Q & A with Jacob Goldwire

Jacob Goldwire of North Carolina recently became a CFE after attending a CFE Exam Review Course. When Jacob is not working, he enjoys golfing, coaching his son’s little league team, and spending time with his family. But, this past August, he put some time aside to focus on accomplishing his goal of obtaining the CFE credential. Jacob made obtaining his CFE certification a priority because he believes the credential will help him achieve his educational, professional, and career goals. 

Coach: When did you receive your CFE credential?

Goldwire: September 12, 2018

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.

Goldwire: The ACFE CFE Exam Prep Course was pivotal preparation for me prior to attending the CFE Exam Review Course and taking the CFE Exam. I reviewed the majority of the material approximately one and a half months prior to attending the live course, so the Review Course reinforced what I had already reviewed and prepared for at home. In addition, the course provided specificity of what would be discussed and tested on each day, which meant I had to focus on only one area of the exam at a time. I think anyone who is serious about attaining their CFE certification should attend the CFE Exam Review Course.

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

Goldwire: I think the best parts of the CFE Exam Review Course were the specificity given to each part of the exam review and the ability to take the written exam immediately following that day’s review. The course allowed maximum retain ability for each section of the exam due to each day focusing on only one portion of the overall exam material. The two instructors were awesome in providing vital instruction on how to focus on the volume of material being presented and the specific information highlighted throughout each day before taking each section of the CFE Exam. Providing meals, snacks, and beverages throughout each day was tremendously helpful in providing a respite from the stress of each day’s review and test.

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

Goldwire: I have spent most of my career as a Special Agent, US Army CID, in specialized units, with the majority of my investigative time spent in Acquisition/Procurement Fraud and Economic Crimes Investigations. Receiving my CFE certification was the next logical step in pursuing the next level of educational, professional, and career progressions. Aside from the financial benefits the certification can afford, it is the additional educational and professional courses, taught by some of the leading experts in the field, that made attaining this certification a priority for my overall professional career. My current assignment as the Law Enforcement Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the US Army Special Operations Command, Commander’s Oversight Review Board (CORB), provides the organization yet another sharpened tool to utilize in support of the dynamic mission this organization engages in daily.

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

Goldwire: My organization purchased the CFE Exam Prep Course for me about two months prior to the date of the course. Once I received the course material, I took a practice test in each of the sections to get a baseline on my grasp of the information. I passed some of the sections but struggled with others. The areas I had the most difficulty with were the ones I concentrated my daily and weekly reviews on prior to attending the course. I tried not to overwhelm myself with attempting to complete an entire section in one sitting; I would usually review one hundred or so questions and then take a practice test to see if I was progressing. As a result of this study method, by the time the CFE Exam Review Course arrived, I had passed every section at least once. This method allowed me the flexibility to fully concentrate on what was being presented during the live course because I had already acquired a baseline understanding of the volume of material and the types of questions I would potentially see on the actual exam.

Coach: Would you recommend this course to your colleagues?

Goldwire: I would strongly encourage my colleagues to take the course and pursue the certification. It is not only beneficial while still serving in an Active Duty position, but it is also beneficial once folks like me retire or move on to seek a civilian profession outside of the military. Most of the Supervisory Special Agents, like myself, who have worked for any length of time in Acquisitions or Economic Crimes see this certification as one of the most important credentials an agent can receive outside of their agency’s badge and credentials.

Coach: How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?

Goldwire: As mentioned previously, most of my investigative experience has been focused on or centered around acquisitions, procurement fraud, and economic crimes. Initially, I was not all that excited about fraud and fraud investigations until I realized the level of complexity, amount of financial damage, and frequency in which fraud or fraudulent activities occur within the U.S. government and financial institutions. Some of the best investigations on which I have worked, solved, and assisted the government in recouping stolen money or property have been related to some level of fraud, embezzlement, procurement fraud, or other white-collar crime—in some cases, on a global level. On the surface, fraud investigations might seem mundane and very boring to an outsider, but to those of us who specialize in or have worked on these types of investigations, they can be exciting, dangerous, and rewarding all at the same time.

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?

Goldwire: I’m an avid golfer (nine handicap), so when I’m not working, coaching my son’s little league football team, or spending time with my family, I’m on the golf course working to improve my game. Much like attaining educational and professional education when it comes to fraud, in golf, I’m always seeking ways to more effectively and efficiently get that little white ball in the hole.

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

Goldwire: I would recommend purchasing the CFE Exam Prep Course material as early in the process as possible. If utilized properly, it provides you with all the materials and tools you will need in preparation for the CFE Exam. In my opinion, taking advantage of the CFE Exam Review Course in conjunction with the study material almost guarantees success on the CFE Exam the first time you take it. By no means am I saying it will be easy; even with dedicated preparation, the examination itself can be a tremendous mental drain. However, I do feel that studying with the CFE Exam Prep Course and attending the CFE Exam Review Course allowed me to achieve first-time success and attain my coveted CFE certification.