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comment Mountain Lion, EFI and Intel SSD Toolbox
Thank you for the help. Unfortunately, my SSD was "secure erase locked" and according to the Intel tool (and Google) I had to physically unplug it to unlock the drive for a Secure Erase. Not very practical with an iMac so I ended up formatting the drive using Disk Utility and writing 0's to the entire drive. Not sure if it's as efficient as the Intel tool, but it will have to do.
comment FAT or exFAT or NTFS
One issue I noticed while using ExFAT is that OS X sees this file system as case-sensitive (while Windows doesn't treat ExFAT as case-sensitive). This might not be an issue in most situations but the software for example won't run off of the ExFAT file system because of this, and I've also noticed duplicate folders in Windows, one capitalized and one lowercase. So even exFAT isn't an ideal solution for every situation.