Q & A with Crystal Cardinale, CFE

Crystal Cardinale of South Carolina recently became a CFE after attending the Chicago Review Course. Crystal enjoys horseback riding and bowling with her family. But last August, Crystal put some of that fun time aside to accomplish her goal of obtaining the CFE credential. Being a CFE will allow Crystal to better identify areas of potential fraud in her work as an auditor

Coach: When did you receive your CFE credential?
Cardinale: My official notification of the committee’s approval of my application arrived August 28, 2014, via email.

Coach: You attended the CFE Exam Review Course in Chicago and following the course you sat for the CFE Exam on-site.  Please describe your experience of participating in the 4-day course and then sitting for the exam immediately after. 

Cardinale: Overall, the course offered a great deal of information in a short amount of time. The instructors were open to conversation while still ensuring all course topics were covered. I was apprehensive about taking the test(s); however, once I passed the first test my mind was put at ease. 

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

Cardinale: Hearing the lectures in person allowed me to understand the information much more quickly than if I would have simply read the material on my own.
Coach: In what ways do you feel that your new CFE credential will be beneficial to you in your current profession? 

Cardinale: Having the CFE credential will allow me to better identify areas of potential fraud in my work as an auditor for the Department of State. Additionally, I now have a better understanding of fraud, as well as the perpetrators committing fraud. The ACFE has also provided a network of professionals to provide support where needed.

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

Cardinale: Prior to arriving in Chicago, I read most of the electronic material and took the practice tests. While attending the Review Course, I read through the next day’s material the day before to better prepare for the tests.
Coach: Would you recommend this course to your colleagues?
Upon my return, I did highly recommend attendance of the course to my colleagues.

Coach: How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?

Cardinale: My passion for fighting fraud is a simple one—people who commit fraud are getting something they haven’t rightly earned. Fraudulent acts cost companies and citizens billions of dollars each year; the more we can spread awareness of fraud, the more likely we are to stop these events from occurring. 

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?

Cardinale: Who has time for fun? (Just kidding). Spending time with my daughter (family) is my fun time. We like to go horseback riding. When I was younger, I went bowling with my family, which is an activity I still enjoy. I bowled a 182 just the other day. In my spare time, I volunteer at my church, as I believe we need to give back to our community.

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

Cardinale: My best recommendation for aspiring CFEs is to make sure to take the practice tests and read the electronic study material (the CFE Exam Prep Course) as much as possible.