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Certified in Financial Forensics

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Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) is a specialty credential in financial forensics issued in the United States by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). In Canada, the CFF credential is granted by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).[1]


The CFF credential was established in 2008 to designate expertise in forensic accounting.[2]

Objectives of credentialing[edit]

The program objectives include: (i) enhancing the quality of forensic services and (ii) increasing public awareness of the CFF designation.

Fundamental forensic knowledge[edit]

A. Laws, Courts and Dispute Resolution

  1. Basic Civil and Criminal Laws and Dispute Resolution
  2. Basic Federal and State Rules of Evidence
  3. Basic Federal and State Rules of Procedure
  4. Federal Courts
  5. State Courts
  6. Other laws, regulations and guidance
  7. Other agencies

B. Planning and Preparation

  1. Accepting the Engagement
  2. Understanding with Client
  3. Initial meeting with Client’s Attorney
  4. Determine required personnel and resources

C. Information Gathering and Preserving

  1. Document and Evidence Gathering
  2. Document and Evidence Preservation and Retention
  3. Interviewing

D. Discovery

  1. Requesting and examining other parties’ information
  2. Assist in making client’s information available
  3. Make forensic accountant’s own information available

E. Reporting, Experts and Testimony

  1. Testifying forensic accountant needs to supervise and control
  2. Preparation of report and exhibits
  3. Fact finding
  4. Reports
  5. Experts
  6. Non‐expert testimony

Specialized forensic knowledge[edit]

A. Bankruptcy, insolvency and reorganization

  1. Roles and responsibilities
  2. Reporting Requirements
  3. Bankruptcy valuation issues
  4. Understanding of insolvency
  5. Basic reorganization concepts

B. Valuation

  1. Interests in Business Entities, Pensions, Intangible property, Intellectual property, Interests in Estates and trusts, and others
  2. Purpose
  3. Engagement Considerations: Standards of Value, Premises of Value, Approaches, Methods

C. Economic damage calculations

  1. Economic damages ‐ businesses: Lost profits, Lost value, Extra costs, Lost cash flow, Mitigation, Restitution, Interest/time value of money, Out of pocket, Rescission, Unjust enrichment, Determination of Present Value date of damages, Methods of determining
  2. Economic damages ‐ individuals: Lost earnings, Medical expenses, Burial costs, Lost household services, Cost of repairing or replacing property, Cost of loss of use of property, Interest/time value of money
  3. Intellectual property: Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks/Trade names, Trade Secrets
  4. Punitive Damages

D. Family Law

  1. Asset valuation
  2. Asset tracing
  3. Income determination
  4. Collaborative law
  5. Child Support
  6. Alimony
  7. Tax planning re distribution of assets

E. Financial Statement Misrepresentations

  1. Fraud
  2. Financial Statement Misstatements
  3. Asset Misappropriation
  4. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Investigations

F. Fraud prevention, detection and response

  1. Fraud Risk Governance
  2. Fraud Risk Assessment
  3. Fraud Prevention
  4. Fraud Detection
  5. Fraud Investigation
  6. Reporting
  7. Remediation

G. Computer forensic analysis

  1. Data integrity: Data imaging, Data recovery
  2. Cyber crime


To obtain the CFF credential, the applicant must:

  • Hold a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license;
  • Pass the CFF examination;
  • Demonstrate in excess of 1,000 hours of experience doing forensic accounting work;
  • Complete 75 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) related to forensic accounting.

After obtaining the CFF credential, the CPA must continue to earn at least 20 hours of financial forensics-related CPE per year to maintain the CFF credential.


  1. ^ Certified in financial forensics (CFF) credential
  2. ^ "AICPA - Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) Credential Overview". Archived from the original on 2013-08-19. Retrieved 2011-10-13.

External links[edit]