Innovation Update

Fraud considerations for internal audits: The CFE perspective

Internal audits can play a critical role in fraud prevention and detection. CFEs whose responsibilities include supporting internal audits bring their valuable anti-fraud perspectives and skill sets to the table, and it’s important they stay apprised of leading innovations in technology and continuous controls monitoring. As with many areas of risk management, a holistic approach works best.

In 2022, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) announced a partnership that sought to collaborate on “education initiatives that will raise the competency of each organizations’ members with regard to fraud auditing and investigation.” [See “Solving for Fraud: Institute of Internal Auditors Announces Education Partnership with Association of Certified Fraud Examiners,” The IIA press release, Nov. 30, 2022.] As I reflected on this announcement, it struck me that both internal auditors and anti-fraud professionals strive to protect the organizations they serve, and though the primary focus may be different, the opportunities to collaborate are indeed vast. ACFE and IIA members often have similar interests and perspectives on fraud auditing and investigation — in fact, according to the ACFE’s Membership Services, nearly 1 in 10 Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs) are also Certified Internal Auditors (CIAs), which is an IIA credential. (The ACFE doesn’t require members to report other credentials so that figure might be higher.) As the press release describes, the partnership embodies a natural evolution allowing both organizations to formalize and recognize this shared interest.

In this issue’s column, let’s explore how fraud examiners, especially those who also have an internal audit role, have responsibilities for fraud prevention and detection. Moreover, we’ll explore how CFEs can provide their unique perspectives, skills and experience to improve internal audit quality through a holistic approach, while also leading the way in anti-fraud technology applications.

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