For the last few months, I have been diligently prepping for the CFE exam. Before that, I prepped not so diligently. It’s the kind of exam that requires a lot of energy and focus. If you don’t take it seriously, you aren’t going to pass.
CFE is short for Certified Fraud Examiner. To get those initials behind my name, I have to absorb two huge manuals of information about fraud, have a certain amount of professional experience in anti-fraud work, get recommendations from three anti-fraud professionals, and pass this test. Everything’s done, except for the test.
There are four sections for the test – Financial Transactions and Fraud Schemes, Fraud Prevention and Deterrence, Investigation, and Law. Topics range from studies about why people commit fraud to what has to be done to protect electronic records when one is seizing a computer. There’s a lot of emphasis on how to function as an expert witness. As an attorney with a CFE, I don’t expect to testify as an expert witness much, but the information is helpful for generating ideas for dismantling opposing experts when they cross my path.
My biggest problem is remembering some of the formulas for analyzing spreadsheets. I’m doing timed practice exams now; the software allows one minute and fifteen seconds for each question, not a lot of time. I like to write the formula out on paper and then match it up with the correct answer. That takes too long, so I have to memorize these things, but tricky wording and hasty reading usually combine for an incorrect answer. Bother…..
I will get the designation of CFE soon. I’ve been a CFS, Certified Fraud Specialist, for a few years, and I’ve passed more bar exams than most attorneys will ever choose to take. I just need to figure out how to improve my recall of those formulas. After the CFE, I’m done with adding letters to my name for a while. I’ve got all the letters I need.