CFE Exam Coach Newsletter


Q and A with Michael Saunders, CFE


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Also, don't rush the process. There is a lot of information to cover, so allow yourself plenty of time for whichever method you choose.

Coach: When did you receive your CFE credential?
Saunders: I was certified on March 15, 2013.

Coach: You attended the CFE Exam Review Course in Houston, and following the course, you sat for the CFE Exam on-site. Please describe your experience of participating in the 3½-day course and then sitting for the exam immediately after.
Saunders: The course was very intense and thorough. The volume of material covered in the 3 ½ days was overwhelming, but I was relieved and a little less stressed when we got to the end of the second day and I passed the Law portion. I personally felt that covering the material immediately preceding the test each day was a benefit to me, as it was fresh on my mind for the test.

Coach: What did you like most about the CFE Exam Review Course?
Saunders: The instructors and staff were all very personable and professional. You could tell they all had an interest in helping everyone in the class as much as possible. I also enjoyed meeting others who were there for the test and learning about their broad spectrum of employers and backgrounds.

Coach: In what ways do you feel that your new CFE credential will be beneficial to you in your current profession?
Saunders: I think it will benefit me from the added respect and credibility that the certification represents. The banking industry has unfortunately seen its share of fraud and other problems, so I think the reputation of the regulatory authorities is enhanced by the addition of CFEs to the field.

Coach: How did you prepare yourself to sit for the exam on-site? Did you spend any additional time studying after class each day?
Saunders: I tried to follow the suggestions in the Prep Course material as much as possible. I started out with the pre-assessment test when I got the program downloaded. I then proceeded with the following agenda, with the goal of finishing two weeks before the beginning of the course:

Read all of the core sections of the Fraud Examiners Manual.

Complete the review sessions.

Review those sections of the Fraud Examiners Manual that were more difficult for me based on the review sessions.

I reserved the last two weeks for the practice tests and planned on taking them at least twice before the course began. Once I got to Houston on Sunday, I had planned on taking the practice test relating to the upcoming session the night before. I actually took the Law practice test twice, since that was my weakest area both in the pre-assessment and practice tests.

Coach: Now that we know what you do professionally, what do you like to do for fun?
Saunders: I am involved in a partnership that owns a few thoroughbred racehorses, so I spend a good bit of my weekends going to watch them race. My partners and I primarily run them in AR, TX, and OK. I really enjoy the friendships we have. I also make an annual trip to Utah to hike in the national parks. In addition, I like to do various bike rides that aren't far from home—both mountain biking and some longer road bike rides. The scenery is great and the activities are actually kind of relaxing since they are a change from the day to day grind at work.

Coach: Would you recommend this course to your colleagues?

Saunders: Yes. I would highly recommend the course and have to several of my coworkers. If you really want to become a CFE, the course is probably the best method to accomplish that goal.

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

Saunders: I would recommend following the guidance of the Prep Course. I know that everyone studies and comprehends information differently, but it is a good outline for the course. You can modify it to your preferences, but at least it provides a good starting point, depending on the time allowed and personal preferences.

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

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