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Value of Mentorship Realized in New CFF Program

MentorshipA wise man once said to seek the advice of people that have been there before you. When employment numbers among forensic accountants are projected to expand at an average rate of 9.6% per year through 2018, the need for CPAs experienced in forensics has never been greater. The AICPA has launched the CFF® Mentor Program to meet the demand of CPAs looking for a formal mentoring program to continue their growth and expand their knowledge within forensic accounting. 

One of the greatest hurdles for CPAs new to the forensic services area is knowing where to obtain guidance to grow their practice and address their unique challenges and opportunities. The AICPA’s PCPS 2011 Top Talent Survey found that while 80 percent of the brightest young CPA talent participated in some form of mentoring, fewer than half had access to a formal program within their organization. The vast majority of those who did, 84 percent, reported that they benefited from the mentoring program.

The CFF Mentor Program

The CFF Mentor Program provides a way for AICPA members to learn about the forensic accounting profession, develop their professional skills and better serve their clients with the help of other more experienced and accomplished forensic professionals.

Mentors and their protégés are carefully matched by the CFF Mentor Task Force based on the areas of interest indicated on the protégé application. They will meet, at a minimum, once a quarter for a one-hour conference call. More frequent meetings may take place depending upon individual preferences and goals, and by agreement of the mentor and protégé.

Interested in Being a Protégé?

The benefits of this program are many, and it will be incumbent on the protégé to take ownership of the mentoring relationship and set the goals. Protégés will be seeking constructive feedback as well as encouragement, with a strong commitment to professional growth and the ambition to succeed. The program is not designed for individuals to ask opinions specific to cases and engagements.

The role of the mentor is to provide guidance and recommendations to help the protégé develop his or her professional skills and serve as a resource to the forensic accounting profession. Expect tough questions. They will communicate the unwritten rules of how the industry works and help assimilate the protégé into the financial forensic field.

If you are interested in participating in the mentor program, you can find more information and applications at aicpa.org/CFFMentor.

For more information and resources related to forensic accounting, visit the AICPA Forensic and Valuation Services Section web page. CFF credential holders are automatically enrolled in the FVS Section. AICPA members interested in joining the FVS Section or obtaining the CFF credential can find more information on AICPA.org.

Preston Willcox, CPA, CGMA, Manager - Forensic and Valuation Services, American Institute of CPAs. Prior to joining the AICPA in 2013, Preston started his career in public accounting, working with a broad range of clients in tax, audit and consulting roles. 

Mentorship image via Shutterstock

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