Fraud has become such a problem in Nigeria and across the world in this day and age. So much so that virtually all the days of the week, to say the least, stories are reported across the world about one person getting scammed by the other. Now, without a doubt, all these stories are scary, especially if you do not have the training/education to detect these things before they happen so that you can protect yourself. After all, they don’t exactly teach these basic skills across every college in the world.

But, they don’t have to be so scary and if you’re here, reading about CFE certification, then the chances are that you already know that becoming a Certified Fraud Examiner offers you the opportunity to protect your salary, transactions, and financial health generally from international and local fraudsters.

However, you cannot simply go from an average man or woman to a professional Certified Fraud Examiner without meeting certain requirements. Nay, you need to get your training done by taking the right course and the ensuing CFE exams in Nigeria. ,

You can then acquire your CFE qualifications and finally join the ranks of the world’s finest professional Certified Fraud Examiners. Intimidated? Don’t be. In this guide, we will be providing you with all the knowledge you need to get started in the coming days or as you please. Let’s dive right in!

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Who is a CFE?

It wouldn’t quite be the best idea to go through the entire process of telling you how to become a CFE in Nigeria if you didn’t know what the term meant. A CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), as the name already implies, is one who is charged with the responsibility of detecting and stopping frauds before they even happen.

To do this, as a CFE, you would need to have undergone training that will provide intricate knowledge of how fraudsters commit their all-too-painful crime. You would also need to have knowledge of and be able to study the average Nigerian company’s statements, records, and documents to detect discrepancies that point towards foul play in their activities – financial or otherwise.

What Opportunities Lie in Becoming a CFE in Nigeria?

Quite frankly, the profession and the training/education to acquire its certification might not exactly be the most talked-about in various interpersonal circles and college dorms, among others.

People simply don’t have enough knowledge about it or its professionals and this could make you inclined to believe it isn’t particularly feasible to pursue a credential in international and local fraud prevention. However, becoming a CFE does open you up to quite a number of opportunities, including top-class management roles that would do wonders for your career and your annual salary, of course.

For example, as a CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) who has rightfully earned their credential, you could spend your days working within the financial services, government, and accounting sectors. In these places alone, particularly in the accounting and financial sectors where numbers are rife and could be easily manipulated, there are hundreds of companies and organisations that could be delicately studied for signs of financial misconduct.

A CFE passes their exams so that they are trained to detect and hopefully prevent fraud.
A CFE is skilled in the science and arts of fraud preemption and detection. Source: CC BY-SA 3.0, Nick Youngson, Alpha Stock Images

More specifically, as a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) in Nigeria, you’re not limited to generic accounting or financial service positions. The prestigious CFE credential allows people to become professionals in specific roles within various companies as required. Some of the most popular of these roles are:

  • Forensic accountant
  • Fraud analyst or investigator
  • Management consultant
  • External/internal auditor
  • Senior investigations officer
  • Risk manager
  • Compliance officer

Beyond the above, these days, multiple related jobs with varying levels of experience requirements exist for CFE professionals across the world as international communities strengthen their anti-fraud efforts.

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How Do You Become a CFE?

Before you can acquire CFE qualifications, you would first need to join the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). The ACFE is an international body reputed as the world’s largest anti-fraud organiSation. Once you have joined the ranks, you would then have to take their CFE exams in Nigeria so that you can become a full-fledged CFE.

A noteworthy point to mention is that the ACFE is primarily based in the United States of America. However, over the last few years, their growth has been exponential. So much so that there is an Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) chapter with members in almost every corner of the world, including Lagos, Nigeria.

More specifically, the Lagos chapter of the association is located at Ikeja with ten professionals comprising the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Training Director, and five other directors. Once you meet all the necessary requirements as specified by the ACFE, you will get a membership and a qualification awarded to you.

One of the requirements for membership is, of course, passing the CFE exams.

Tell Me About The CFE Exams In Nigeria?

The CFE exams in Nigeria form one of the most important conditions for your acceptance into the ACFE. Like any other exam, they are used to test your abilities and see how well you’d function if and/or when you eventually become a fraud examiner.

Should you choose to pursue this career and become an anti-fraud specialist, the CFE exams will ask you questions in four primary areas:

  • Investigation
  • Law
  • Fraud prevention and deterrence
  • Financial transactions and fraud schemes

In these four areas are a range of topics, ranging from the ethics of fraud detection and deterrence/prevention to a detailed explanation on why people get into fraudulent acts. You’d also learn how to get statements when needed from people as well as the fraudster’s rights and what type of fraud is being or about to be committed at any point in time.

Preparing for the exam shouldn’t be such a herculean task, all things being equal. You could choose to tow the route of the CFE Exam Prep Course or learn with a proficient tutor such as that can be gotten on Superprof.

The former is a self-study course run by an online computer program that’s available in the United States and several ACFE chapters for people training to become examiners. It is the right option if you are a do-it-yourself person. But if learn better with the help of a skilled guide, then getting a private tutor would serve you better.

Alternately, you could ditch the first two options and simply choose to study by yourself using the fraud examiner’s manual. It’s roughly two thousand pages long. But, it is ridden with information that you’ll need to pass the online CFE exam. Again, suitable if you love to do it yourself.

Now, it might be a bit of a challenge deciding how best to prepare for this exam seeing as each has its advantages.

To solve that, think back to the formative years of your formal education, or college, or simply the last time you were in an exam setting. What worked best for you in the university? Staying indoors all day by yourself to study? If so, the first and third options would be a perfect fit. Were you more comfortable having someone put you through? If so,  getting a private tutor might offer the best experience for you. Simply take your time to think about it and you should arrive at the perfect response.

Self-study is also a method of learning
There are various ways to study for the CFE Exams. With Superprof tutors, you will never walk alone. Source: Unsplash

Once you’ve gotten that out of the way, the next step would be to apply online with your $450 examination fee (currently ranging between ₦186, 000, 000 - ₦187, 000, 000) in hand. To complete your application, you would need to submit some required documents online as well.

From that point, all that’s left is to take the exams in the comfort of your home. It is worthy of note that the exam is not an open-book examination. As such, you would need to ensure that you have all your facts, figures, and tidbits of information memorised. Additionally, you can either access the examination questions offline by downloading them or you could get them done online.

Given the sometimes shaky internet connection that Nigerians sometimes experience, the former might be a good option for you. That way, you’ll eliminate one potential challenge and have the best exam writing experience.

Once done with the exam, if you pass the majority of the questions, the Certification Committee will review your application within a few days. Should they find its intricacies satisfactory, you would’ve earned your certification to become a Certified Fraud Examiner. After, you would only need to get at least 20 hours of CPE (Continuing Professional Education) every twelve months to remain relevant and informed in your position. Beyond that education, you would need to pay an annual membership due to keep your certification.

What if You Do Not Get it the First Time?

With enough preparation, you should be able to pass your CFE exams in Nigeria the first time and get your certification. However, while this is the ideal case, it isn’t always the real case as things don’t always go as planned.

The major reason failure is a possibility is that you need to excel in each section we mentioned earlier before you pass your CFE examination. If your performance falls short of expectations in any section, you would need to retake the exam.

However, don’t get discouraged, young anti-fraud warrior. For starters, there’s no prophesy that says you wouldn’t get your professional certification and membership the first time. And, even if you don’t, you would only need to retake the section of the exam that you weren’t able to get initially.

Besides, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners gives you three chances to attempt each section. So, there’s more than enough time to get that professional certification and earn your membership. However, to further boost your confidence and dispel the fears that may come with self-study, use Superprof tutors.

 

A CFE is specially trained to detect fraud.
Being a Certified Fraud Examiner, you will need to be eagle-eyed. Are you? Source: Pixabay

What Would You Need to Be a Successful CFE?

Passing your CFE examinations in Nigeria is only half the journey. If you’re passionate about this and truly wish to be a professional and build experience in the industry, we imagine that it’s because you’re passionate about making a change and impact in the world through this path. So, to sum up, for you to effect that change through your career in fraud detection and prevention, you need to possess the following:

  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Outstanding communication skills. This isn’t limited to talking alone as listening is a significant part of the process.
  • The ability to grasp the workings of a business as well as where to get information when you really need it.
  • A proper understanding of tech.
  • The willingness to actually put in the work to ensure that no fraudulent act goes undetected while you can help it.

And there you have it! The perfect guide you will ever find to becoming a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) in Nigeria.

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Muhammad

A Nigerian freelance SEO Writer-cum-Editor and 2019 Writing Fellow of ALWF who blends creativity with rich content to produce sterling copy — persuasive, informative, or expository. He loves nature and trains in Karate, and he loves to help others grow — individuals and brands.