Forensic and Fraud Specialist

Forensic and Fraud Specialist

Fraudulent activities can have an impact on profit margins, create risk to information security and lead to a negative reputation for a financial services organization. Forensic and Fraud Specialists work within the financial services sector to detect, respond to and mitigate fraudulent activities, investigating potentially fraudulent transactions and preparing evidence that can be used in a court of law.

ROLE-AT-A-GLANCE
Binoculars
Demand Outlook
*

Globalization, technology and heightened accountability are expected to drive increasing demand for Forensic and Fraud Specialists.

Diploma
Education & Credentials
*

Undergraduate degree typically required.

Data chart
Quantitative Skills Required
*
Group of people
Interpersonal Skills & Relationship Management
*
Multiple devices Specialized Technology Skills
*
Desktop area Work Environment

Office; some travel required

ROLE-AT-A-GLANCE
Binoculars
Demand Outlook
*

Globalization, technology and heightened accountability are expected to drive increasing demand for Forensic and Fraud Specialists.

Diploma
Education & Credentials
*

Undergraduate degree typically required.

Data chart
Quantitative Skills Required
*
Group of people
Interpersonal Skills & Relationship Management
*
Multiple devices Specialized Technology Skills *
Desktop area Work Environment

Office; some travel required


WHAT IT IS

Key Role Dimensions

Proactively preventing fraudulent activities: Employ proper fraud controls and identify and report on fraud in areas such as:

  • Cash theft
  • Expense account abuse
  • Financial reporting misrepresentation
  • Fixed assets theft
  • Inventory and supplies theft
  • Non-payment of advances
  • Purchases for personal use
  • Supplier kickbacks
  • Money laundering
  • Terrorist financing

Preparing evidence useable in a court of law: Conduct computer-based research to investigate anomalies in financial transactions and interview related individuals as needed.

Focus Areas

Forensic and Fraud Specialists may look for specific fraudulent activities depending on their role within financial service institutions:

  • Banking: Cheque fraud, internet banking fraud, ATM fraud, email fraud, etc.
  • Insurance: Generally two categories: Hard (deliberate schemes in which there is no truth) or soft (an exaggeration of the claim for personal gain)
  • Wealth Management: Investment theft (e.g. Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, prime bank investment schemes), etc.
  • Pension: Continuing to draw benefits after death, etc.

WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED

Key Job Accountabilities

Forensic and Fraud Specialists generally:

Monitor and investigate allegations of fraudulent activities:

  • Develop, implement and maintain programs for monitoring suspicious activity and respond to requests to investigate suspicious activity or reporting.
  • Review large quantities of documents such as emails, transaction records and other information to identify evidence of inappropriate or fraudulent activities.
  • Conduct interviews to uncover new information, clarify or corroborate investigation findings.

 Evaluate and advise on risk exposure:

  • Review corporate information, documentation and internal controls to determine risk of exposure to fraudulent activities.
  • Assess identified risks and determine compliance with legal/regulatory responsibilities.
  • Work with Compliance Officers, Internal Auditors and Risk Managers to provide recommendations to take corrective action or protect against fraud.

 Report on findings of investigations:

  • Interact with business management, legal, risk and core compliance teams to inform them of investigation proceedings.
  • Prepare investigative reports that provide details of investigations (e.g. method, information collected, people interviewed), findings and recommendations.
  • Participate in court proceedings as a subject matter expert/witness.

 

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

Must-haves:

  • Expert-level knowledge of financial services business functions and operations
  • Knowledge of regulatory and legislative policy and procedures for the financial sector
  • Knowledge of general attributes and risk factors associated with various securities and investment strategies
  • Knowledge of the judiciary system, including criminal and civil processes and relevant federal and provincial statutes and regulations
  • Analytical Thinking: Problem-solving and reasoning skills, able to identify trends, patterns and anomalies
  • Adaptability & Mental Flexibility: Able to work with limited information under changing circumstances to develop hypotheses and guide investigations
  • Relationship Management: Excellent networking skills to build relationships with local and national contacts

 Nice-to-haves:

  • Previous experience as a Financial Analyst
  • Previous experience in auditing or accounting
  • Previous experience in other law enforcement or security positions involving investigative duties

Education & Credentials

Entry-level positions typically require:

  • College diploma or
  • Undergraduate university degree

In the fields of:

  • Business
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Investigative and Forensic Accounting (DIFA)
  • Criminology
  • Paralegal

 Senior positions typically require:

  • Post-secondary degree

In the fields of:

  • Finance
  • Law
  • Accounting
  • Business Administration (MBA)

Employers in different segments may require candidates to possess one or more of these designations:

 Continuing education may include training on topics such as:

  • Fraud-prevention tools and systems

Changes in regulations or statutory laws


WHERE IT CAN TAKE YOU

Career Pathways

There are a number of pathways open to Forensic and Fraud Specialists through:

  • Increased Seniority: More senior roles in Forensics and Fraud typically require 5-10 years of related experience and demonstration of a successful track record of fraud prevention and identification and asset recovery.
  • Move into Another Business Line: You may choose to take leadership positions in governance and control groups (e. risk management or compliance) or move into other areas such as audit, information security or forensic accounting.

Future Trends & Impacts

There are several external factors and environmental trends that can influence the demand and qualifications for this role:

  • New Laws: For example, the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act helped improve Canada’s battle against money laundering and terrorism financing, while the Sarbanes-Oxley Act created the requirement for better internal auditing processes.
  • Regulatory Changes: For example, the shift to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) required a transition to new accounting rules, introducing fair value accounting in more areas and requiring increased skepticism when reviewing sources of financial information.
  • New Technology: Increasing sophistication of technology and technology users creates opportunities for more complex fraud schemes, requiring ongoing learning and education on the part of Forensic and Fraud Specialists.


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