION of Association Of Certified Fraud Examiners

The Association Of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) is an organization that was created to combat fraud and deception in business practices and is the accrediting agency for those with the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners is also the governing body of certified fraud examiners employed around the globe. The association provides its members with education, tools, and training geared toward aiding its members in their efforts.

Founded in 1988, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners boasts over 85,000 members and has chapters around the world. It is headquartered in both Europe and North America and works with a number of other fraud and law enforcement agencies. The association also offers the designation of Certified Fraud Examiner.

BREAKING DOWN Association Of Certified Fraud Examiners

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, or the ACFE, is the world's largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education. Together with nearly 85,000 members, the ACFE is reducing business fraud worldwide and inspiring public confidence in the integrity and objectivity within the profession of auditing, accounting, and finance. Based in Austin, Texas, the ACFE was founded in 1988 by preeminent fraud expert and author, Dr. Joseph T. Wells, CFE, CPA. Dr. Wells’ insight as an accountant-turned-FBI agent led to the formation of a common body of knowledge known today as fraud examination. 

The mission of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners is to reduce the incidence of fraud and white-collar crime and to assist the Membership in fraud detection and deterrence. To accomplish our mission, the ACFE:

  • Provides bona fide qualifications for Certified Fraud Examiners through administration of the CFE Examination
  • Sets high standards for admission, including demonstrated competence through mandatory continuing professional education
  • Requires Certified Fraud Examiners to adhere to a strict code of professional conduct and ethics
  • Serves as the international representative for Certified Fraud Examiners to business, government and academic institutions
  • Provides leadership to inspire public confidence in the integrity, objectivity, and professionalism of Certified Fraud Examiners

Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) is a professional certification available to fraud examiners who conduct forensic audits and track down financial crimes, among other duties. CFEs have a unique set of skills that are not found in any other career field or discipline; they combine knowledge of complex financial transactions with an understanding of methods, law, and how to resolve allegations of fraud. CFEs are subject to periodic continuing professional education requirements (CPE) in the same manner as certified public accountants (CPAs).

According to the ACFE website, those with the CFE designation typically earn 25% more than their counterparts who have not received the certification.