Khristi Ferguson, CFE, Director of Internal Audit
Bahamas Government, Ministry of Finance
“Where do I begin?” “What is the first step?” “How do I get from where I am to where I want to be?” These are all questions new CFEs ask themselves when they are choosing a specialized field, applying for anti-fraud positions or looking for the role that fits just right. To Khristi Ferguson, CFE, Director of Internal Audit for the Bahamas Government, the recipe for finding a career that rewards and propels you forward is a combination of skills, experience and perseverance. “The [CFE] credential signifies that one has a high comprehension for the detection and prevention of fraud. And experience is the best way to obtain additional knowledge and build upon different skill sets,” Ferguson says. “You also need to stay eager and hungry for knowledge. Persevere and you will see the fruits of your labor.”
What made you decide to become a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)?
I decided to become a CFE due to the nature of my work as an auditor, and because of the pervasiveness of fraud. After realizing the global recognition of the CFE credential, and the overall increase in fraud, it was only fitting that I become a CFE.
What impact has being a member of the ACFE had on you personally and professionally?
The ACFE has assisted in my professional development through the acquisition of skill sets that would not have been obtained from other professional organizations. Additionally, my network has increased, which has afforded me the opportunity to liaise with and obtain practical solutions from my ACFE colleagues. Moreover, the ACFE has kept me informed of current global trends and provided me with the tools necessary to perform my duties. From a personal standpoint, I am constantly reminded of the importance of ethics in my everyday life. I usually ask myself, “Tomorrow, would I be proud of my actions displayed today?”
Individuals that are not a part of the ACFE are doing a grave injustice to themselves by missing out on a vast array of opportunities that would propel their career and personal development. My ACFE membership has propelled my professional development and career. It is said, “a good workman is known by his tools.” My tool is my membership.
How important do you find the relationship between auditors and other executives at a company? What are some ways that you interact with your co-workers?
The relationship between auditors and other executives at a company is extremely important. The executives of the company, typically senior management, are responsible for the direction of the company. To do this, senior management needs to be fully aware of any potential, perceived and actual deficiencies/risks that can harm the growth and development of the entity. The auditors, who are the second line of defense for a company, are in an excellent position to alert senior management to such events.