Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) Certification
What is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)?
A Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) is a leader in the anti-fraud community, noted as a specialist in the prevention, detection and deterrence of fraud. CFEs represent the highest standards held by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).
Do other entities offer the CFE credential?
No. The CFE credential is unique to the ACFE.
Who sets the standards for CFE certification?
The standards are set by the ACFE's Board of Regents, who are elected by CFEs and drawn from our most experienced members.
Is the CFE credential acknowledged globally?
Yes, the CFE credential is recognized and accepted worldwide as the standard of excellence for anti-fraud professionals.
How do I know if I am eligible to become a CFE?
Qualifications for becoming a CFE include having high moral character and meeting minimum professional and academic requirements. Your eligibility for certification is based on a point system that awards credit for education, professional credentials and fraud-related experience. Read more about the qualifications.
How can I prepare for the CFE Exam?
It is important that you take the time to prepare for the CFE Exam. There are different ways you can prepare, but the following are the most common:
- Study on your own using the Fraud Examiners Manual. The CFE Exam questions are derived from material contained in the Fraud Examiners Manual.
- Study with the CFE Exam Prep Course. The CFE Exam Prep Course provides the most effective preparation tool for the CFE Exam, allowing you to study on your own time at your own pace. Featuring study questions and practice exams, the CFE Exam Prep Course has been designed to prepare you to pass the rigorous CFE Exam.
- Attend the CFE Exam Review Course. This 4-day, instructor-led course provides the essentials needed to pass the CFE Exam and become a CFE. This course, in combination with the CFE Exam Prep Course software, will provide you with an unbeatable combination for passing the exam.
Read more details about the CFE Exam.
I already hold other certifications. Does this qualify me as a CFE as well?
No. The CFE credential is a unique credential with its own requirements and standards. Your other certifications may count as part of the qualifying points system, but they will not automatically make you a CFE.
I have been in the anti-fraud industry for many years; can I receive a waiver of the CFE Exam?
No. All applicants are required to take the CFE Exam. Previous experience or previous certifications will not exempt you from taking any part of the exam.
If I decide not to study with the CFE Exam Prep Course, what are my other study options?
You can study on your own using the Fraud Examiners Manual. The CFE Exam questions are derived from material contained in the Fraud Examiners Manual.
How do I maintain my CFE credential?
CFEs must earn at least 20 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits every 12-month period, pay annual membership dues and follow the ACFE Code of Professional Ethics and the ACFE Code of Professional Standards.
CFE Exam Prep Course
Why is the CFE Exam Prep Course recommended?
Designed with the busy anti-fraud professional in mind, the CFE Exam Prep Course® provides the flexibility you need to prepare for the CFE Exam on your schedule. Including study questions and practice tests that simulate the actual CFE Exam experience, the CFE Exam Prep Course will help you prepare for the rigorous CFE Exam.
How much does the CFE Exam Prep Course cost?
The full price of the CFE Exam Prep Course is $1062. Members receive a discounted price of $849.60. ACFE members have the option to participate in a Member's Only Installment Plan with three monthly payments of $294 each (Payment by credit card only. Payment includes administration fee. Tax is not included and will be added to your first payment, if applicable).
For more information, call Member Services at (800) 245-3321 or (512) 478-9000. You are not eligible to become certified until your balance is paid in full. Please allow an additional 3-5 days for processing of your first payment. The download or online version of the CFE Exam Prep Course will be available as soon as your first payment is processed.
Find additional information regarding the CFE Exam Prep Course.
Can I purchase a printed version of the CFE Exam Prep Course?
No. The CFE Exam Prep Course is only offered in electronic download or online format.
Do I have to buy the Prep Course and the Prep Toolkit?
No. The CFE Exam Prep Toolkit includes the CFE Exam Prep Course, as well as the printed Fraud Examiners Manual, CFE Exam Study Guide and the CFE Exam Prep Flashcards.
Do I need to take the CFE Exam Prep Course?
The CFE Exam Prep Course is recommended to all exam applicants as the most comprehensive way to review for the exam. However, the course is not required.
How does the CFE Exam Prep Course work?
The CFE Exam Prep Course focuses on the four testing areas covered in the CFE Exam: Financial Transactions and Fraud Schemes, Investigation, Law and Fraud Prevention and Deterrence. The Prep Course includes nearly 1,500 study questions. After answering a question, you will be given the correct answer, receive a brief explanation about the answer and a reference for additional study if needed. The course also includes practice exams that simulate the CFE Exam environment. After completing the study questions and scoring 85% or higher on each of the practice exams, you should be ready to pass the CFE Exam.
Can I use the CFE Exam Prep Course on more than one computer?
If you choose the online version of the CFE Exam Prep Course you may use it on multiple computers. The program software will save your progress.
If you choose the electronic download, you may install the CFE Exam Prep Course on no more than two computers. Your "Current Status" will reflect all work done on multiple computers if you follow these directions:
- Choose Export Progress File from the side menu.
- Save a copy to your hard drive. Email a copy to yourself or save a copy to flash drive.
- Install the Prep Course on the second computer using your license key.
- On the second computer choose "Import Progress File."
- Choose the saved file from the flash drive or your email.
- Repeat this process every time you switch computers.
Please note, the CFE Exam Prep Course is only licensed to one user and may not be shared.
Can I share or sell my CFE Exam Prep Course?
No. The CFE Exam Prep Course is licensed to only one user. It may not be shared with anyone. Other terms and conditions apply as outlined in the End User License Agreement (EULA).
What is included in the CFE Exam Prep Toolkit?
The toolkit includes the CFE Exam Prep Course, the Fraud Examiners Manual (printed), the CFE Exam Study Guide and CFE Exam Prep Flashcard App.
I purchased the CFE Exam Prep Toolkit. What is the recommended way to study using the different learning tools included?
The CFE Exam Prep Toolkit includes the following: one CFE Exam Prep Course, the Fraud Examiners Manual (printed version), CFE Exam Study Guide and CFE Exam Prep Flashcards.
The CFE Exam Prep Course is a computer self-study course that prepares you for the CFE Exam while letting you study at your own pace. The course is divided into the four sections of the exam: Financial Transactions and Fraud Schemes, Law, Investigation and Fraud Prevention and Deterrence. To successfully prepare with this course, we suggest you begin by taking the Pre-Assessment to test your knowledge in the four fields. After successfully completing the Pre-Assessment, begin the Review Sessions with what the Pre-Assessment determined was your strongest subject.
The Fraud Examiners Manual is a 2,000-page guide that is divided into the four sections of the CFE Exam: Financial Transactions and Fraud Schemes, Law, Investigation and Fraud Prevention and Deterrence. It is included in this toolkit electronically and in a printed version. This manual will help you answer the review session questions and the four practice exams within the CFE Exam Prep Course.
The CFE Exam Prep Flashcards are designed to be used in tandem with the CFE Exam Prep Course. This set of 900 cards will help you become familiar with the terminology and concepts covered on the CFE Exam.
The CFE Exam Study Guide is a printed study guide and offers a breakdown of the key points and foundational concepts found in the four main sections of the exam.
If I have been studying an old version of the CFE Exam Prep Course and just recently registered to take the exam, will the test correspond with my study materials?
Not necessarily. Exam editions and versions are administered for two years from the initial release, not your purchase date. The version of the CFE Exam you will receive is based on your ACFE purchase history. If your study materials or exam are expired, you will be provided the most current version of the CFE Exam. Please contact an ACFE Member Services Representative at MemberServices@ACFE.com for details.
Do I receive continuing education credit for completing the Prep Course or CFE Exam?
After successful completion of the CFE Exam Prep Course, you are eligible to receive a certificate for 35 CPE credits. Successful completion of the CFE Exam Prep Course means that you have answered all review questions correctly and you have scored an 85% or higher on each of the four practice exams. There is no CPE credit offered for passing the CFE Exam.
Once I have completed my CFE Exam Prep Course, what do I do next?
Make sure that you have submitted your exam application including your three professional recommendations, proof of education and experience and are an associate member of the ACFE.
CFE Exam Application Process
How much does the CFE Exam cost?
The cost to take the CFE Exam is $450. If you purchased the CFE Exam Prep Course, a $100 credit on the cost of the CFE Exam fee will be applied, reducing the CFE Exam fee to $350.
I submitted my CFE Exam application online. When can I take the CFE Exam?
You will be eligible to take the CFE Exam once your application and supporting documents have been reviewed and approved. Generally, this process takes 5-7 business days. You will receive an email once your application has been approved.
I'm in a rush to take the CFE Exam or receive my exam results. Can this process be expedited?
We always process CFE Exam applications and supporting documents in the order they are received. In the interest of fairness, we cannot expedite any of our procedures.
How long is my CFE Exam application valid?
Your application is valid for two years from the date we receive it. If after two years you have not completed the CFE Exam, your application will be canceled and a new application, application fee and supporting documents must be submitted.
How do I submit a CFE Exam application?
We recommended you complete the online CFE Exam application and upload your supporting documents to the Certification Portal. If you are unable to submit the application online, you may download the CFE Exam application as a PDF and submit it by email or mail to the address listed on the form. In addition, you may request an application by contacting an ACFE Member Services Representative at (800) 245-3321 or MemberServices@ACFE.com.
- When should I submit my CFE Exam application?
What do you mean when you ask about "fraud-related experience"?
Fraud-related experience means that you have worked full-time in a position that contributes to the prevention, detection or deterrence of fraud. Fields related to fraud include accounting, auditing, criminology, sociology, investigation techniques, loss prevention and law. Read a detailed explanation of the necessary qualifications.
How do I know if my work experience will qualify for the required two years of fraud-related work experience needed to become certified after passing the CFE Exam?
If your experience is in the fraud-related categories outlined on the CFE Qualifications page (found in the Professional Requirements Section) you can count it towards your professional experience to earn the CFE credential. If your experience does not easily fall within one of those categories, but your responsibilities include the detection, investigation or deterrence of fraud, your experience may qualify as indirectly fraud-related. If you cannot determine if your experience is directly or indirectly related to fraud, submit your résumé to MemberServices@ACFE.com for review before applying to take the CFE Exam. We will let you know if your work experience meets the qualifications. Keep in mind, the Certification Committee has the final say regarding acceptable fraud-related work experience.
I want to earn my CFE credential, but I don't have two years of fraud-related work experience. Can I still take the exam?
Yes. You can study for and take the CFE Exam even if you do not have two years of fraud-related work experience. As long as you reach the 40-point minimum on the exam application you will be eligible to take the exam. However, you will not become certified until you have at least two years of practical experience either directly or indirectly related to the detection, investigation or deterrence of fraud. Read more about the details.
Why are candidate recommendation forms required with the application?
To maintain the high standards held by the ACFE and ensure the integrity of the CFE credential, it is important to ensure all candidates are of good moral character and a strong addition to the anti-fraud profession. Select three individuals who have worked closely with you in a professional environment or professional capacity (e.g., past or current co-workers, managers or supervisors).
How long are my professional recommendations valid?
Professional recommendations are good for three years from the date signed. Should your forms expire before certification, you will be contacted to provide current recommendations.
Does the person completing the professional recommendation form need to be a CFE themselves?
No, the individuals signing the recommendation forms do not have to be CFEs. The main requirement is that these individuals have worked closely with you in a professional setting.
Can I submit a recommendation letter instead of the professional recommendation form?
We prefer applicants submit three online recommendations or upload professional recommendation forms to the Certification Portal. However, we will accept a recommendation letter provided the letter is completed by an individual who has worked with you in a professional setting, can attest to your integrity, character and professional skills and recommends you to earn the CFE credential. Recommendation letters must include the date, signature and contact information of the individual recommending you.
If I attend ACFE conferences or seminars, do I get additional points towards becoming a CFE?
No. ACFE conferences, seminars and self-study courses provide you with CPE credits, but they do not affect the exam point system for becoming a CFE.
The CFE Exam
Once I have completed my preparations for the CFE Exam, what do I do next?
Make sure that you have submitted your CFE Exam application, details of your fraud-related work experience, three professional recommendations, proof of education and are an associate member of the ACFE.
When your exam application has been approved, you can schedule your exam appointments. For additional details on the CFE Exam, visit the CFE Exam FAQ page.
Approximately how long should the CFE Exam take to complete?
The CFE Exam consists of four sections: Financial Transactions and Fraud Schemes, Law, Investigation and Fraud Prevention and Deterrence. You will have two hours to complete each section of the CFE Exam. Although the total exam time is approximately eight hours, you are not required to complete all four sections in one sitting. You may take each section of the exam at you own convenience, as long as all sections are completed within 60 days.
Am I exempt from certain sections of the CFE Exam based on my experience?
No. Each CFE candidate must take and pass all four sections of the CFE Exam.
How will I know if I pass or fail the exam?
After your complete a section, you will receive an email from Prometric with your score report. To pass, you must accurately answer at least 75% of the questions in each section of the CFE Exam. You must pass each section of the exam within three attempts.
If I have to retake an exam section, what is the cost?
If you do not pass a section of the exam, you may retake that section. CFE Exam retake fees are $100 per failed section. You will receive instructions on how to pay exam retake fees with your exam results email. Within 3-5 business days of paying for retake fee(s), your exam access will be sent to you by email.
When will I receive my CFE certificate once I have passed the CFE Exam?
When you have passed all four sections of the CFE Exam, your CFE exam application, supporting documentation, exam results and proctoring sessions will be submitted to the Certification Committee for final review. You will receive notification of your certification status within three weeks of passing the CFE Exam. Upon certification, your CFE certificate will be mailed to you within 6-8 weeks.