Angelica Pacheco, CFE, began her career as an auditor for an accounting firm. She found her love for fighting fraud through her career and has excelled due to her passion for her community. This is her story in her own words.
How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?
I’m an accountant, and I started my career in 2001 as an auditor working in one of the Big Four accounting firms. (In that time, it was the “Big Five.”) I got interested in going further than just checking internal controls, so in 2006, I began reviewing processes of the companies that integrate the group I worked for. I figured out that there were a lack of controls, or they were very soft, everywhere in the companies. Then, as a decision of my director in 2015, I was asked to start working on a team that practices e-discovery revisions, as I have a lot of background of how the companies work and their processes. I gave very good results and fraud findings, so that’s how I got very passionate about fighting fraud.
How did you get to your current role?
Working in a corporate group from 2006 to 2020 gave me the opportunity to get to know a lot of people in the same group, so I was transferred to one of the companies as a head of an investigations team.
What are challenges you face in your role?
First, the culture of how we do business here in Mexico. New generations, as they are trained for people that behave in a bad manner, can be influenced in the wrong way. We need to convince our employees who commit fraud that it does not just affect their job or area — it affects our company, our group and our country.
We are working hard training our employees and third parties to fight against fraud through our code of conduct, policies and procedures, talks in our organization about what defines a conflict of interest, what are fraud, corruption, collusion, etc. and the consequences an employee faces if we find out.
What is an important lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Even if it looks difficult to discover fraud in some cases, I must continue working very hard as I’m convinced that our job is crucial in each company and that we are a very important piece against fraud.
What is important to you about being a CFE?
Studying to become a CFE was one of the most gratifying things I have done in all my career; I’m very proud of that. I encourage others to become a CFE because this certification gave me a lot of knowledge in several areas. Once you become a CFE, you’ll want to learn more and more, and of course, contribute by finding ways and tools to fight against fraud as part of the ACFE community.
SOURCE: ACFE Insights – A Publication of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners