The global financial world is no stranger to fraud. It is estimated in the modern era that global losses due to fraud total nearly $200 billion.
As a professional who works in crime and fraud management, you will generally be responsible for ensuring that the fraud management department for your organization is working effectively. If you are working for a bank, this will mean that you are working on reducing the total number of fraud cases that are reported, and are reducing the money that the bank loses each year to fraud.
What Is Crime and Fraud Management?
Crime and fraud management refers to the effective management and elimination of deceptive financial practices that frequently occur in various types of organizations for the purpose of material gain. Crime and fraud management comes into play in fighting various types of fraudulent schemes that affect all types of companies all over the globe. Some of the most common types of financial fraud that are combatted in the field of crime and fraud management are:
- Embezzlement: This is also referred to as larceny, and is the illegal use of money by the person who is in control of those funds in the company. For example, a financial manager or bookkeeper may be using company funds for his own personal use. These cases often do not get into the media because the company is embarrassed and settles with the embezzler privately
- Internal theft: The stealing of company money or assets by workers, such as taking products that the company sells and not paying for them. Internal theft is a very common reason for inventory shrinkage.
- Kickbacks and payoffs: Employees take cash or benefits as a means of exchange to access the business of the company. This might create a situation where the company that the worker is employed by pays more for the products than necessary. Payoffs and kickbacks are a type of bribery.
- Skimming: Employees steal money from receipts and do not record the revenue in financial reports.
Crime and fraud management usually deals with minimizing the effects of these types of illegal behaviors in an organization. There also are several types of fraud that crime and fraud management professionals may focus on in the consumer sector, such as identity theft, credit card fraud, and debit card fraud.
There are many opportunities for professionals who work in crime and fraud management today. For example, financial examiners are a type of fraud-related professional who ensures compliance with laws that relate to government institutions, companies and financial transactions.
Employment for financial examiners is going to increase by 10% by 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is faster than average when compared to other industries. Employment growth for these crime and fraud management professionals will vary somewhat by industry. However, the implementation of more advanced financial regulations will likely create more need for financial examiners with skills in fraud detection among all types of financial organizations.
Demand for financial examiners is rising because of the new state and federal regulations that have been passed in recent years. In the finance and insurance industry specifically, it is expected that employment for financial examiners will increase by 16% by 2024, which is faster than average.
BLS reports that the total number of financial examiners in 2014 was approximately 38,200. The biggest employers for financial examiners as of that year were:
- Federal government: 19%
- Depository credit intermediation: 18%
- State government: 13%
- Securities, commodity contracts and other financial investments: 12%
- Company and enterprise management: 11%
Many financial examiners may be employed in crime and fraud management.
Some financial analysts also may work in the crime and fraud management field. BLS reports that job demand in this field will increase by 12% by 2024. This is faster than average compared to other jobs. Financial analysts work most often in these industries:
- Financial investments, securities and commodity contracts: 24%
- Management of enterprises and companies: 14%
- Credit intermediation: 13%
- Professional, scientific and technical services: 12%
- Insurance carriers: 8%
Financial examiners earned a median salary of $79,200 as of May 2016, with the top 10% earning $148,000 per year. The top earning financial examiners worked in these fields:
- Federal government: $115,900
- Securities, commodity contracts and financial investments: $83,300
- Management of companies and enterprises: $79,100
- Depository credit intermediation: $72,700
- State government: $67,500
Financial analysts in 2016 had a median salary of $81,760, and the top 10% earned $165,000 per year or more. More specifically, financial analysts earned the following median salaries in different fields:
- Securities, financial investments and commodity contracts: $96,900
- Professional, technical and scientific services: $83,600
- Management of companies and enterprises: $80,300
- Credit intermediation: $77,200
- Insurance carriers: $74,600
A field that is related to crime and fraud management is risk management. Salary.com reports that the average annual salary for risk managers is $107,400.
With a degree in crime and fraud management, you will have the skills to work in many financial-related fields. Some of the best finance-related employers in the US include:
- Capital One Financial: $96,100
- Fidelity National Financial: $96,300
- Principal Financial Group: $71,800
- New York Life Insurance: $76,000
- Fannie Mae: $114,000
- Chubb: $85,000
- USAA: $80,500
- American Express: $98,800
A bachelor’s degree in fraud and financial crime investigation will provide you with the basic skills that you need for a growing career in economic and financial crime investigation. This online program from Utica College covers basic types of criminal fraud, including bank fraud, credit and debit card fraud, loan fraud, ID theft, money laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud and embezzlement.
A good choice for graduate degree in this field is an MBA in fraud management, such as the program at Utica College. This is an online MBA that is one of the few programs in the US that combines business management with fraud management. This program has become very popular in the wake of many serious corporate scandals. There is more demand today for skilled financial professionals, accountants and CPAs who have the skills to detect and deter fraud through forensic accounting.
Requirements for crime and fraud management degrees will vary. But at Utica College, below are the requirements for the MBA program mentioned earlier:
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
- College transcripts
- Personal statement
- Two letters of recommendation
The courses that you take for a degree in crime and fraud management vary. However, the MBA program at Utica College in this specialty has the following courses required:
- Financial Reporting and Analysis
- Legal and Regulatory Issues for Fraud Management
- Management for Fraud Prevention and Detection
- Seminar in Fraud Management
- Advanced Fraud Investigation and Analysis
- Information and Communication Security
Financial professionals who want to earn their bachelor’s or master’s degree in crime and fraud management often need financial assistance to complete their goals. The good news is that the need for fraud management professionals, financial analysts, risk managers and financial examiners is growing. Thus, there is plenty of financial help available for those who are willing to look. Some of the available financial help are in the fields of accounting and fraud examination, as well as crime and fraud management:
- Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship offered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners: This scholarship is for those who are studying accounting, business administration, finance or criminal justice. There are $10,000, $5000 and $2500 scholarships available.
- AICPA John L. Carey Scholarship: Awards $5000 scholarships who are studying accounting in an AACSB accredited program.
- AICPA Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students: Open to African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans and Native Americans. $5000 scholarships available.
- Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants: Offers a $1500 scholarship for students who are studying forensic accounting or a related field.
- Paul Kassouf Forensic Accounting Scholarship: Open to juniors and seniors at the University of Alabama-Birmingham who are studying forensic accounting.
Professionals and students who are interested in a career in crime and fraud management and related fields will want to consider various financial industry certifications. Below are some of the most important ones:
- Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE): To become a CFE, applicants generally have to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to forensic accounting and fraud examination. You may be eligible to sit for this examination if you have education and experience in accounting, auditing, fraud investigation, loss prevention or law.
- Certified Insurance Fraud Representative (CIFR): New program for claim representatives to be able to detect advanced forms of insurance fraud.
- Accredited Health Care Fraud Investigator (AHCFI): Given to fraud professionals who have shown the skills, experience and formal education necessary to detect and prosecute health care fraud.
- Certified Forensic Interviewer (CFI): Provides you with the skills to be able to conduct various investigative interviews regarding fraud in the financial realm.
- Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMLS): Learn the advanced financial fraud management skills to identify and combat money laundering.
- Certified Internal Investigation Officer (CIIO): Learn the skills needed to make successful financial and fraud investigations in a variety of business settings.
- Financial Risk Manager (FRM): Enhances your financial risk management skills and allows you to better apply your knowledge in the real world. This certification requires that you pass two financial risk examinations.
- Certified Financial Planner (CFP): This is one of the most popular certifications in the financial planner field. It will show that you are highly qualified to offer financial advice in estate planning, retirement, insurance, taxes and risk.
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA): This highly respected certification is to show that you have advanced accounting skills. It is offered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
- Certified Internal Auditor (CIA): This is the only certification available for internal auditors that is fully recognized abroad.
Professionals in the financial, accounting and fraud industries typically belong to a variety of associations that can further their educational goals and careers. The most popular associations in these fields include:
- Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
- National Healthcare Anti Fraud Association
- Association of Certified Fraud Specialists
- National Association of Fraud Investigators
- International Association of Special Investigation Units
- American Finance Association
A career in crime and fraud management is growing more popular with each year, as financial fraud is becoming more advanced and more common. With a degree and certifications in this field, you will be able to enjoy a progressive career in fraud management, fraud examination, forensic accounting and related fields.
- Fraud Manager Job Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.jobmonkey.com/banking/fraud-manager/
- Basic Types of Financial Fraud in Business. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.dummies.com/business/accounting/basic-types-of-financial-fraud-in-businesses/
- Best Finance Companies to Work for in America. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/best-finance-companies-to-work-for-in-america-2016-5
- MBA in Fraud Management. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://programs.online.utica.edu/programs/mba-fraud-management