Part Two: When Should Human Resources Call In a Certified Fraud Examiner?

With their direct contact with staff at all levels, HR professionals may be some of the first to encounter signs of deception within an organization. In our first post on the signs of deception, there are several red flags that all HR professionals should know when interviewing candidates and employees. If further questioning and research reveals that there may be need for an internal investigation, then it may be time for you to hire a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

There are a number of circumstances that may cause a need for an investigation done by outside experts.  Depending on the type of company, the duties of the officers and directors will play a role in when to launch an investigation and how that investigation will be handled.  Some companies are bound by certain federal statutes or regulatory agencies to report instances of misconduct.  If you are a private company, then you will need to decide if it is beneficial to move forward with an investigation.  If you are not sure, then you may want to consult with a CFE for help in deciding what can be done.  Whatever the reason for the investigation, having a CFE on the team is important.

It is best to hire a CFE when you first see the red flags or have conducted an interview that raises questions.  The CFE can then come in and conduct interviews with employees and the suspect and also perform the investigation.   The CFE will most likely want to assemble a team to perform and direct the investigation.

The CFE is trained to conduct complex investigations from start to finish.  They can bridge the financial examination with the traditional investigation.   Here are few tips to help you hire a CFE:

  • Use referrals.  Get referrals from an attorney you trust or check directories in your area on You can also ask the CFE to provide you a list of past clients for you to contact.
  • Verify credentials.Confirm licenses and credentials by contacting the issuing organization.
  • Verify representations.  Confirm representations such as education, speeches, and articles. Internet search may provide links to speeches and articles.  Contacting the publication or educational institution for verification.
  • Prior experience.Understand what experience they have and the results they have achieved. Many forensic accountants will include case studies of past work to demonstrate their industry experience and the level of courts they have worked with.
  • Knowledge. What knowledge do they have in the relevant industry? Do they list the industries they have worked with?
  • Adaptable and flexible.  Are they willing to consider other ideas?  When talking with the CFE do they present different possible approaches to the investigation?

Please contact us if you have any questions about hiring a CFE.


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