You did not pass the UFE? … Some thoughts and perspective from an experienced UFE coach on what to do next

UFE RESULTS DAY – A day like no other. You worked hard to get to this stage in your professional and academic career. You are looking forward to the celebration with your family, friends and peers – and heck, why not? Any CA will tell you: passing the UFE is a major stepping stone in one’s professional career.

You await the (hopefully good) news andthere it is: UFE 2014 – Not Successful 🙁

This is not something anyone wants to see or hear and rightfully so. You may have felt a mix of these emotions: anger, disappointment, loss of confidence and self-worth are among many thoughts that one may go through when there is an unsuccessful UFE result. It’s a terrible event to go through – some unsuccessful candidates feel this is the lowest point in their academic/professional careers. It’s not fair. Unfortunately, not everyone can pass the exam. It’s part of the profession and the examination process.

Fortunately, it is NOT the end of the world. Your personal and professional life will move on and you can bounce back and re-focus. And the good news is if you want to give this exam one last shot and you are eligible, there is one more UFE (yes, just one more) in June 2015. Having an exam in early June 2015 brings a different aspect to the game that candidates are not familiar with but at the same time, a ‘faster’ turnaround to the exam may be what most candidates need.

Keeping with the famous ‘rule of 3’ from business management, below is a list of 3 things that an unsuccessful UFE writer needs to consider following the receipt of their 2014 UFE result:

(1) Reflect on the UFE process and the importance of the designation

There may be a number of reasons why the 2014 UFE did not work out. It is possible that you were not focused enough, had the wrong study buddy or group, had a bad day at the exam or simply had too much pressure, whether from yourself or others. Whatever the reason(s) may be, it is important to have an honest assessment of what went right and what went wrong. This is the first important step in order to achieve success on the final UFE in June 2015. Moreover, it is important to also remind yourself of why you did the UFE in the first place: obtain CPA, CA designation – a very valuable, prestigious, recognizable and respected designation in all aspects of the business world.

(2) Consider what options you have in regards to ordering a PAR (see updates below) the cost/benefit of a re-read

Update #2 (December 20/2014): CPA Ontario has decided to provide PAR reports to unsuccessful 2014 UFE candidates. The deadline to apply for a PAR is Friday January 16th, 2014 with PAR reports available in March 2015. You can make the request for a PAR as of Tuesday December 23rd, 2014. Please check with your provincial CPA order whether PARs will be made available to you.

Update #1: Individual PARs will not be available to candidates for their 2014 UFE result based on the shorter turnaround time to the 2015 June UFE.
 

There are different schools of thought about ordering a PAR report. Some believe it will not be very helpful as you will be a different writer for the following year’s UFE. Others, like myself, believe a PAR could be helpful to pinpoint areas of strengths and weaknesses on your performance at the UFE. Although a PAR is considered useful, it was imperative that this benefit will likely only be achieved if it is professionally reviewed by a competent UFE coach. If you review it on your own, you run the risk of ‘burning’ the prior year’s UFE questions when you re-attempt them and a self-serving bias may come into play of masking what the real issues were for you on the UFE.

Update #2 (December 20/2014): Based on the info received, PARs should be available and please confirm with your provincial CPA institute regarding availability. Should you order a PAR, it is imperative it is professionally reviewed. PARs are expensive and having them professionally reviewed usually carries a fee as well. If this option is prohibitive –update #1 below will be offered: I will still be offering to my students a summary PAR report for my individual students in 2015, I will be offering a summary PAR report on the common issues that unsuccessful candidates had at the UFE over the past few years along with important study pointers. This summary report can in turn become part of a candidates study materials for the 2015 UFE.                                                                                           
Update #1: For my individual students in 2015, I will be offering a summary PAR report on the common issues that unsuccessful candidates had at the UFE over the past few years along with important study pointers. This summary report can in turn become part of a candidates study materials for the 2015 UFE.

In regards to considering a re-read, it is really a personal decision and should be considered on a case-by-case basis. You can email me if you have questions if you are thinking about a re-read. Historically, the chances of passing on a re-read are miniscule and you may be better off spending your resources elsewhere: prep course, UFE coaching and marking, mock UFE cases, etc. The reality is if you are going to re-attempt the process, you have to give it your all and there’s only one more chance to do it.

Note: There have been two updates since this original post as initially it was assumed that PARs would be made available. Information was then received that PARs would not be offered (update #1) and the most recent information (update #2) is that PARs will be offered for unsuccessful 2014 UFE candidates, however, it is best to check with your provincial institute to confirm this information. The above post was amended accordingly to reflect these changes for the PAR reports.

(3) Reflect on and consider obtaining specialized one-on-one UFE coaching from an experienced and knowledgeable UFE instructor

Here is the tricky part of my post: as a UFE coach, I am an advocate that most (if not all) UFE candidates should get specialized coaching during the UFE process. By default you have already done this to a certain degree: speaking to CAs and/or successful UFE candidates who have gone through the process, university professors giving you advice, firm assisted prep programs, etc. The reality is that most candidates can benefit from experienced coaching for this exam as long as one very important condition is met: your UFE coach must be experienced and knowledgeable with the challenging ‘game’ known as the UFE and that same coach must translate into value added to your UFE process. A successful UFE writer or experienced CA does not necessarily equate to a valuable UFE mentor (in fact, most of the time, once the UFE is over, a CA/successful UFE candidate may never look at the process ever again).

Over the years, I’ve had candidates tell me that the added benefits of my UFE coaching are as follows (a list that stays almost exactly the same year after year after year):

  • Keep candidates focused, motivated and on the right track;
  • Eliminating bad habits (constructive feedback);
  • Strengthening good habits through extensive marking of cases and coaching sessions (positive reinforcement and critical value-added feedback) ; and
  • Able to communicate with me whenever something was wrong or was not going well and they needed assistance and benefit from expert advice and (very important) availability

There are many steps to obtaining a successful UFE result, coaching can be one of them but so is the right study buddy/group, prep course, attitude, focus as well as what is going on with your life apart from the exam. Questions in this regard? You can email me and see a glimpse of the special offer below.

Special Consulting Session Offer:

For a limited time, I will be having special one-on-one fee based consulting sessions with students who did not pass the 2014 UFE. The session is designed to help you figure out what went wrong during the 2014 UFE process and what can be done to help you achieve success for the final UFE in June 2015. You will need to email me your 2014 UFE results page from levels 1, 2 and 3.

Candidates who go forward with this session will be eligible for special pricing on the following services:

  • study schedule
  • PAR review analysis
  • customized case marking and coaching packages
  • coaching/mentoring sessions: reading/planning, outlining, ranking issues, writing skills for sufficient depth, time management, stress management, technical competency map review and overall case based strategies

Should you be interested, please email charles.zane@gmail.com and mention this UFEBlog post

*BONUS OFFER FOR 2014 UFE CANDIDATES FOR DECEMBER 2014:

For the first 4 candidates who email me at charles.zane@gmail.com and mention this UFEBlog post the session will be offered FREE OF CHARGE. The session will be limited to 40 minutes in length. In your email to me you must provide a brief background of your 2014 UFE journey and when available your 1 page 2014 UFE result from levels 1, 2 and 3. These 4 candidates will be eligible for the same special pricing on services which will be offered for 2015 UFE prep. Offer valid on a first come basis when the emails are received. Scheduling of the session will be arranged at a time to be agreed upon. Special bonus offer will expire December 31, 2014.

To sum up, it may be a difficult day but it should not be (and is not) the end of the world. The UFE is an exam which can be passed and with the right tools and focus, it can happen. I am here to help – do not hesitate to reach out to me. The reality, whether it is difficult to accept or not, is that there is only one more UFE exam and the ball is firmly in your court for you to help increase your chances of success.

For those who have passed and are reading this post, I would like to congratulate you. Remember that some candidates may not have been so fortunate, so do not forget to send words of encouragement their way.

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes of all time from Albert Einstein which helped me not only achieve success on the UFE but really in all things in life:

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough

 

Biography:

Charles Zane is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) residing in Montreal, Quebec. Specializing in CA and UFE exam teaching, coaching, and marking since 2010, Charles has worked with a variety of organizations to help students achieve success at various levels of the UFE process: the leading prep provider in UFE training as a lecturer with Densmore Consulting Inc. as well as two of the most successful CA university programs: McGill University and Concordia University Chartered Accountancy Programs. Last and certainly not least, Charles has extensively worked one-on-one privately with UFE candidates from across Canada to help achieve success on the Uniform Final Exam.  Deeply committed to the success of UFE candidates, Charles has successfully prepared hundreds of students over the years to pass the Uniform Final Exam, whether it is be one-on-one coaching sessions across Canada, teaching at the McGill CA program in Montreal  or teaching in front of several hundred UFE candidates as a Densmore instructor in Ontario.

Overall, Charles works on developing skills for UFE candidates in reading/planning, outlining, ranking issues, writing skills for sufficient depth, time management, stress management, technical competency map review and overall case based strategies. Evaluation of candidates’ strengths & weaknesses, study schedules and PAR reviews are other areas which Charles has assisted UFE candidates.

Charles has also completed his US CPA designation (registered with the State of Illinois) and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario. He is a member of CPA Quebec (formerly Quebec Order of Chartered Accountants) and CPA Ontario (formerly ICAO – Institute Chartered Accountants of Ontario). Apart from the UFE world of teaching and mentoring, Charles works as a commercial banker at one of the Big Five Banks in Canada.

For CA and UFE coaching information, please contact Charles at charles.zane@gmail.com and mention UFE Blog!

Material contained in blog posts are of the opinion of Charles Zane, MBA, CPA, CA only.

Email: charles.zane@gmail.com

LinkedIn: ca.linkedin.com/pub/charles-zane-mba-cpa-ca/44/a36/220/

 

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50 comments

  1. This is a great article! I have been in your place many times….I finally passed the UFE on my last try this year. Do NOT be discouraged. I know that it is easier said than done, but trust me, you will move pass this. Allow yourself to be sad, angry, disappointed, but after the weekend you need to let go of that and stand tall and start preparing for next year. Take this as opportunity to use this feedback to improve and rock next year’s UFE, and remember, never EVER give up! The flow through rate of people who do not give up and write the UFE again is in the high 90’s. I am living proof of that. You can do this.

    • Hi what changes to did you make or improve on the next time around?

    • Hi my email address was incorrect in my first replay. Can you please explain what changes you made or improved on since your first attempt. Did you get any help or register for additional courses? Thanks so much.

  2. How many attempts does one get?

  3. I remember reading this post this time last year when I was not successful as I looked for answers as to why it hadn’t worked out. I was even more in shock when I got my results from the institute:

    • Comp- 8th decile
    • Multis- 10th decile
    • Level 1- sufficiency of 6
    • Level 2- didn’t meet the assurance standard.

    The above pretty much meant I had failed all 3 days of the exams dismally and I was basically blown out of the water. So I ripped my results as I felt that they were not representative of my ability. And as a result, I concluded that I was going to ask all the successful experienced writers i knew and I was going to ask how they had done it the 2nd time round and in turn take all the best aspects of their journey and tailor it to my own.

    So I did that and wrote in 2014 and fortunately I was successful this year. So the point of this post is to say don’t be discouraged, however it went this year probably isn’t representative of your abilities. So take the weekend to deal with the roughness that comes with being unsuccessful. Then when the UFE comes back on your radar in a couple of months find a way that works for you and kill it in June! Good luck

    • Hi I was unsuccessful this time. What changes did you make the next time around as I don’t even know where to start or what improvements to make? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

  4. Hey Keepatit,
    I wasn’t successful this year and I was wondering if you could offer me some advice on how to improve my chances for next year. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Jas

    • Hey Jas,

      Hard luck that it didn’t work out this year, to be honest that is kinda the hard part of the process because there is nothing you can do right away to deal with it. So after this weekend, you should try as hard as you can to stay distracted- hobbies and none accounting friends. Also, do the holidays and enjoy being around family and friends.

      Then at the end of January you can start your soul searching- As experienced writers we all have our own way of doing that so all i can do is share with you what I did. As mentioned earlier, i reached out to other experienced writers and I made a list of about 8 to 10 things I could have done better and then I came up with ways to fix them. For example the 1st time I wrote my time management was off because I always took too long on PMR issues , so my fix was to increase my PMR technical and my ability to manoeuvre through the handbook so I consciously worked on that through the process.

      So I would suggest doing that in the new year, for now its ok to be bummed, but come next week try to work to put it past you because that is the 1st step to making it through when you take a crack at it again. I hope that helps.

      • 2nd repeat writer

        Hi K,

        I failed level 1 with 1 SG. That is my problem too. I take too much time to write PMR issue. My other question how much do i write PMR, i can stop myself or write concise on any indicator but when it comes to PMR, i feel that i am not writing enough, thats why I write too much. Should i follow the issue, analysis and recommendation approach? did you follow a certain approach when tackling the PMR? Do you conclude on each accounting issue or just one conclusion ffor the whole PMR indicator? If you have any other writing advise please feel free to share, thank you

  5. Hi Jas,

    It must be hard for you right now but do not get discouraged. I did pass this year as a first-time writer.

    In retrospect, I might have some tips for you and I thought my case-writing skills improved a lot in one month of Aug.

    1. Don’t ever go over time for cases (one or two mins is OK). Stick with the time
    2. For PM, I agree it’s the most time-consuming. But I was always told to aim at 2 or 3 solid ones. No more because there is no time.
    3. for assurance, always use the WIR structure and relate to case facts
    4. lastly, which is the most important I guess is use page-break, bold and headlines. I was told grading cases is in the end grading your formats.

    Anyway, I do wish you all the success in the coming year.

  6. For those unsuccessful writers contemplating what to do next after being unsuccessful. I strongly recommend consulting Charles. I have been in the “unsuccessful” group and as a recently successful candidate. I contribute this success to Charles and his lessons learned.

  7. I believe 2014 unsuccessful candidates are not allowed to request a PAR.

  8. CPA Ontario:
    Due to the shortened period of time between the 2014 UFE results release date and the June 2015 UFE, The Board of Evaluators in collaboration with the Regional Directors of Education has agreed not to provide an analysis of individual performance to candidates who failed the 2014 UFE.

    • That’s an awful policy call. Eesh. Are they at least allowing remarks? They’d better!

    • That is stupid of CPA Ontario. It just seems like they dont want you to pass.

      • My advice is pretty much what McGillGirl said above:

        1. Don’t go over time
        2. Rank issues by dollar amount – PMR fixes
        3. Identify threats that are mission critical
        4. I always tried doing 4 issues for PMR for multis, but when you had the time crunch and I knew it, I had to skip the 4th one.
        5. For assurance with procedures, always do the why (what’s the risk), what – assertion we are testing, How – detailed steps on how to test
        6. Keep a nice format, Headings by indicator, and sub headings for PMR/Assurance issues

        Hope that helps 🙂 Good luck!

        • In addition to your point:
          If there is 1 PMR issue is very complicated (like pension this year), the best the advice is to move on. Worst case is that you will not be able to hit a “C” in that specific PMR indicator, but you will still have a chance to hit RC. Plus, it will save your time for other indicators that you can easily get a “C” (like Assurance, MDM, PQ etc). Overall, it’s a well worth trade-off. If you spent 10mins research on PMR and still couldn’t figure out. MOVE ON!! 10 mins you spent has become sunk cost, don’t spin your wheels.

  9. First time passed

    I just wanted to give some advice, I passed and studied by myself, I just like to do my own thing and not waste time chit chatting. However, if you can find a partner make sure it is someone you can work well with, the advantage with partner is you can see how other people approach cases.

    I was also conviced I failed.

    1)Give yourself plenty of time to learn technical, you don’t want to get into May being very weak on technical.

    2)Start writing some practice cases from Feb, just one or two a week. This is a great way to learn the technical and get comfortable with the cases. If you are a first time writer, the cases will seem pretty horrid at first but after a month or so you get used to it.

    Make sure you spend a good amount of time debreifing the cases and updating your notes. When you debreif remember that the solutions are perfect, – there is no way you will actually write a response like that. However, try to understand what is needed to get to a C – often less than you think.

    3)Take Densmore if possible. The main thing I got out of that was not to over study and they provide you with a set of cases to do. It’s not a must, but it helps. I knew people who passed who did not take this.

    4)Relax and don’t get frustrated, during August week 4 I pretty much got fed up of the last comp and just stopped doing it. It’s normal and happens to everyone.

    5)Know how to quickly find things in the PDF viewer, helps alot during exam. I was able to copy and paste things- then add a few lines relating those criteria to the case for depth. You must relate it to the case, can’t just copy and dump. It really helps for things like the 6 points you need before you can capitalize R&D costs.

    6) Relax and don’t panic during exam. I had a wave of panic on both day 2 and 3 for the first cases – I simply did not know the PMR too well. I just wrote what I could and moved on to the other points ie Assurance MDM etc..which were not too bad. Had I spent my time focusing on the PMR and trying to look it up in the PDF viewer, I would have failed.

    7)DO NOT go over suggested time on the cases, max is 5 minutes then move ON.

    8) After it’s all over don’t kill yourself by discussing with others what they wrote, avoid that topic. More than likely you will get a nice surprice on resutls day.

    • hey,

      thanks for your advice.

      for your #3 comment, what’s wrong with taking PASS? I’m not sure whether to sign up for Densmore or PaSS

      and with your second comment, you mentioned to update notes after debriefing cases. Do you mean technical notes?

      Did you find it difficult to not have a study group, and mark the cases on your own?

      Thanks:)

      • first time passed

        Hi,

        Take whichever is more convenient for you, I took Densmore. However I’m sure their both fine. Densmore just gave us a list of cases to do and they also give you the marker guides which I found helpful. Densmore also gave a sample one month study plan with specific cases, I followed that. I had also ordered some extra cases from their website which I started doing in mid May.

        Yes, I meant technical notes. You learn all the technical you need from debriefing and as you do the cases you see where you need to focus on. I did go back to my uni textbooks for some of the consolidation stuff but only because the book explained it pretty well. You prob don’t need to.

        I liked to study by myself but it would be ideal imho to have one other partner to keep you motivated and share ideas with. I just marked my cases pretty harshly and it’s ok to study alone as long as you’re honest with yourself. I just studied at home.

      • PASS guys know their technical almost as if they wrote the CPA Handbook. However, I feel Densmore simply does a better job, although more costly.

        I can’t bash the PASS guys as I really respect them, but I took Densmore and passed the UFE, so I have a bias to recommend Densmore.

        What I really liked about Densmore was: the tracking sheet per case, the study plan they give you, the marking guides they provide and the technical book summarized with all the topics. The rest is just practice and stick to the study plan.

  10. Charles Zane [UFE coach/mentor]

    Update regarding PARs for the 2014 UFE:

    From the information I have obtained individual PAR reports will not be made available from the provincial institutes.

    That being said, I will be offering to my students a report of the most common issues I’ve noticed on PARs over the years as well as my own feedback. In turn, this would turn into as part of one’s study materials for the 2015 UFE.

    • Hello Mr. Zane,
      Just as an FYI, you contacted me last year about not passing the UFE. I would just like to inform you that I did pass the UFE this year… in my first attempt. take care.

    • That may be useful, however, one can just read the past UFE reports for common areas. But if you provide the comments for a nominal charge that is fine as I’ve some ufe coaches wanting to charge $100 just to speak with you on the phone for a consultation.

      • Yeah i completely agree. Thats bizzare…you will take $100 to tell me whats wrong with me?? May be if you marked like a comp or couple multis and then tell me my weaknesses along with complementing and incorporating the PAR then that would make sense but just $100 for reading thats dumb….i know a guy who takes $100 for marking your first comp and analyzing your PAR. He wants you to write the comp in April 2015 this time around. becasue he wants to make sure that he telss you your weaknesses before you go for your 1 month study. He seems reasonable

    • Charles Zane [UFE coach/mentor]

      Update #2 (December 20/2014): Based on the info received, PARs should be available and please confirm with your provincial CPA institute regarding availability. Should you order a PAR, it is imperative it is professionally reviewed. PARs are expensive and having them professionally reviewed usually carries a fee as well. If this option is prohibitive –update #1 below will be offered: I will still be offering to my students a summary PAR report for my individual students in 2015, I will be offering a summary PAR report on the common issues that unsuccessful candidates had at the UFE over the past few years along with important study pointers. This summary report can in turn become part of a candidates study materials for the 2015 UFE.

  11. Does anyone know if there will be a convocation for students who pass the 2015 UFE? It would be something to look forward to. I can’t find any info on the provincial or national websites.

  12. If the next exam is in june, when should we start prepping?

  13. I would not start too early, maybe begin technical in March on your weak spots and cases in May.

  14. Failed because of Level 3 finance -_- …basically due to overlooking some finance parts / bad time management.

    The summary report showed “Green” for PM, Audit, Tax – which I considered to be the “hard” parts.

    How should I study again for June? I feel like I still remember most of the previous UFE cases that I had spent so much time practicing. At the same time, I don’t want to forget all of the pm/audit/tax/other topics that I knew well.

    • You probably do not need to alter your approach a whole lot. Do the same steps you did last time and ensure you manage your time properly so you hit the finance indicator

    • I wrote the 2015 UFE and missed a finance indicator. I’m worried I might fail because i’m not sure how well I did on the other finance indicators.

  15. i failed @ level 2 assurance. Its disheartening. How can i study so i can pass the next time around? hml

    • 2nd repeat writer

      i failed level 1 with 1 SG. I think level 1 and 2 weakness is mostly because depth and a bit of technical weakness but it all depends. I think your weakness is that you focused too much on other indicators, such as Tax, GSRM, Finance and MDM. I m not sure what you did but if there is an Assurance and PMR indicator in any given exam and you know that accounting issues are important, DO THEM FIRST!!! , you prolly did other indicators 1st and did PMR last thats why you couldnt score C. You should also look at your role, if your role is staff accountant , then you MUST have a strong PMR. If its consultancy then you may want to leave PMR Second (NEVER LEAVE PMR LAST, SPECIALLY ON A COMP) It could also be technical (you would know more about that). Hope that helps.

      I have a question, how do you write PMR, do you follow issue, analysis and recommendation?? or do you have a different strategy?

      Well since you passed level one you must have aced all your PQ (because you failed level 2). How do you address your PQ, in conclusion or a different heading? or do you have a different strategy?

      Best,

      FW

      • hey, thanks for the reply. but I failed level 2 assurance not PMR. I actually got good at pmr. its weird because everyone is saying assurance is easier than all other ones. I don’t know.. but maybe I failed because I don’t work in public. I work in industry and don’t do much of Assurance really.

        I know my procedures were shaky going in, I think maybe those messed me up. I don’t know how to study for assurance this time around, i am worried I will mess up the same way.

        For PMR I apply the technical using the handbook and I got really fast at it. And what i do is integrate case facts and keep asking myself so what?

        For PQ in my outline i have a separate area where i put all the stuff I think might be a PQ and then i have to quickly rank at the end as to what really seems to be pq. I must have done well on pq you are right, or else i would not have passed level 1.

        I hope I finish it this time around, i am highly motived and willing to fix whatever i did wrong the first time.

        what is your strategy going this time around? what do you think you did wrong last time?

        • 2nd repeat writer

          oh yes you did …lol so heres what I do in Assurance, now dont quote me since i failed as well, but i feel assurance is easy and i just started working in public accounting (and i dont even do that much audit, i am in tax). I am sure you have heard of RAMP….ALWAYS FOLLOW IT WHEN THEY ASK YOU FOR PLANNING ….AND I CAN ASSURE YOU THEY WILL GIVE YOU AUDIT PLANNING BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS DO ATLEAST ONE. So…

          Risk – always think of complex accounting issues, control , inherent (new acquisition, going public). Limit yourself to write the risk and state why — they key is not to write more than 2 lines (and TRUST ME!!! YOU CAN WRITE RISK IN 2 LINES–NOTHING MORE THAN THAT) – TRY TI AIM FOR 3 – 4 RISKS!!!

          APPROCH – Very easy

          Materiality – always always always calculate the materilaity or give the benchmark for it – 5% of net income becasue now we have more users concerned about profitability – ALWAYS RELATE IT TO USERS OF FINANCIAL STATEMENT!! (eventhough we do risk based audit which i never understood why). ALWAYS TALK ABOUT PERFORMANCE MATERILAITY AND SAY IT IS BASED ON JUDGMENT HOWEVER WE SHOULD HAVE ONE ON REVENUE…..
          BY DOING THIS YOU DEFINITELY HAVE AN RC!!!! I CAN GURANTEE THAT!!!!! LOL

          PROCEDURES – Always write them with your accounting issue and follow the RAP (Risk, Assertion, Procedure) format – the reason ppl say that is becasue, the risk is usually the accoutning issue e.g) Revenue is recognized early, Risk – Revenue is overstated (obviusly right!! REMEMBER NOT TO WRITE TO MUCH ON THE RISK) This way you have a starting point to write a procedure. Assertions – This is tough but just memorize all the assertions for b/s and i/s (we can cannot afford to make errors in June 2015). occurance, completeness, accuracy, cutoff, classification, existance…..memorize them. Now for procedure focus on the assertion. It is hard and i am not perfect at it and this method does take time but it assures you that you are atleast getting 3 out of 4 procedures right.(ALWAYS WRITE 4 PROCEDURES …..DONT PICK EASY ASSERTIONS, PICK THE ONE THAT THE USERS WOULD ACTUALLY BE INTERESTED IN…..EG) INVENTORY SYSTEM IS NOT WORKING, MOST LIKELY IVENTORY DOES NOT EXIST OR PROBABLY A VALUATION ISSUE. IN THIS CASE DONT GIVE A PROCEDURE ON CLASSIFICATION OR CUTOFF !!!!! OBSOLETE INVENTORY, TECHNOLOGY CHANGED ETC ETC .

          SELF TEST IS THE KEY. WRITE DOWN THE ACCOUNTS, LETS SAY REVENUE WRITE PROCEDURES YOU WOULD PERFORM TO TEST ALL THE ASSERTIONS OF REVENUE. SELF TEST YOURSELF!!!!!!!! (JUST REMEMBER NOT TO DO IT A DAY BEFORE THE EXAM, DO IT 2 MONTHS BEFORE THE EXAM). TAKE A PIECE OF PAPER AND WRITE THAT ALL THE PROCEDURES YOU COME UP WITH AND WHEN YOU ARE WRITING CASES COMPARE THEM!!!!!!

          THE MOST TROUBLE I HAVE IS WHEN THE QUESTIONS ASKS YOU TO PROVIDE ANY OTHER AUDIT ISSUES THAT YOU MAY SEE OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT…BECASUE YOU DONT HAVE TO PROVIDE RAMP BECASUE THEY DIDNT ASK FOR IT!!!!I GET REALLY CONFUSED IN THAT?? IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE CASE BUT I KNOW THERE ARE CASES WHERE THEY HAVE ASKED THAT AND I AM USUALLY CLUELESS!!!!

          SECOND – MEMORIZE THE SPECIAL REPORTS, ALWAYS GIVE PRO AND CON FOR EACH REPORT, CONSIDER THE USERS , DO THEY REALLY WANT AUDIT OR REVIEW WOULD WORK, ALWAYS QUESTION THE LEVEL OF ASSURANCE USERS ARE FOR. ALWAYS RECOMMEND. ALWAYS GIVE ATLEAST 2 CHOICES, 3 IF POSSIBLE!!

          AS I SAID BEFORE, TRY TO FOCUS ON THE APPROACH OF THE EXAM (PERSONALLY I DONT THINK ANYONE HAS A WEAK TECHNICAL!!! OTHERWISE WE WONT BE WRITING UFE) IF YOU FAILED LEVEL 2, I WOULD DEFINITELY ADVISE TAT YOU DO ASSURANCE INDICATORS FIRST. NOT EVERYTIME!! BUT ATLEAST DO IT ON THE COMP ALONG WITH PMR BECASUE YOU HAVE TIME AND YOU CAN SCORE A C. SECOND APPROACH, MASTER THE RAMP. IN THE EXAM WHEN RAMP COMES , MAKE SURE YOU DO AUDIT INDICATOR FIRST….NOW YOU HAVE 2 C’S IN AUDIT……I WOULD FOLLOW THE SAME FOR PMR, JUST BECASUE YOU ARE DOING IT FIRST THAT DOESNT MEAN YOU GIVE IT MORE TIME, IF YOU CAN WRITE RAMP IN 10 MINUTES THEN DO IT!!! I BELEIVE THAT THE FIRST THING YOU WRITE IN UFE IS YOUR BEST WRITING!!!SO MAKE IT COUNT

          THANK YOU FOR THE ADVISE ON PMR AND PQ INDICATORS, I NEVER DID PQ THAT WAY BUT I WILL DEFINITELY TRY DOING IT THIS YEAR IN JUNE 2015.

          ONE MORE QUESTION, WHEN I WAS STUDYING I WAS ALWAYS CRITICISED THAT MY CONCLUSIONS ARE NOT GOOD…..S FOR EG) INCOME WILL DECREASE AND THIS WAY THE COMPANY WILL VIOLATE THEIR PROFITABILITY COVENANT….IS THIS GOOD???? HOW WOULD YOU WRITE IT DIFFERENTLY OR AM I OVERTHINKING???

          IF ANYBODY ELSE HAVE MORE ADVISE, FEEL FREE!!!!

          “”REMEBER SUCCESS IS NOT FINAL AND FAILURE IS NOT FATAL. LOOK FORWARD TOWARDS A GLORIOUS MOMENT!!!”””

          • My advice for assurance would be like this.

            There is generally 3 types of assurance indicators

            Planning – general
            Procedures – PMR specific
            Specialty audit – report and procedures.

            The planning is at the beginning of the engagement and you look at factors such as overall risk factors, control risk factors then look at materiality and approach.AKA audit planning memo. There are several other posts about this,so I won’t get to much in depth about it and it isn’t really a strong suit of mine.

            PMR specific procures are the procedures that are directly linked to PMR issues in the case. The key to these issues is to link the risk to your discussion of the PMR issue and case facts based on your PMR discussion. As such this should always be done after doing PMR.

            For these procedures the risk should fall from your PMR discussion (ie if the issue is whether the client should the client recognize revenue then revenue occurrence or completeness should be the risk depending on what you had concluded in the PMR section) and the procedure should tie in case facts when possible.

            This is typically the most common of the assurance indicators on the UFE because its highly integrated with PMR and when you see accounting issues, the majority of the time you will also have to discuss procedures for those issues. My goal was to always attempt to have one procedure for every accounting issue that I listed.

            The third type is specialty audits.
            For this one there is usually three different components that could be tested.
            #1 Report: if the client states that they are unsure what type of engagement they need then you need to discuss what type of report that the client should get based on their needs. You need to look at the level of assurance required along with client specific wants.

            #2 Independence/client acceptence: This is generally a minor issue that can get you marks, but if you are currently engaged with the client in some form of a consulting capacity then you should discuss whether you can perform the engagement that the client wants and whether your firm is independent. You won’t run into this issue that often and sometimes it blends in with PMR.

            #3 Procedures: This is one that may be difficult. For this you need to look at what is required for the engagement and then discuses specific procedures. Depending on the case this may have very obvious items you need to look at otherwise you may need to look at client needs and attempt to determine risk areas.

          • Thanks for the reply to my audit assurance problem. I think for conclusions what you want to do is try to integrate. They love integration every where but I think a conclusion is made much better when you are able to state what you are concluding with a bunch of integration with CASE FACTS (very important imo).

            I read closely the assurance advice you gave me and I will work on it. I dont think I will take the densmore course this year, I will try to do it myself with maybe some paid marking.

            What is your plan of attack this year?

  16. Third Time Passer

    For all those that were unsuccessful keep your head up, I failed the 2012 and 2013 UFE and finally passed this year. If you want to pass badly enough it will eventually happen for you!

    My recommendation is to follow the Densmore program and make sure that you outline properly and stick to the time allocations. The biggest change I made this year was always asking myself “why didn’t I hit C” on each indicator. I would only focus on that as opposed to making notes on the eval guide as I did in the prior years. Another thing that helped me this year was having my base technical down before I took the Densmore course.

    Good luck to all the 2015 UFE writers!

    • Do you have your responses from last year. I just want to see your writing and see what i am doing wrong. If you can send me any of your responses that wrote from 2014. It would help alot. Ufewriters@gmail.com

      • Third Time Passer

        Hello,

        Have emailed you a few of my cases from over the summer, I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me over email if you wish.

        • could you please send me them as well? i want to compare with my papers. masahura@yahoo.ca I believe i write too much and that is my problem. I am struggling to be concise i feel like i am missing stuff if i write too short :S I failed this year.

          • thrid time writers

            those cases really helped. Havent looked at the whole cases becasue i dont want to ruin the case for myself, but the approach, writing and the flow looks very good.

            I have the same problem, feel free to connect with me as well, i am looking for a study partner in Mississauga/Brampton area so let me know, thank you

        • It would be great if you can send them over to me as well. I can learn a bit more on the approach side by looking at yours. Thanks marctrks@gmail.com

    • Hello,

      thank you very much for your post!

      What do you mean by making notes on the eval guide? Why did that not work?

      Also would you be able to share a few of your cases with me? I am a second time writer and would like to compare to see how I can improve.

      Did you have a study group/buddy in any of your attempts?

  17. Hi All,

    I am a 1st time experienced writer. I want to form a study group for the UFE 2015. Please email me at ambreen.lalani786@gmail.com if you are interested. Thank you.
    Amber

  18. What is eveyone’s plan of attach for the upcoming ufe

  19. Excellent task creating You did not pass the UFE? … Some
    thoughts and perspective from an experienced UFE coach on what to do
    next | UFE Blog.

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