Financial and fraud investigation is an accounting career in which an individual analyzes an organization’s financial documents to determine if the organization’s financial resources have been used in the manner in which the organization intended, the manner in which the organization was legally required to use those resources, and/or the manner in which the organization reported their financial dealings.
- Fraud investigators analyze financial documents; conduct audits; examine ledgers, invoices, receipts, reports, and records to identify discrepancies and/or identify areas in which standard accounting procedures have not been used; speak to customers to verify transactions; speak to employees to determine if other employees or the organization as a whole has taken part in fraudulent and/or questionable business activities; speak to employees to determine if there have been problems with an organization’s accounting or the way that the organization monitors its finances; and perform other similar tasks.
- Individuals in financial and fraud investigation may be required to perform a number of different tasks that vary from position to position, and an individual may be given any of a number of different job titles depending on the specific responsibilities of the position. Some of the more common job titles for an individual in financial and fraud investigation include auditor, financial investigator, fraud accountant, fraud auditor, fraud deterrence analyst, fraud examiner, fraud investigator, and fraud specialist.
- In most cases, an individual will be able to obtain a position in financial and fraud investigation with a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in accounting from an accredited accounting school. However, often a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) License and/or a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) certificate may be legally required in order to become a fraud investigator. It is also important to note that some employers may require an individual to obtain a Certified Forensic Accountant (Cr. FA) certificate, a Certified Fraud Deterrence Analyst (CFD) certificate, a Certified Fraud Specialist (CFS) certificate, or another similar certificate for some positions.