Steven Fletcher, CFE, of Maryland enjoys taking walks through the park with his Labrador and relaxing on the beach. When he is not enjoying outside adventures, Steven works in the financial services industry as a Principal Security Consultant. The new CFE says earning the CFE increased his skill sets and knowledge of fraud beyond just his industry. Steven also says that having the CFE credential will not only broadcast to others his competencies, but will also set him apart from others in his industry.
Coach: When did you receive your CFE credential?
Fletcher: I earned the CFE credential on September 19, 2013.
Coach: You attended the CFE Exam Review Course in Washington 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.
Fletcher: Preparing for the Exam was a journey that spanned several months leading up to the Review Course. In order for me to truly capitalize on the opportunities the on-site Review Course afforded, I needed to tackle this as I would any other goal – develop a plan of action, stick to the plan, celebrate milestones, and keep my eye on the prize. Immediately prior to attending the Review Course, I took each practice exam offered via the CFE Exam Prep Course and reviewed the topics I had previously identified as weaknesses. Each morning started with reviewing the day’s course overview and planning my study time.
Coach: What did you like most about the CFE Exam Review Course?
Fletcher: The biggest advantage this opportunity afforded was being able to connect with other CFE applicants who were also feeling the same stress of taking an exam each day after a very long day of intense instructor-led course review. Connecting with these people greatly reduced a majority of my stress, as well as provided a setting for several group study sessions.
Coach: In what ways do you feel that your new CFE credential will be beneficial to you in your current profession?
Fletcher: The process of earning the CFE increased my skills set and knowledge of fraud beyond just my industry. The prep material introduces one to the various types of fraud while also highlighting contemporary challenges and tools/resources. To be successful in combating fraud and reducing cost and loss to your company, a security/fraud professional must not limit his knowledge of risks to his branch, but must also recognize all branches on the fraud tree. Understanding the risks in different industries and how to combat these risks can greatly contribute to your fraud prevention plans. Finally, having the CFE credential will not only broadcast to others my competencies, but will also set me apart from others in my industry.
Coach: How did you prepare yourself to sit for the exam on-site? Did you spend any additional time studying after class each day?
Fletcher: My Exam preparation began over two years ago when I transitioned back into the financial services industry as a security and loss prevention supervisor; I knew I wanted to become a CFE. I started each day of the Review Course with the realization that this long-term goal was finally coming to fruition, and it was game time. Each day concluded with me spending additional hours reviewing the material the instructors provided in preparation for the next exam.
Coach: Would you recommend this course to your colleagues?
Fletcher: Yes, without a doubt I would recommend this course to colleagues and others in the field. This course was extremely beneficial. Regardless of your professional experience, I recommend that anyone in any part of fraud prevention or fraud investigations invest in their professional life by earning the CFE credential.
Coach: Where were you born and raised?
Fletcher: I was born in Ohio. Coming from a military family, I moved a few times during my childhood, but I consider southeastern Virginia to be home. After graduating from Old Dominion University in 2006, I moved to Washington, DC, to join the men and women of the Metropolitan Police Department as a police officer.
Coach: How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?
Fletcher: Approximately 12 years ago, I entered the financial services arena as a teller while going to school. As a teller, I not only had to be a champion of cross-selling and delivering exceptional customer service, but I also had to be an aggressive fraud fighter on the frontline. Fighting fraud is what I enjoyed most about this job because I was able to be part of stopping criminal activity, which in turn makes our communities a little bit safer. Over the years, I have worked in various roles – serving as a police officer, training specialist focused on bank security practices, and currently as a security consultant for a large international financial services company. In each of these roles, I’ve had the pleasure of not only having a job, but being a contributor to the betterment of society. Fighting criminals requires dedicated and passionate people who are willing to increase their skill set to outwit our adversaries. Fighting fraud is not limited to one industry or one continent, and being a CFE shows others you are equipped with the knowledge it takes to beat fraud. People like us, fraud fighters, should continue to leverage organizations like the ACFE and allies to expand our reach beyond just fraud. We greatly increase our capabilities to deter and combat fraud by understanding the details of various types of businesses, combined with the knowledge of laws and regulations.
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?
Fletcher: Outside of work, you’ll find me at the dog park with my chocolate lab, relaxing on the beach, or enjoying the awesome amenities the National Capital Region has to offer.
Coach: Do you have any study tips or suggestions for aspiring CFEs?
Fletcher: I took full advantage of my relationships with several CFEs by asking detailed questions regarding exam preparation. The common theme was study, study, and study. Use the CFE Exam Prep Course as your principal guide. The advice they provided played a huge role in my success. I felt the CFE Exam Toolkit, coupled with the on-site Review Course, more than adequately prepared me for the exams. For those aspiring CFEs, I would recommend that they take the same path – study well in advance, utilize the CFE Exam Prep Course, and make this a priority--but don’t let it stress you out too much.
Coach: Thank you for your time and congratulations on your new CFE credential.