Overview of the CFE Credential

CFEs have a unique set of skills in resolving allegations of fraud, examining data and records to detect and trace fraudulent transactions, obtaining evidence, taking statements, writing fraud examination reports, testifying to findings, and assisting on the improvement fraud prevention and detection.

Fraud examiners are thoroughly inclined to decipher not only how fraud occurs, but why.

Being highly-regarded as the “gold standard” in the area of fraud, companies worldwide continue to acknowledge the demand for anti-fraud professionals and give utmost preference to those with the CFE credential.

How To Qualify as a CFE

Candidates aspiring to earn the CFE designation must meet certain minimum qualifications:

  • Be an Associate Member of the ACFE in good standing
  • Meet minimum Academic and Professional requirements
  • Be of high moral character
  • Agree to abide by the Bylaws and Code of Professional Ethics of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
  • Successful completion of the Uniform CPE Examination

Minimum academic and professional requirements may be satisfied through:

  • A bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in any field of study from an institution of higher education. Two years of professional fraud-related experience can be substituted to each year of college.
  • At least two years of professional fraud-related experience in the areas of accounting and auditing, criminology and sociology, fraud investigation,  loss prevention or law – all of which are recognized by the ACFE as qualified professional experience

To maintain their proficiency, CFEs are required to obtain at least 20 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) annually, or an average of 60 hours within three years.

Before taking the CFE exam, an accomplished CFE Exam application with supporting documentation should be submitted. An individual must then pass the rigorous 500-item exam administered by the ACFE, which tests your knowledge on the four major disciplines of fraud examination.

Fraud Prevention and Deterrence

Financial Transactions and Fraud Schemes



Topics include crime causation, white-collar crime, fraud prevention, occupational fraud, fraud risk assessment, and the ACFE Code of Professional Ethics

Concepts include basic accounting and auditing theory, fraud schemes, internal controls to deter fraud and other auditing and accounting matters.

Includes questions about interviewing, taking statements, obtaining information from public records, tracing illicit transactions, evaluating deception and report writing.

Covers the legal ramifications of conducting fraud examinations, including criminal and civil law, rules of evidence, rights of the accused and accuser and expert witness matters.

CFE Exam General Information

The CFE Exam is available in CD-ROM, electronic download or online format, which can be taken any time during the year.

Each section, which contains 125 questions, should be accomplished in a maximum of 2.6 hours and each question has a time limit of 75 seconds. Although total exam time is approximately 10 hours, CFE applicants have 30 days from initiation of the exam program to finish.

All four sections are not required to be completed at once and can be taken at their own convenience, but each section must be accomplished in one sitting.