CPA vs CFE dilemma

Should someone interested in pursuing a career in Fraud Examination pursue the CPA designation before the CFE, after, or not at all? I would argue that the CPA experience requirements will be an asset to a CFE, but is the investment in time and effort necessary? I’m interested in hearing from employers in the San Diego area and professionals who are willing to share their thoughts.

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  1. David White CPA, CFE, ISHC

    Sep. 26, 2016

    In my view the CPA designation is the more valuable designation as it is the one that is universally recognized. The CFE is helpful if you do expert witness or expert consultant work. AICPA also offers a designation similar to the CFE known as CFF, but you have to have the CPA designation to get it and the continuing certification requirements are different than for the CFE designation. Fraud engagements usually involve looking at financial records, so unless you operate in the fraud investigation world outside of accounting, you are likely at a disadvantage if you do not already have the CPA designation.