Internal Auditor Defines True Professionalism of a CFE



Luise Odenheimer, CFE, CICA, Internal Auditor

Seminole Tribe of Florida

Tampa Bay, Fla.

After her first taste of fraud-fighting satisfaction, Luise Odenheimer, CFE, CICA, decided to beef up her anti-fraud knowledge by earning the CFE credential. Today, she fights fraud in the gaming industry for the Seminole Tribe of Florida — eager to learn new laws and policies, and dedicated to her chosen path as fraud examiner and auditor.

You’ve been to two recent annual ACFE Fraud Conferences. What do you find most useful among the benefits of attending?

As an internal auditor, I have always exposed myself to at least one annual professional seminar or conference in hopes of taking something new back with me. After attending my first ACFE conference, I realized that I was taking a whole bag of ideas back with me. From the speakers’ presentations, hand-outs, networking sessions and speaking to exhibitors, I realized that it wasn’t just me wanting to expand my fraud knowledge, but there was a whole group of people and products devoted to that same exact reason I was.

What are some ways you’ve been able to apply your CFE training to your job?

When I audit, I feel that I see more than what an average internal auditor may see. With my CFE training and strong fraud knowledge, I look at a control weakness as an opportunity for fraud to occur.

Describe your most memorable fraud case and its resolution.

It was a routine operational audit at a Miami movie theater location for the company I was working for. I stumbled across some ticket sale figures that just didn’t align with the theater’s history and the current market’s ticket sales average. Through my investigation, I discovered that a theater manager was selling tickets at a discounted face value, but charging patrons the full amount. The per-ticket misappropriation was only about $2. However, I realized that the manager was defrauding guests for several summer months when movie theater attendance and film grosses are at their highest. The actual fraud amount was estimated in the thousands of dollars.

What advice would you give to someone just starting their career as a CFE?

Have a plan and educate yourself with book knowledge, but also get that good mix of practical business experience in there. It isn’t all about the books. True professionalism of a CFE comes from being able to support your findings with textbook cases and proving that fraud does take place.

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To read more about Odenheimer, download the ACFE’s 2011 first quarter Resource Guide.