Career Center: Making a Career Change
Kasondra N.D. Fehr, CFE, CGA, CFI
Compliance Audit Manager
From the first fraud case that crossed her path, Kasondra Fehr, CFE, CGA, CFI, knew she'd found her calling. The rush that came from investigating that first fraud was strong enough to keep this compliance audit manager for Schlumberger Limited – an oilfield services company – coming back for more. Fehr keeps Schlumberger employees up to date on the latest fraud-detection methods and, in return, the company brass keeps an open mind and an open door available to her. It's no wonder Fehr says she loves her company and gets a kick out of her day job – what fraud fighter wouldn't?
What first interested you in the ACFE and caused you to seek the CFE credential?
I was working as a controller for the seismic division of Schlumberger in Calgary when one of our field administrators had allegedly stolen funds from our local petty cash account. She had locked herself in her hotel room on location and refused to come out. I got the call and was asked to fly out immediately to investigate the matter. The adrenalin rush from the thrill of the chase has been pumping through my veins ever since. I knew from that moment that my future included fighting financial crime and that I was no longer just an "accountant."
What advantage does the CFE credential give professionals in the marketplace?
The credibility that comes with the designation is incredibly respected. CFEs are seen as financial crime fighters and fraud experts. Given the current economic conditions and increased reporting of white-collar crime, the CFE credential, in my opinion, is seen as the most important tool in any company's arsenal of tools.
I have been teaching at a local technical college in Georgia since retiring in August 2010. I hope the CFE brings opportunities to instruct at two- and four-year colleges. I also now feel I can look for investigation and consulting work in the Atlanta area with my criminal investigative experience and with the CFE.
In your opinion, why is anti-fraud education and awareness important for businesses?
With awareness comes the ability to enact stronger controls and reduce the temptation of fraud. I teach several types of internal fraud awareness training within my company. With each group that I train comes issues that each of the locations are dealing with, which in turn gives the company the opportunity to close loopholes and strengthen controls. It also shows employees that the company takes fraud seriously.
What opportunities are out there for CFEs in today's economy?
I think there are a lot of opportunities out there for today's CFE. The current economic situation has created an environment that breeds fraud. Every company needs one of us to assist them; more now than ever.
What do you consider your greatest career achievement?
Finding a company that shares the same values. Nothing beats the feeling of waking up in the morning and not being able to wait to start the day! I am surrounded by people who inspire me.
How do you manage your work/life balance?
Balance is easy when you love your career. Most companies require a fair bit of travel in this line of work, but my company has given me access to state-of-the-art forensic tools so that the only time I have to travel is when it is time for the interview!
What advice would you give to someone just starting their career as a CFE?
Make your career to be everything you want it to be. When investigating, think outside of the box and don't be afraid to explore unconventional means to catch your thief!
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