From the President

Jules Kroll hired staffers with diverse skills to prevent and fight fraud

Jules Kroll didn’t start out to create one of the largest investigative firms in the world. However, he did recognize the need for such a service for corporations and governments after he battled corruption against his father’s printing business. Kroll will receive the Cressey Award at the 31st Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference June 21-26 in Boston for his decades of work in uncovering fraud.

Like Kroll, those getting into this field don’t necessarily follow a direct line. For some, it’s straight out of school. For others, it’s a bit longer in a more circuitous route. But either way, it’s a path forged that leads to one common goal — to fight fraud.

Like many of you, Kroll took many types of cases at the beginning, drawing from his experience with his father’s business and as a prosecutor in New York. Kroll started the firm to fill an empty spot in these types of investigations, one that joined several skills from many disciplines. Similarly, Dr. Joseph T. Wells, CFE, CPA, realized there was a void for an association dedicated to the field of fraud examination and created the ACFE.

As Kroll built his firm, he illustrated the qualities of a CFE quite well in bringing together a combination of accountants, investigators and lawyers as his staff — “talent that hadn’t been used before,” as he says in the cover article. Bringing these professionals’ talents together was “the real differentiator” from other firms in serving his clients. In fact, many of his staff over the years have “proudly put CFE on their resumes” as they provide diverse services, he says.

Fraud examination has so many different moving parts. Certainly, the investigative part is critical. But, as Kroll says, getting organizations to include fraud prevention as part of an overall strategy is just as critical. Just as he noticed with his clients, once management understands preventative measures and invests resources to combat fraud, you see “an impact … in a meaningful way,” he says.

Fraud prevention is an important part of any operation, from large corporations with 10,000 employees to small businesses without significant resources to fund strong internal controls. Too many organizations believe there’s no fraud in their ranks. They would rather bury their heads in the proverbial sand rather than implement meaningful fraud prevention alternatives.

The ACFE does so much to assist fraud examiners and the public as to what they can do to adopt the preventive point of view. By promoting such events as Fraud Awareness Week and studies such as the Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, we show to the world what impact fraud is having and what CFEs are doing about it.

“The nature of our work is not cookie-cutter,” Kroll says. Indeed, fraud examination is a complex field. CFEs face new challenges every day. And just like our Cressey Award recipient, we must be able to adapt and fight these threats just as quickly.

Bruce Dorris, J.D., CFE, CPA, is president and CEO of the ACFE. Contact him at