CFCS Certification Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about CFCS certification? Below we have listed answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. To see the answer, click on the question. If the below doesn’t answer your questions, please contact customer service at 786-530-8231 or customerservice@acfcs.org.

The certification responds to one of the most critical and timely trends in the field – the need for professionals with a broader, more unified understanding of financial crime that is not limited to one specific area, like fraud, money laundering or corruption. Increasingly, financial institutions, government agencies and other organizations are moving away from a “siloed” approach and seeking to leverage shared tools, techniques and expertise between different financial crime disciplines. The CFCS credential helps verify knowledge and skill across the financial crime spectrum and prepare professionals for this emerging best practice.

The CFCS credential is increasingly sought and obtained by professionals at some of the world’s largest financial institutions, as well as government agencies, law enforcement, and service providers in the US and globally. By becoming certified, individuals demonstrate they are prepared to address a wide range of financial crime threats, and organizations demonstrate a commitment to a higher standard in financial crime detection and prevention.

The CFCS credential is the most comprehensive certification in the financial crime prevention field – Whereas other certifications typically focus on only one area, the CFCS credential covers 12 key topics, providing validation of knowledge and skill across the financial crime spectrum. This broad-based approach enables CFCS-certified individuals to confront the full range of financial crime risks, promotes flexibility in career paths, and assists organizations with confronting emerging threats.

The CFCS credential can be effective as a stand-alone certification, or as a complement to other certifications in the field. Many in our CFCS-certified community also hold other credentials related to financial crime. They report that earning the CFCS certification has opened new avenues in their careers, increased their awareness of financial crime risk, and most importantly, assisted them in improving results in prevention and detection.

Candidates receive in-depth learning materials that cover the diverse financial crime landscape, from more established areas like fraud and money laundering to more recent hot topics like cybersecurity, anti-corruption and tax evasion and enforcement. The CFCS Certification Package includes the following:

  • CFCS Exam Study Manual
  • Online CFCS Exam Prep Webinars
  • CFCS Exam Practice Test
  • CFCS Exam fee
  • CFCS 1-Year Membership

The CFCS Certification Package costs are:
$1,245 for Private Sector
$920 for Government

There are 145-scenario based, multiple choice questions on the CFCS exam.

Candidates have 4 hours allotted to complete the CFCS exam. 

Candidates must score 82/125 multiple choice questions (125 are graded, there are an additional 20 ungraded questions used for test development purposes)

Candidates can retake the exam after a 60-day waiting period accompanied by a $175 retesting fee.

Yes, your initial CFCS exam fees include your first one-year ACFCS membership. However, memberships do require an annual renewal to maintain a status of good standing.

Credit hours can be obtained through many avenues, such as:

  • Professional Experience: hours worked directly in the scope of financial crime
  • Training: ACFCS online training, webinars, conferences, and/or through reputable third-party organizations
    Education: includes degrees earned and credits for other professional certifications in the financial crime field

Every 3 years you must demonstrate:
60 credits

And pay the below fee:
Private/Standard: $150
Government: $115

The exam is offered on an ongoing basis throughout the year, through a global network of testing centers. Candidates can schedule their examination at one of over 900 testing centers at their convenience, depending on the availability and timing offered at their chosen testing center.

The CFCS credential is based on international best practices and designed to benefit both the public and private sectors. Professionals at 15 of the world’s 20 largest financial institutions hold the CFCS credential, along with regulatory agencies, law enforcement and non-financial corporations. There are CFCS-certified individuals in more than 80 countries and jurisdictions. The certification is a particularly good fit for professionals that require a broad-based view into financial crime, such as analysts, investigators, and roles in financial intelligence unit.