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Certified Forensic Financial Analyst, CFFA Certification: Details on Examination and Certification for Forensic Financial Analysts

Written by AnonymousAugust 31, 2011
"Forensic Financial Analyst Certification"

If you’re looking to improve your career in accounting, obtaining an accounting certificate is an excellent first step. Accounting certifications can expand your accounting knowledge and increase your proficiency in a specific area of the accounting field.

Introduction to Certified Forensic Financial Analyst Certification

Forensic financial analysts examine an organization’s financial statements and reports to determine whether criminal activity has taken place. They work closely with legal professionals, often serving as litigation consultants and providing expert testimony during trials.

Certified Forensic Financial Analyst (Forensic Financial Analyst) is a professional credential issued by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA). Earning the credential ensures that you meet NACVA’s high standards of excellence. The credential  has the potential to:

  • Develop your expertise in one specialty area of financial forensics through a rigorous training program
  • Assure legal professionals and clients of your competence and reliability
  • Distinguish you from other financial forensic professionals
  • Expand career opportunities
  • Increase earning potential

Key Steps to Certified Forensic Financial Analyst Certification

To be eligible to earn the CFFA credential, you must already possess one of the following professional credentials:

  • Certified Valuation Analyst, CVA
  • Accredited Valuation Analyst, AVA
  • Accredited in Business Valuation, ABV
  • Accredited Senior Appraiser, ASA
  • Chartered Business Valuator, CBV
  • Chartered Financial Analyst, CFA
  • Certified Fraud Examiner, CFE
  • Certified Management Accountant, CMA
  • Certified Forensic Accountant, Cr.FA
  • Certified Public Accountant, CPA
  • Chartered Accountant, CA
  • Another recognized accounting or financial credential, as approved by NACVA Headquarters

Additionally, you’re required to:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree or higher in a business field from an accredited university or college.
  • Pass a two-part exam
  • Submit one business and two professional references

CFFA certification is unique in that you focus your training on one of seven (formerly five) specialty financial forensics disciplines, each with its own separate requirements. The seven disciplines and their respective requirements are:

Financial Litigation

Requires:

  • Participation in the five-day Litigation Bootcamp for Financial Experts training program ($2,700 for NACVA members, $3,000 for non-members as of 2011)
  • Prior involvement in eight relevant litigation matters
  • Prior delivery of deposition and/or expert testimony in three relevant litigation matters
  • Forensic Accounting

Requires:

  • Participation in the five-day Forensic Accounting Academy training program ($2,475 for NACVA members, $2,750 for non-members as of 2011)
  • Attendance at the three-day CFFA Candidate Workshop ($1,485 for NACVA members, $1,650 for non-members as of 2011)
  • Either prior involvement in ten relevant litigation matters or 1,000 hours of relevant work experience
  • Business and Intellectual Property Damages

Requires:

  • Participation in the five-day Business and Intellectual Property Damages Workshop ($2,700 for NACVA members and $3,000 for non-members)
  • Attendance at the three-day CFFA Candidate Workshop ($1,485 for NACVA members, $1,650 for non-members as of 2011)
  • Either prior involvement in ten relevant litigation matters or  1,000 hours of relevant work experience
  • Fraud Risk Management:

Requires:

  • Participation in the five-day Fraud Risk Management Workshop ($2,475 for NACVA members, $2,750 for non-members as of 2011)
  • Attendance at the three-day CFFA Candidate Workshop ($1,485 for NACVA members, $1,650 for non-members as of 2011)
  • Either prior involvement in ten relevant litigation matters or 1,000 hours of relevant work experience, 200 hours of which were in fraud risk management
  • Matrimonial Litigation Support

Requires:

  • Participation in the five-day Matrimonial Litigation Support Workshop ($1,980 for NACVA members, $2,200 for non-members as of 2011)
  • Attendance at the three-day CFFA Candidate Workshop ($1,485 for NACVA members, $1,650 for non-members as of 2011)
  • Either prior involvement in ten relevant litigation matters or 1,000 hours of relevant work experience, 200 hours of which were in matrimonial litigation
  • Business Valuation in Litigation

Requires:

  • Participation in the five-day Business Valuation in Litigation Workshop ($2,475 for NACVA members, $2,750 for non-members as of 2011)
  • Either Attendance at the three-day CFFA Candidate Workshop ($1,485 for NACVA members, $1,650 for non-members as of 2011) or the three-day Expert Witness Bootcamp: I ($1,890 for NACVA members, $2,100 for non-members)
  • Either prior involvement in ten relevant litigation matters or 1,000 hours of relevant work experience, 200 hours of which were in connection with litigation
  • Bankruptcy/Insolvency

Requires:

  • Participation in the five-day Bankruptcy/Insolvency Workshop ($2,475 for NACVA members, $2,750 for non-members as of 2011)
  • Attendance at the three-day Expert Witness Bootcamp: I ($1,890 for NACVA members, $2,100 for non-members)
  • Either Prior involvement in ten relevant litigation matters or 1,000 hours of relevant work experience, 200 hours of which were in bankruptcy or insolvency

Some of the training requirements for the specialty disciplines can be waived with proof of additional litigation experience. See the NACVA website for details.

Details of the Certified Forensic Financial Analyst Exam

In order to become a CFFA, you’re required to pass a two-part exam: one part covers general financial forensics knowledge and the other covers information pertaining to the specialty area you have chosen. Both parts of the exam last four hours.

The financial forensics exam is administered after the required three-day CFFA Candidate Workshop and covers material reviewed in the course. This part of the exam costs $195 as of 2011.

The specialty exam is administered after the required five-day training workshop pertaining to your area of focus. Material covered on the exam differs depending on which specialty discipline you have chosen, but reflects information taught in the workshops. This part of the exam costs $395 as of 2011.

Preparing for the Certified Forensic Financial Analyst Exam

Because both parts of the exam are administered following training workshops, full participation in these workshops — along with expertise gathered from work experience in the field — should sufficiently prepare you for the exam.

In addition, the NACVA website has a long list of valuation and financial forensics literature that may be useful in helping you prepare.

Maintaining the Certified Forensic Financial Analyst Designation

In order to maintain the CFFA designation, you’re required to obtain 36 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) in a period of three years. Acceptable areas of study are:

  • Valuation
  • Litigation
  • Financial forensics consulting
  • Fraud
  • Other related topics

You’re also required to participate in six engagements that fall within the scope of the specialty discipline you chose, as verified by documented proof.

Governing Board Information

CFFA certification is issued by:

The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA)
1111 Brickyard Road, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
801.486.0600
www.nacva.com

Associations to Join

You’re not required to be a member of the NACVA to pursue the CFFA credential. However, membership has its benefits, namely discounts on all fees associated with certification. Other benefits include:

  • Discounted access to live webinars and a web-based library
  • The opportunity to participate in an annual conference and ongoing training events
  • Professional networking and affiliation opportunities
  • Local support facilitated through state chapters
  • NACVA print and online publications
  • Access to the NACVA’s Technical Resource Database (TRD)

The 2011 annual fees for NACVA membership are:

  • Practitioner membership: $460
  • Professional membership: $215
  • Academician membership: $215
  • Associate membership: $125
  • Student membership: $125