Those interested in investigating and preventing fraud might consider a degree in accounting, business management, or digital forensics. Degree programs in these or related disciplines often allow students to focus their studies in fraud management or forensic accounting. Certificate programs are also available for professionals who wish to gain specialized training in fraud management. Courses in this field focus on investigating and preventing fraud crimes, such as identity theft.
During fraud management courses, instructors may elaborate on the following topics:
- Corporate scandals and fraud prevention
- Professional certification options
- Fraud investigator duties and best practices
- Types of fraud crimes and how to investigate them
- Protocols for conducting interviews and investigations
List of Common Courses
Fraud Examination Course
Students acquire techniques for identifying several kinds of occupational and business fraud. By the end of the course, they should be able to recognize indications of accounting system and cash schemes, asset misappropriations, and corruption. Topics include interviewing potential suspects and witnesses, obtaining documentary evidence, report writing, and presenting findings as sworn testimony. Discussions also address fraud examination procedures, anti-fraud deterrence, and the legal ramifications of fraud.
Financial Statement Fraud Course
Instructors teach methods for recognizing the signs of fraud in a company's financial statements. Students analyze the motivations and organizational demands that commonly lead to fraudulent financial reporting. They learn to detect accounting methods used in financial statements, including revenue and expense related fraud schemes. Other topics include fraud prevention strategies, corporate ethics, and the laws affecting financial reporting.
Computer and Internet Fraud Course
Students learn the risks associated with computer networks, how these networks are used in fraudulent activities, and methods for securing information and preventing fraud. By the end of the class, they should be able to identify attempts by outsiders and employees to access, manipulate, and destroy computer records. Discussions include common computer fraud schemes, dealing with electronic evidence, and data mining techniques.
Fraud Detection and Prevention Course
This course teaches methods of identifying high-risk environments that invite fraudulent activity and techniques to reduce these risks. Students develop skills in conducting fraud risk assessments, including identifying inappropriate behavior in high-risk situations. Discussions include tools for investigating fraud in specialized industries and the investigator's role as an expert witness. Other topics include fraud detection and prevention in e-business, face-to-face, and e-commerce situations.
Ethical Issues in Fraud Examination Course
The class examines the factors leading a business or individual to commit fraud. Students discuss similar motives behind individual and business fraud. They also learn how business fraud affects an individual's fraudulent behavior. Other topics include theories about fraudulent behavior, ethical conduct for fraud investigators, and understanding the ethical environment of a business.