Q & A with Constance Robinson

Constance Robinson of Tennessee recently became a CFE after attending the CFE Exam Review Course in Austin, TX. In her free time, Constance enjoys outdoor activities. But this past November, she put some time aside to accomplish her goal of obtaining the CFE credential. The knowledge Constance acquired while studying for her CFE has provided her with additional tools that will enhance her ability to review and test during audits. She now better understands the importance of gathering the right documentation when red flags are identified during an audit.

Coach: When did you receive your CFE credential?

Robinson: I became certified in November 2015.

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 4-day course and then sitting for the exam immediately after.

Robinson: Attending the on-site course removed the daily distractions of life and helped me focus for four days to accomplish my goal of becoming a CFE. Reviewing the materials the night before class was helpful in helping me concentrate the next day on areas that required further understanding.

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

Robinson: The CFE Exam Review Course acted as a refresher for areas I previously studied prior to attending the course. Additionally, the real-life examples provided during the course discussions assisted in helping me understand the subject areas and provided me with a mental picture when taking the exam, if there was an area that caught me off-guard during the exam.

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

Robinson: The knowledge obtained from the CFE program provides additional tools in specific areas to review and test during audits. Also, it allows me to understand the impacts of documentation and gathering the right documentation when red flags are identified during an audit.

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

Robinson: Prior to the on-site course and exam, I spent two hours a day reading and studying materials, answering review questions, reviewing results, and focusing on areas that required further study.

Coach: Would you recommend this course to your colleagues?

Robinson: Yes, in addition to the study materials and online tools, this course is essential to successfully passing the exam.

Coach: How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?

Robinson: Through internal audits and managing finance groups, I have identified several areas of fraud. While it may seem that all employees are honest, this is not always the case. In my experience, frauds were identified mostly in the areas of management, where there were weakened controls. These risks were further reviewed after the fraud, and additional controls and assurance processes were put into place.

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?

Robinson: Sitting indoors all day can be quite confining, so I perform activities outdoors as much as possible. This includes gardening, golfing, walking dogs, fishing, and hiking, when the opportunities become available. Volunteering is also a very rewarding experience.

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

Robinson: Focus on a specific test area and subjects within the test area for 3-4 days. Shifting around between various areas can be distracting and frustrating. Once you obtain enough knowledge for a specific area, move on to the next one. Revisit the area reviewed in about two weeks to see how much knowledge you have retained. Fraud and the content study material is fascinating; if you have a passion for the subject matter, the learning is enjoyable.

Also, if you are a CPA or CIA, reading articles in your monthly magazines. Doing so retains interest and provides you with real-world examples that assist your learning.