Fruition of an idea: ACFE leads in global fraud-fighting training

An interview with ACFE Board of Regents Chairman

By Dick Carozza


The Certified Fraud Examiner, a trained and professional "corporate cop," has become a respected and coveted designation. Bruce A. Dean, the ACFE Board of Regents chairman, discusses the future of the Association.   

In 1988, it was just an idea. Former FBI agent Joe Wells, and Steve Albrecht of Brigham Young University, were talking about Donald Cressey's thought that escalating fraud cases demanded the creation of the "corporate cop": a new professional who could embody the best practices of auditing and accounting, investigation, law, and criminology. That new professional became the Certified Fraud Examiner and Wells founded the Association to promote it.

Dr. Cressey, the former chair of the sociology department and graduate dean at the University of California at Santa Barbara, died unexpectedly in 1987 and never saw the fruition of his idea. But his idea obviously had merit: the ACFE now has more than 33,000 members and more than 16,000 CFEs with thousands joining every year.

ACFE Board of Regents Chairman Bruce A. Dean, JD, CFE, CPP, says that "the CFE has arrived. It is the 'must have' credential in our field today. One must first work hard to earn the CFE credential and then must stay current in his or her field to maintain it."

Fraud Magazine recently spoke about the plans of the Board of Regents and the ACFE with Dean, the assistant district attorney for Suffolk County, Mass., and chief of its Special Prosecutions Unit.

What do you think makes the ACFE an important and unique organization?
We've come such a long way in the 17 years since the ACFE was born. Our Association today is still young, diverse and energetic. We lead the world's efforts to educate and inspire those who prevent, investigate and prosecute fraud. And the camaraderie fostered by membership in our local chapters is priceless.




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