MAFF Credential—Forensic Accounting

The Master Analyst in Financial Forensics (MAFF) designation offers a specialty in Forensic Accounting.

The Master Analyst in Financial Forensics (MAFF) credential is offered through a subsidiary of NACVA, the Financial Forensics Institute™. It is designed to provide assurance to the legal and business communities—the primary users of financial forensics services—that the designee possesses a level of experience and knowledge deemed acceptable by the Association to provide competent and professional financial forensic support services. Applicants can apply in one of seven areas of specialty, any of which lead to earning one’s MAFF credential. Those areas are:

Commercial Damages and Lost Profits,

Matrimonial Litigation,

Bankruptcy, Insolvency, and Restructuring,

Business Valuation in Litigation,

Business and Intellectual Property Damages,

Forensic Accounting, and

Fraud Risk Management.

Earning the credential requires consideration of all of the person’s qualifications and commitment to the discipline; this includes prior education and experience, testing, and post-requisite requirements for recertification (prior training is recommended by NACVA, though it is not required).

The MAFF program encompasses all the components for supporting and upholding a credential with innate value for the holder and the user community—to be respected, not because it was the first of its kind, but because it is substantial in all regards. It is a credential to help practitioners build a career in their chosen financial forensics field, plus give them the foundation needed to deal with the attendant legal or corporate board level support that often enters into engagements or tasks performed within these specialty fields.

Master Analyst in Financial Forensics (MAFF) Designation Application

Effective July 1, 2012 the IBA merged its Business Valuator Accredited for Litigation (BVAL) credential into the NACVA, along with the rest of its assets, except for its CBA credential, which remains with the IBA. The BVAL was merged into NACVA's MAFF credential, with all BVAL designees transitioning to become holders of the MAFF–Specializing in Business Valuation in Litigation credential, and the BVAL training now leading to the MAFF instead of the BVAL. Existing BVAL holders may continue to display the BVAL credential along with the MAFF–Specializing in Business Valuation in Litigation. After June 30, 2015, NACVA will cease to recognize the BVAL credential and, as such, members choosing to continue displaying the BVAL will be displaying a credential not recognized by any organization.
 

MAFF Requirements

 

Paths to MAFF6 Credential

 

Commercial Damages and Lost Profits

Matrimonial Litigation

Bankruptcy, Insolvency, and Restructuring

Business Valuation in Litigation

Business and Intellectual Property Damages

Forensic Accounting

Fraud Risk Management

Basic Prerequisite

Certifications
(one of:)

CVA7, ABAR, ABV, ASA, AM, CBA, CBV, CFA, CFE, CMA, CM&AA, CMAP, Cr.FA, CPA, CA, MCBA–Other designations with approval

Experience

(See Footnote 2)

10 Engagements —or— 1,000 hours in the specialty area1

 

Forensic/Litigation Foundational Prerequisite

Experience

Lead professional on 8 matters in the applicable specialty area with 3 presentations3

Waiver

Advanced Forensic Accounting Clinic (2 days) —or— Expert Witness Bootcamp (3 days) —or—
Matrimonial Expert Witness Bootcamp (3 days) —or— Foundations of Financial Forensics Workshop (5 days) —or— possess the Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF®) designation

Specialty Training Recommended

Training Recommended

3-day live Litigation Bootcamp for Financial Experts training8

Self-study, live, and webinar training

Waiver

(See Footnote 5)

20 matters —or— 2,500 hours in the applicable specialty area4

 

Exam

 

4-hour proctored exam

 

Recertification

Recertification

36 hours "related" training (see Recertification Requirements)

Footnotes:

1 Alternatively, 1,000 hours in BV services of which 200 hours are in the applicable specialty area meet this requirement.

2 Specialty Area is defined as experience in business and/or personal damages.

3 Presentations can include testimony in deposition or trial.

4 Alternatively, 2,500 hours in BV services of which 1,500 hours are in the applicable specialty area meet this requirement.

5 The 20 matters should include 10 depositions and/or testimony.

6 Effective April 12, 2013, the Certified Forensic Financial Analyst (CFFA) name and credential was changed to Master Analyst in Financial Forensics (MAFF). After October 12, 2013, holders of the CFFA must drop the CFFA appellation, but may use it only in communications until October 12, 2014, to explain the transition to the MAFF credential.

7 Effective April 1, 2013, NACVA’s AVA credential was merged into the CVA. Holders of the AVA may continue to hold themselves out as an AVA through March 31, 2014, after which they must drop the AVA appellation and use only the CVA. AVAs may adopt the CVA appellation any time prior to March 31, 2014, but may not use both appellations—they must choose one or the other.

8 Each of the specialty tracks offers its own specialized training. That training is taught in a series of webinars. For more information and the schedule for upcoming webinars for each of the specialty tracks, go to www.theCTI.com.

The specific criteria for obtaining the MAFF credential are:

1. Prerequisite: Basic Experience
The applicant must possess one of the following credentials or levels of education:

CVA Certified Valuation Analyst,
ABAR Accredited in Business Appraisal Review,
ABV Accredited in Business Valuation,
ASA Accredited Senior Appraiser,
AM Accredited Member of the ASA,
CBA Certified Business Appraiser,
CBV Chartered Business Valuator,
CFA Chartered Financial Analyst,
CFE Certified Fraud Examiner,
CMA Certified Management Accountant,
CM&AA Certified Mergers & Acquisition Advisor,
CMAP Chartered Merger and Acquisition Professional,
Cr.FA Certified Forensic Accountant,
CPA Certified Public Accountant,
CA Certified Public Accountant,
MCBA Accredited as Master Certified Business Appraiser,

or other recognized accounting or financial credentials subject to NACVA Headquarters approval, and a bachelor’s degree in a business field from an accredited university/college, or, alternatively, a master’s degree or doctorate in a field of business.

Applicants must show proof of having provided services in 10 engagements or 1,000 hours in the applicable specialty area in which they wish to specialize. Alternatively, if this cannot be met, a candidate can meet this requirement with 1,000 hours in business valuation services of which 200 hours are in the applicable specialty area.

2. Prerequisite: Foundational Experience
Applicants must show proof of having been the lead professional in eight matters in the applicable specialty area and having given presentations in three of those matters. Presentations can include testimony in deposition or trial.

Alternatively, if this cannot be met, a candidate can meet this requirement if they possess the Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF®) credential designated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants® (AICPA®), or by attending one of three NACVA-endorsed training programs:

  • Advanced Forensic Accounting Clinic™—Two days
  • Expert Witness Bootcamp—Three days
  • Matrimonial Expert Witness Bootcamp—Three days
  • Foundations of Financial Forensics Workshop—Five days

3. Specialty Training Recommended
Applicants may attend training in their chosen specialty area for which they seek a MAFF credential. The test to qualify for the MAFF is drawn from NACVA’s Financial Forensics Body of Knowledge (FFBOK). The training in each of the seven specialty tracks teaches to both the FFBOK and concepts applicable to the specialty within the context of financial forensics.

Experience Equivalent to Training:
Highly experienced candidates may not need the Specialty Training Recommended. The training recommended is considered to be the equivalent to one having experience providing services in 20 matters or 2,500 hours in matters applicable to the specialty area*.

Alternatively, if candidate has had 2,500 hours in business valuation services of which 1,500 hours are in the applicable specialty area, this would be considered comparable real world experience.

4. Examination
The applicant must pass a proctored exam which is based on the MAFF body of knowledge. The exam is four hours in length and given at the end of the applicable course.

5. References
The applicant must submit one business and two professional (attorneys, judges, CPAs, etc.) references who can substantiate the applicant’s professional stature in the community and quality work product.

6. Membership
The applicant must be a Practitioner member of NACVA; to maintain the credential, one must maintain active status with the Association, which requires paying annual dues and complying with periodic recertification.

Matters
“Matters” has been defined as follows: An engagement in the applicable field for which the expert rendered a significant amount of professional services and served as a lead professional, (A significant amount of services will typically require a minimum of 40 hours of the candidate’s time and the issuance of a report.) or

A legal dispute (usually involving the filing of a lawsuit) for which the expert served as a lead professional in the rendering of a significant amount of professional services (i.e., valuation, forensic accounting, damages measurement, resolution facilitation, etc.) in the applicable field. (A significant amount of services will typically require a minimum of 40 hours of the candidate’s time in an engagement and the issuance of a report.)

* Commercial Damages and Lost Profits is the only exception to this rule, whereas, the candidate’s 20 matters should include 10 depositions and/or testimony. Furthermore, the Commercial Damages and Lost Profits specialty defines experience as involvement in business and/or personal damages.

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