Ethical Advice for Fraud Examiners

There are many issues that Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs) face and will face in the future and these issues relate or are seemingly dependent on the particular role or roles that you may play. Are you are an internal auditor? Are you working for the company that is the victim? Are you brought in from the outside? If you are, then you have your own internal structure of your organization to deal with and you will certainly be asked at some point, to leave things out of reports which may not be the right thing to do or it may be the right thing to do and you may not have the experience to know.

Chris Mathers, Corporate Intelligence Expert and former Canadian Mounted Police Officer, reflects on his personal experiences. He talks about an ethical challenge he once faced as a young police officer. “I served a search warrant at this house for drugs. It was a drug trafficker, a very successful drug trafficker sitting there in his living room with a couple of hundred thousand dollars in cash on his coffee table and a big metal drum full of hashish oil worth a lot of money. We rushed in, did our police thing and he said “guys, everybody be cool I have an idea” and I said yeh what’s that. He said “I’ll take the dope, you guys take the money and forget this whole thing ever happened” and I said, I have an idea, how about I’ll take the money, I’ll take the dope and I’ll take you to the police station.”

Mathers notes that, “it may be some years before you realize you know that you shouldn’t have made that particular decision and should have stuck to your guns, but quite often when you’re new at something you take advice from people who are supposedly more experienced than you. I think that the only advise I can give of any worth to new CFEs is the advice I got from my father when I joined the police. He said, “you hear a lot of stuff from a lot of people about what’s right, what’s wrong, what to do, what not to do. I raised you right, you look into your heart, if it’s the right thing you do it. You can always get another job that’s not a big deal.”

Standing up for your rights and beliefs no matter what happens is ethical advise that may serve you very well, because reputation is a very hard thing to establish but a very easy thing to lose.


Notes:This essay is excerpted from ACFE website.
ACFECHINAEthical Advice for Fraud Examiners