Use that Handbook! – Why Folioviews is great

Important Update: The 2012 UFE has stopped using Folioviews. See my update here.

One of the best things about writing the UFE in 2010 was that The Handbook was only allowed in electronic form which was not the case in previous years. I had to learn and use the electronic copy which turned out to be amazingly useful. One of my weaknesses is memorizing long rules and for this, the electronic Handbook is extremely useful. You’ll likely encounter some accounting issue in the UFE for which you can’t remember the exact criteria. Now a days it’s as easy jumping into the Handbook for a few minutes, doing a quick keyword search and finding the criteria. Even better, I understand that you can even copy and paste straight into your case which wasn’t possible when I wrote. How can anybody not be doing this all the time? Yet I still find some people prefer to try to cram the whole Handbook into their heads. It’s an open book exam – no need to memorize the book!

When to use Folioviews?

My advice: Get to know that beautiful electronic Handbook during your study period if you haven’t already and use it often! Why risk memory lapses or digging through Handbook sections for the first time during the UFE? It’s also often faster to find the exact criteria in the Handbook and copy it into your case and fill in the case facts as they apply and then conclude. You don’t want to be fiddling around with Folioviews for the first time during the UFE so I’ll say it again, get to know it during your study period and use it often.

When not to use Folioviews?

While the electronic CICA Handbook available is a beautiful thing, unfortunately the Income Tax Act version of it is not. Unless you are very sure that a specific issue is addressed in the ITA and you know where it is or the exact keyword then I have almost never found it useful. Because of the legislative way that the ITA is written, it’s unlikely you’ll find what you need during UFE time to tackle the issue without wasting a lot of time. You are better off trying to address the issue from memory. Sorry, no shortcuts here!

As always, there are some exceptions and in 2010 I was lucky enough to get one of these when LPP (Listed Personal Property) was an issue. This is one of those where having that keyword available to search can be of some use. Another is specific CCA rates so I would not memorize that list. As I’ve mentioned before, it looks like the CICA might be hinting that you should use this more often so it’s worth fiddling around a little if you haven’t before.

How often have you been using Folioviews? Do you foresee any issues that might arise by using it during the UFE?


  1. Completely agree with this post.

    In fact, some people reported that their computers actually shutdown using the electronic version of the income tax act.

    And using the handbook during practice is crucial, based on my experience with SOA anyway. When it came time to the actual exam I was able to quickly find the appropriate sections because I had practiced.

    • Thanks for sharing! It’s even more important with the UFE since greater depth is required in many of the responses. So keep it up.

  2. Don’t waste your time trying to learn Folioviews as the CICA handbook/Income Tax Act is no longer available on Folioviews. It is now contained in PDF version within Securexam. It is almost impossible to find anything using the PDF version using the search tool as it has limited functionality, therefore know where to look.

  • You’re welcome.

    As a point of constructive feedback for your blog, I think you should do a little fact checking before you post. Obviously an individual should always take what they read on the internet with a grain of salt and no one person knows everything, but I think you can increase the professionalism of your blog by ensuring the information you post is as accurate as possible

    • Thank you for the advice. You are absolutely correct and I’m sorry for dropping the ball on this one, I’ll en devour to be more careful in the future. I’m glad we have other keen eyes out there. I’ve done another post to indicate the error and I’m modifying the original post to correct it as well. Thanks again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Commenting Guidelines

I love open conversations. Casual is fine, professional is fine, but this is a community so anything abusive, demeaning or annoying will be removed at my discretion. Below is a guide to help keep you on the straight and narrow.

  1. 1. Use a name or alias. I understand wanting to keep your name personal, so make something clever up and stick to it. We can't tell each other apart if everybody is "Anon".
  2. 2. Remember the point. This is a community to discuss, debate and assist each other to pass the CFE or discuss other CPA things. Let's act like we're all the intelligent professionals that we are supposed to be.
  3. 3. No personal attacks. It's okay to disagree with opinions or advice but argue the point, not the person.
  4. 4. Don't be obnoxious. You should be proud if you are the next honour roll writer or work for a prestigious firm but don't be obnoxious by using it to feel better than others.


Other Great Reads

Get the Latest CFE News

Get the Latest CFE News

Get the latest and most important CFE news right to your inbox. I'll keep it to the best stuff and infrequent, promise.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest