Q & A with Oakley Fungaroli, CFE

Oakley Fungaroli of Los Angeles, CA, recently became a CFE after attending the CFE Exam Review Course in Las Vegas, NV. Oakley enjoys spending his free time with his wife and baby girl, but this past February, he put some time aside to accomplish his goal of obtaining the CFE credential. Becoming a CFE has provided Oakley with a higher level of credibility in his work as a Detective Supervisor. 

Coach: When did you receive your CFE credential?
I attended the CFE review course over the last week of February of this year. In early March, I was notified that the CFE Certification Committee approved my application to become a Certified Fraud Examiner.

Coach: You attended the CFE Exam Review Course in Las Vegas 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.
Prior to attending the CFE Exam Review Course, I completed the CFE Exam Prep Course. In addition to exposing me to new subject matter, the Prep Course exposed me to the question format and lowered my "test anxiety" (a bit). So I would have to say that sitting for the course provided both context for subjects I was less familiar with, and I got instant feedback when I answered the practice questions.

Coach: What did you like most about the CFE Exam Review Course?
The networking aspect was beneficial. Listening to first hand experiences of the instructors and other students really helped put some of the more challenging accounting principles into context for me.   

Coach: In what ways do you feel that your new CFE credential will be beneficial to you in your current profession?
I work for the Los Angeles Police Department as a Detective Supervisor. Over the last twenty years I’ve worked with a variety of subject matter experts. Previously, when working with financial analysts, I’ve felt as if we weren’t speaking the same dialect. It took a while to convey our needs and expectations. Recently, however, I sat down with a police auditor to discuss an investigation, and. I noticed on her business card that she was a CPA and CFE. When I told her I was also a CFE, the meeting seemed to shift into high gear. So I have to say that for me, the CFE credential and training provided a mechanism to communicate almost instantly.   

Coach: How did you prepare yourself to sit for the exam on-site? Did you spend any additional time studying after class each day?
As I stated above, the CFE Exam Prep Course was a real anxiety reliever. After the first day, I felt confident with the level of instruction. (Passing the first test was also a pretty big boost to my confidence.)

Coach: Would you recommend this course to your colleagues?
I do, and I have.

Coach: How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?
Twenty five years ago, while stationed overseas, I was in charge of the quality assurance inspection programs at a large air force base in England. My job was to inspect vendor deliveries of subsistence for compliance with quality assurance provisions. Over three years, my office saved the US government hundreds of thousands of dollars. As diligent as we were at checking tare weights, and seeking price adjustments or rejections for substandard products, a coworker was walking thousands of dollars’ worth of subsistence out the back door and selling it on the black market. He was in charge of receiving and rotating stock.

When he was arrested it really hit home. He was a supervisor and a friend. I trusted him explicitly, but when I look back, all of the signs were there (opportunity, pressure, and rationalization). We had missed the signs because he was such a “great guy.” It turns out that one of his subordinates turned him in. That experience brought home what Ronald Reagan meant when he said to “trust but verify.” 

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?
My wife and I have a three year old daughter. She’s amazing! I marvel at how she’s developing and discovering the world. Hearing her giggle makes all of the bad go away. When I’m not chasing our daughter, I love to read.

Coach: Do you have any study tips or suggestions for aspiring CFEs?
Have a plan. Whatever time you have, write down on a calendar when you are going to study and asses your compliance every week. If you don’t hit your goal, reassess and recommit. The other thing that kept me on a really aggressive schedule was enlisting my wife in the process. We talked about and agreed on the time commitment and personal cost. Then we put together a study schedule, and I committed to attending the CFE Exam Review Course two months later in Las Vegas. She also told me that I wasn’t allowed to quit or fail, so I didn’t

Thank you for your time and congratulations on your new CFE credential.