Q & A Dhawal Nayak, CFE

Dhawal Nayak of India recently became a CFE after preparing with the CFE Exam Prep Course. When Dhawal is not working, he enjoys traveling and capturing pictures of his city. But this past September, he put some time aside to focus on accomplishing his goal of obtaining the CFE credential.  Dhawal is the first individual at his firm to receive the CFE credential and he is proud. He feels that being a CFE will open new opportunities and increase the scope of his work, which will benefit his learnings in the field of forensics and fraud. 

Coach: When did you receive your CFE credential?
Nayak:
I cleared my CFE examination on the 25th of September, and I received my CFE credential on the 12th of October 2017.
 
Coach: Please describe your experience using the Prep Course.
Nayak:
In January 2017, I decided to be a member of the community and, after becoming a member, I purchased the Fraud Examiners Manual. Initially, I thought that it’s 2,000 pages and I would go through it and clear the examination. I even started with one module, and I won’t lie, it was a bit too difficult to go through all the pages. Moreover, I also used to get emails from the CFE Examination Community wherein everyone who cleared the examination preferred the CFE Prep Course. I was in a dilemma whether to purchase the course or not, and on one fine day I decided to purchase the Prep Course.

As we all know, the Prep Course is divided into three parts:

a. Pre-Assessment Examination:
This is just an overall evaluation of your basic general knowledge and it tests your basic understanding regarding the subjects covered in the course with 100 questions. The best part is, it shows in which subject you are strong and in which subject you require more work. 
 
b. Review Sessions:
The ACFE recommends that the subject in which your pre-assessment score is highest should be completed first, and I totally agree with their study strategy. During the review sessions, I prepared hand-written notes (which I will get back to soon). In my hand-written notes, I wrote down the questions that I found difficult and questions in which conceptual clarity was required. Along with that, the hand-written notes also included some important or difficult words that were hard for me to understand.
 
I used my hand-written notes for reference every once in a while, whenever I got some time and didn’t want to turn my computer on and study the Prep Course. I also went through my notes before the examination. I would recommend that people who are undergoing the review course to prepare some notes while studying the review sessions.
 
Now, coming back to the preparation of the hand-written notes, I think I made a mistake by writing down the notes. The easy solution would have been making a document file of the same as it will save a lot of time, plus you can store it in your mobile and refer to it while traveling or even while having a coffee.
 
c. Practice Exams:
Practice Exams are the best part of the entire Prep Course. You can take the practice exams once all the questions in the review sessions are answered correctly. It really tests your knowledge, moreover, it boosts your confidence. Over and above that, if you score more than 85% in all the practice exams, you are eligible for the Money Back Pass Guarantee.
 
Coach:  What did you like most about the Prep Course?
Nayak:
The entire course is designed practically, so it makes preparing for the exam simple. The best thing for me was the practice exams. It helped me boost my confidence regarding the preparation. Initially, I scored around 75% in the practice exams, but then I analysed where I went wrong and rectified it, and at the end I scored above 90%. If there wasn’t the section of practice exams, it would have been a bit tough for me.

Coach: In what ways do you feel that your new CFE credential will be beneficial to you in your current profession?
Nayak:
I work in a firm that does forensic investigation. As of today in my organisation, I am the only one who holds the CFE and I feel proud for the same. The CFE credential will open new opportunities for me, and of course, increase the scope of my work, which will benefit my learnings in the field of forensics and fraud. 
 
Coach:  Would you recommend this course to your colleagues?
Nayak:
I would definitely recommend this course to my colleagues, and some of my friends and colleagues are also planning to pursue the CFE credential soon.
 
Coach: How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?
Nayak:
My main reason to be in forensics is to do something different from what others are doing. After working in forensics for few months, I realised how people are manipulating their books and making frauds and ultimately not able to repay loans to banks. I want to stop this practice and help banks recover their money.
 
Coach: Now that we know what you do professionally, what do you like to do for fun and what do you find enjoyable about it?
Nayak:
For fun, I usually like to travel and capture pictures. You can definitely visit my Instagram account: @dhawalnayak. I do not have that much time that I can travel frequently, but I do get some time for myself every once in a while, and I go to some places in my city and capture pictures. The best thing I find about clicking pictures is that it makes me feel good about how amazing nature is around us.
 
Coach:   Do you have any study tips or suggestions for aspiring CFEs?
Nayak:
For tips, I would recommend to study sincerely for 2-3 hours per day and practice. Practice as much as you can. Go through some important terminologies every once in a while and be conceptually clear.

Q & A with Sebastian Adejumo, CFE

Sebastian Adejumo, Clarksburg of MD, recently became a CFE after attending the CFE Exam Review Course in Austin, TX. When Sebastian is not working, he enjoys hanging out with friends and family. But this past November, Sebastian put sometime aside to accomplish his goal of obtaining the CFE credential. As an auditor, he feels the credential exposes him to different fraud risk assessment options and provides the skill set to identify and mitigate fraud.

Coach: When did you receive your CFE credential?
Adejumo:
I was certified on November 29, 2017.


Coach: You attended the CFE Exam Review Course in Austin and, following the course, you sat for the CFE Exam on-site. Please describe your experience of participating in the four-day course and then sitting for the exam immediately after.
Adejumo:
It was a great opportunity to review topics that I had already studied in the Prep Course. It was also helpful to discuss topics with other participants, as well as instructors with real life experiences in a classroom setting.


Coach: What did you like most about the CFE Exam Review Course?
Adejumo:
The opportunity to ask questions and discuss topics with instructors and other participants.


Coach:  In what ways do you feel that your new CFE credential will be beneficial to you in your current profession?
Adejumo:
As an auditor, the credential exposes me to different fraud risk assessment options and also provides the skill set to identify and mitigate fraud.


Coach: How did you prepare yourself to sit for the exam on-site? Did you spend any additional time studying after class each day?
Adejumo:
I spent time reviewing the section the prior day before each class. I took as many practice questions as possible. I asked questions during the class. I took the exam immediately after the class.

Coach: Would you recommend this course to your colleagues?
Adejumo:
I will definitely recommend this course to my colleagues.

Coach: How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?
Adejumo:
I am a CPA who works as an internal auditor, and lately there has been increased focus on fraudulent activity in my industry. This credential further equips me to add value to that fight.

Coach: Now that we know what you do professionally, what do you like to do for fun and what do you find enjoyable about it?
Adejumo:
Traveling, spending time with family, hanging out with friends.

Coach: Do you have any study tips or suggestions for aspiring CFEs?
Adejumo:
I highly recommend the Review Course, especially for busy working professionals. If unable to attend, the Prep Course is a great resource with the hundreds of questions it includes.

Q & A with Kelly Pope, CFE

Dr. Kelly Pope of Chicago recently became a CFE after attending the CFE Exam Review Course in Chicago, IL. When Kelly is not teaching, she enjoys making films. But this past August, Kelly put some time aside to pursue the CFE credential. One of Kelly’s former students passed the CFE exam while enrolled in her course and he inspired her to take take the exam. As a forensic accounting instructor, Kelly always felt that having the CFE credential would be important and hope to encourage others student to also sit for the CFE Exam.

Coach: When did you receive your CFE credential? 
Pope:
I was certified on October 18, 2017.

Coach: You attended the CFE Exam Review Course in Chicago, IL, and following the course you sat for the CFE Exam on-site. Please describe your experience of participating in the four-day course and then sitting for the exam immediately after.
Pope:
For my learning style, taking the exam immediately following the class was perfect. I was focused and determined. I had attempted the online questions/online review course prior to attending the class, but I found that for my learning style, it was better to hear the theory and then apply it to questions in comparison to just answering questions. I enjoyed the live instructors and the in-person class.

Coach: What did you like most about the CFE Exam Review Course? 
POpe:
I enjoyed the instructors. They were gifted at giving you stories that helped you remember the important concepts during exam time.

Coach: In what ways do you feel that your new CFE credential will be beneficial to you in your current profession? 
Pope:
I teach forensic accounting at DePaul University and always thought that having the CFE credential would be important for my students to see. One of my former students, Jonathan Campbell, CFE, passed the CFE exam while enrolled in my course. He actually inspired me to take the exam. I hope that I can be a role model and encourage other students to sit for the exam. 

Coach: How did you prepare yourself to sit for the exam on-site? Did you spend any additional time studying after class each day? 
Pope:
After class, I came home each night and reviewed the materials covered during class. I found that the nightly review helped me retain the information. I devoted 1-2 hours reviewing the course materials each night.

Coach: Would you recommend this course to your colleagues? 
Pope:
ABSOLUTELY. The live course was perfect for me. It allowed me to shut down for four days and focus. I highly recommend this approach.

Coach: How did you become passionate about fighting fraud? 
Pope:
I am passionate about fighting fraud because I strongly believe that anyone can commit fraud. Fraud doesn’t have a profile; therefore, it is difficult to detect and prevent. I have always been attracted to a challenge and fighting fraud is definitely a huge task.

Coach: Now that we know what you do professionally, what do you like to do for fun and what do you find enjoyable about it? 
Pope
: I am also a documentary filmmaker and my latest film is “All the Queen’s Horses.”

Coach: Do you have any study tips or suggestions for aspiring CFEs?
Pope:
Be passionate about wanting to learn the ins and outs of fraud and you will pass the exam.

Q & A with Paige English

Paige English of Ohio recently became a CFE after attending the CFE Exam Review Course in Chicago, IL. When Paige is not working, she enjoys traveling, attending concerts, spending time with friends and family, and participating in new life experiences. This past August, Paige engaged in a new professional experience by putting some time aside to pursue the CFE credential. Paige plans on using the knowledge she gained from her studies when conducting investigations and interviews, and she believes that the certification has provided her with an additional skill set that will help her advance her career.

Coach: When did you receive your CFE credential?

English: I attended the CFE instructor-led course in August and passed all sections at the conclusion of the week. I received the official notification correspondence acknowledging my certification on September 22nd.

Coach: You attended the CFE Exam Review Course in Chicago, IL and following the course you sat for the CFE Exam on-site. Please describe your experience of participating in the four-day course and then sitting for the exam immediately after.

English: The courses were extremely helpful to solidifying and enhancing my knowledge base as a result of the self-study preparatory coursework. I found the "real life" examples provided by each instructor infused with their own brand of humor particularly beneficial. I noticed a recall of information when taking the exam and even commented to one instructor that I heard his words resonating during the exam. While the course was intense with the volume of information covered, the format with the option for taking the exam immediately after the course was definitely advantageous to participants. Dividing content and testing by section was prudent and this strategy provided the opportunity for participants to retake exam sections during the week. 

Coach: What did you like most about the CFE Exam Review Course?

English: I truly enjoyed the instructors; they kept your interest and made the material easier to assimilate. I enjoyed hearing about actual interviews and the myriad of fraud schemes. Too many to count! We’ll be busy for a while. 

Coach: In what ways do you feel that your new CFE credential will be beneficial to you in your current profession?

English: I will use the information I learned when conducting investigations and specifically, during the interview process. The techniques for interviewing and the types of fraud schemes will assist me with identifying patterns more readily than I would have prior to taking the course and receiving my credential. The certification has provided me with an additional skill set for career advancement. 

Coach:  How did you prepare yourself to sit for the exam on-site? Did you spend any additional time studying after class each day?

English: I prepared for the on-site exam through remaining diligent by completing the preparatory coursework before the on-site class and exams. I felt much more prepared by allocating enough time to study several weeks before the actual class. I paid close attention to each instructor’s presentation and digesting the information and relating it to what I learned prior to the course. I didn’t spend additional time after class studying and simply reviewed a few key concepts that I may not have been entirely comfortable with the content. 

Coach: Would you recommend this course to your colleagues?

English: I will absolutely recommend this course!

Coach:  How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?

English: I’ve always been passionate about investigating; it’s like solving a puzzle and trying to put the pieces together. My career has always included elements of investigational work and during my work in compliance I had the extraordinary opportunity to learn about healthcare from a different vantage point. This perspective gave me unique insights into the complex world of healthcare systems and billing. The media releases on The Department of Justice website pertaining to fraudulent activity truly gave me pause. My interest in doing something that would contribute to minimizing the risks and taking action to make a difference became very important to me at this juncture in my life. 

Coach: Now that we know what you do professionally, what do you like to do for fun and what do you find enjoyable about it?

English: I love to be open to all possibilities in experiencing life! I like to try new things, this kicks in the creative part of me and contributes to enhancing my analytical abilities as well. I enjoy traveling, reading, zip lining, cooking, listening to music at outdoor festivals, attending concerts, hanging out with my friends and family and my dog (he’s a pug, named Checkers). I find all these pursuits enjoyable because they make me feel alive and happy!

Coach: Do you have any study tips or suggestions for aspiring CFEs?

English: Invest in the preparatory course before attending the course and commit to completion in advance. I felt this was the key to my success and I was able to place myself on a self-study schedule and reviewed material according to the suggested guidelines. Allow yourself enough time to digest the material and not rush through it. The pre-test for each section was very beneficial and quickly identified areas of strength and weakness to allow focus on relevant areas. 

I wish you all the best of luck and much success in securing your certification!

Q & A with Donn LeVie, CFE

Donn LeVie of Texas became a CFE after attending the CFE Exam Review Course in Denver, CO. When Donn is not working, he enjoys traveling and having a nice dinner with friends. But this past August, he put some time aside to focus on accomplishing his goal of obtaining the CFE credential. Donn hopes the CFE credential and the training he received while preparing for the CFE Exam will enable him to extend his speaking engagements into professions related to assessing fraud risk and detecting fraud. He also feels the CFE credential provides him with a better understanding of the issues and challenges facing organizations in his target markets. 

Coach: When did you receive your CFE credential? 

LeVie: I was certified on August 10, 2017.


Coach: You attended the CFE Exam Review Course in Denver and following the course you sat for the CFE Exam on-site. Please describe how you prepared to take the exam immediately after.

LeVie: I started out by taking the online pre-assessment to determine which areas I should prioritize. The review sections and practice exams helped further define where I needed to focus. 

 If you show up for the CFE Exam Review Course without having gone through the Prep Course, it will be very difficult to pass all four sections just showing up for the class without doing the prep work.  I also decided to enroll in the CFE Exam Review Course based on recommendations from many who had gone through the course.


Coach: What did you like most about the CFE Exam Review Course? 

LeVie: Of all the strategies I used to prepare for the CFE Exam, the CFE Exam Review Course was the most effective. It’s one thing to read the material, but to hear it in a lecture format, interspersed with videos and real-world stories from the great instructors, helps cement the content even more. One thing to take note of: Stories help you remember facts, and the instructors make plenty of use of actual instances that provide that real-world application of the information. 


Coach: In what ways do you feel that your new CFE credential will be beneficial to you in your current profession? 

LeVie: I do write feature articles for Fraud Magazine, and I want to extend my speaking into professions related to assessing fraud risk and detecting fraud (investigations, accounting, finance, compliance and ethics, etc.). So, in April, I decided I would take the exam. I felt the CFE credential would provide me with a better understanding of issues and challenges facing organizations in my target markets. 

Coach: How did you prepare yourself to sit for the exam on-site? Did you spend any additional time studying after class each day? 

LeVie: I started by committing one hour a day to the online study tools and then switched to the hard copy manual for two hours a day (sometimes more), three to four weeks before attending the CFE Exam Review Course that was held in Denver in early August. I haven’t had to study this hard since grad school back in the early 1980s, so I dusted off my old study habits to see me through the upcoming weeks. 

Coach: To help focus my reading, I underlined every line that I read. It forced me to slow down and absorb the material, so I wasn’t just running my eyes over text and forgetting what I just read. 

LeVie: On the next pass, I used a highlighter over most of the content. I then took the online review for each of the individual subsections within one of the four major sections. It’s the equivalent of eating an elephant one bite at a time. I find that I retain more information by focusing on the small chunks rather than trying to bull my way through one of the four major sections all at once.

On the next pass through the course review guide, I used a checkmark or a five-pointed star to indicate that the particular content showed up in one of the review sections, making it likely I would see it again on the exam.


Coach:  Now that we know what you do professionally, what do you like to do for fun and what do you find enjoyable about it?

LeVie: Well, I like to do many things, but my top three are: (1) traveling to Europe (especially Spain) whenever we can; (2) enjoying great wine and food with friends; and (3) enjoying a great cigar or two on the weekends as a treat. Traveling exposes you to so many unique experiences, memories, and people. Great wine and food, when paired together properly, is a gastronomical pleasure that is a constant learning experience. Enjoying a great cigar—along with a fine liqueur—is a way for me to relax while reading or listening to music out on our deck. 


Coach: Do you have any study tips or suggestions for aspiring CFEs?

LeVie: Two other suggestions for taking the exam: (1) Pace yourself, don’t get stuck on one question. If the answer doesn’t immediately jump out at you, move on to the next question. (2) Consider using foam ear plugs to block out the ambient noise in the room. I used them for all four exams and they helped focus my concentration. 

Do the upfront work and take the CFE Exam Review Course, and you’ll likely pass all four sections of the exam the first time through.