Armed with an innate passion for justice and a keen understanding of the criminal mind, Allison Benkert has carved a remarkable career path dedicated to unraveling fraud, seeking truth and ensuring accountability.
How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?
From an early age, I can remember wanting to be a fraud investigator. For me, it is about righting the “wrongs “and fighting for justice, especially for those individuals who may not be able to fight for themselves. I am fascinated by trying to understand the opportunity and rationalization of the fraudster.
How did you get to your current role?
My career journey started with a simple “yes” to a role that I never considered. Since then, I have found that some of the best roles that I have had in my career have been unexpected opportunities and resulted from being open to new challenges. I have worked in both the public and private sectors, which has helped me gain valuable experience and understand the unique challenges of each.
With my background and experience, I landed my current role seeking a new challenge and opportunity. I work for a mid-size biotech Oncology company, which is experiencing significant growth over the last several years. With rapid growth and success from a company always comes an increase in risk, it is my role to help ensure that the right controls and oversight is in place to help minimize risk and ensure that we are compliant with laws and regulations.
What are challenges you face in your role?
Starting a new role with a company that is growing exponentially, there are several challenges that come with my current role. Providing awareness to the organization, from the highest roles in the organization down to new hires; it is extremely important for all personnel to understand the importance of the controls that are in place, recognize issues and feel comfortable reporting concerns through the established channels.
Awareness comes in all forms, and you must be adaptable in your messaging to reach all levels of the organization.
What is an important lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Never stop learning. I am always looking for opportunities to gain experience and develop both personally and professionally.
Never assume! While your mind is always trying to look for ways to make things make sense, every investigation has a unique set of individuals associated with the case, and each case is different. It’s hard to fight your intuitions, but there is a lot to be gained by being open and letting the facts take you through the case.
What is important to you about being a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)?
Being a part of a group with individuals who are enthusiastic about fighting fraud and being a CFE provides a place to be able to leverage various different skill sets and backgrounds has been extremely valuable in my career. Earning the CFE credential has opened so many doors and possibilities that I would have never thought possible. It has provided structure and kept me grounded to allow me to connect with others who share the same passion.
SOURCE: ACFE Insights – A Publication of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners