Fraud Detection Tools: Benford’s Law And The Beneish M Score

2 Credits: Accounting


Webcasts are available for viewing Monday – Saturday, 8am – 8pm ET.
Without FlexCast, you must start with enough time to finish. (1 Hr/Credit)

 Secure Transaction

Fraud Detection Tools: Benford’s Law And The Beneish M Score

Course Level
CPE Credits

2 Credits: Accounting

Course Description

This course provides in-depth coverage of two specific tools for fraud detection. Benford’s Law predicts the probability of the distribution of first digits in a set of accounting numbers. In a large population of accounting transactions, by comparing the actual occurrence of first digits in accounting numbers to the Benford distribution, areas of concern are highlighted for further analysis and evaluation. The Beneish M Score quantifies the possibility of financial manipulation occurring in financial statements. If the M Score is greater than (or less negative than) -2.22, it is likely that there is some manipulation of the financial results.

Benford’s Law assists in the detection of transactional fraud while the Beneish M Score assists in the detection of fraud in financial reporting. Both of these are powerful tools in the detection of fraud.

Show More
Show Less

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize how to use Benford’s Law to detect potential fraud
  • Identify situations where Benford’s Law is and is not applicable
  • Recognize the Beneish M Score and its components
Show More
Show Less

Course Specifics

Course ID
Revision Date
September 26, 2022

There are no prerequisites.

Advanced Preparation


Compliance Information

NASBA Provider Number: 103220
Qualifies for CA Fraud: Yes
Qualifies for CA Fraud Credits: 1

CMA Notice: Western CPE makes every attempt to maintain our CMA CPE library, to ensure a course meets your continuing education requirements please visit Insitute of Management Accountants (IMA)

CFP Notice: Not all courses that qualify for CFP® credit are registered by Western CPE. If a course does not have a CFP registration number in the compliance section, the continuing education will need to be individually reported with the CFP Board. For more information on the reporting process, required documentation, processing fee, etc., contact the CFP Board. CFP Professionals must take each course in it’s entirety, the CFP Board DOES NOT accept partial credits for courses.

Meet The Experts

Joseph Helstrom Headshot

Joseph Helstrom, CPA, is a partner at CFO Resources, LLC, a company focused on training and courseware for CPAs. He’s also the owner of Mill Creek Publishing LLC. Joe has over 30 years of experience as a CPA in both public accounting and industry, with extensive experience in financial reporting and analysis, treasury, tax, information technology, legal and regulatory matters, and strategic planning. After graduation from Butler University with a degree in accounting, Joe got his start at Ernst & Young. Subsequent to that, he has served for several different companies as a chief financial officer; director of treasury and …

Joseph Helstrom, CPA Read More »