Alishah Janmohamed, CFE, CA
Senior Internal Auditor
Murphy Oil Company Ltd.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
According to Alishah Janmohamed, CFE, CA, Senior Internal Auditor for Murphy Oil Company Ltd., fraud has not always been a part of the internal audit lingo. Five years ago it was considered a specialized area that was outsourced to "experts." Times, however, have changed. In recent years, the internal auditor has taken on more responsibility in the areas of fraud prevention and detection. "Today the role of internal auditor includes charting out not just business risks, but also fraud risks prevalent in our region," Janmohamed said. "Internal auditors who are also CFEs are now seen by management and the company as fraud experts."
What made you decide to become a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)?
I was 20 years old when I went to talk to the Faculty of Law advisors at my university, as it was my dream to become a lawyer. I was told that I was very young at this point, and I should finish my bachelor's and master's degrees and then come back to apply as a faculty member. This was very disheartening for me. My accounting professor encouraged me to pick an accounting designation instead of wasting my money on getting a master's degree. I took his advice and became a chartered accountant, but, I still felt incomplete. I came across a retired RCMP who worked in our firm as a fraud examiner and that's when I decided that the CFE was the right path for me. Not only do I get to talk to people within the organization, but I also have the ability to investigate matters that no one else has the privilege to do. It makes me feel like a valuable asset to my organization.
What were some of the more challenging tasks you've faced as a CFE?
Some of the challenging tasks have been asking upper management for backup information on their expenses, getting a buy-in from upper management on training employees on fraud, especially the FCPA and UK Bribery Act, dealing with investigations with a scope restriction by upper management and not getting the full cooperation from a third-party vendor.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to follow a similar career path?
If anyone is interested in fighting fraud or becoming an expert in a specialized area, I would say the CFE credential is the right choice. The world is at a crossroads of good and bad. This is the time for professionals who want to fight for the good to step up and choose the right skill set and help our society become a better place for future generations. It is not about just fighting against the bad people/acts, but more about building a better society for our children and grandchildren.