The first CFE

Today writers across Canada finished their first day of the brand new Common Final Examination (CFE) for the new CPA designation. Said to be as challenging as the UFE, the CFE is a three day case based exam and I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of differences appear, if any.

To those writers who managed their way through the first day, the advice is always the same:

  • Avoid talking about the exam because it will only hurt your confidence – everybody things they did bad.
  • Don’t burden yourself with more studying between days because your brain needs rest right now.
  • Get plenty of sleep and go in everyday giving 100% because you just don’t know how well you did in comparison to everybody else.

Good luck over the next two days!



    I highly doubt if you fail day one you only have to re-write day one. The UFE if you either failed it all or you passed it.

    Day 2 of the exam is designed to be
    completed by an average candidate in three
    and one half (3.5) hours; however,
    candidates will be allowed five (5) hours to
    complete it. In the case of the UFE there is no way an average candidate could complete any of the corresponding days below the allocated time limit.

    They have also noted that Candidates who fail Day 1 of the CFE only have to re-attempt Day 1. Candidates failing either of Day 2 or 3 of the CFE only have to reattempt both days.

    They are also offering it two times a year and will probably end up diluting the brand and any prestige the CA once had. Just look at the compensation survey, the average CPA compensation is significantly below the average compensation of a CA.

    Perhaps they will publish the pass/fail rate, however this will probably not happen as the educational standards have been dipping over the years. Remember when you couldn’t get an accounting degree and had to get an undergrad, then do a post grad diploma before working at a firm and obtaining your CA. However, the candidates back then were a lot more well rounded employees.

    • I’m not convinced that just because more opportunities are offered that the examination standard is lower. If the UFE had been offered more than once a year I don’t think it would change things – just give people a faster route to the same place. Your time comments may be fair, I don’t know.

      When you significantly expand the membership of the designation it should not surprise you that average compensation goes down given that you are bound to end up with a larger, more diverse workforce vs. CAs that tended to be more ‘specialist’ in higher-compensation industries.

      Working with people in the CPA program now, I don’t see how the education standards are dipping – it looks like a tough program – what are you seeing to make you think that?

      Personally, I believe that the top notch CPAs will get noticed for their work and work ethic rather than the letters beside their name and this unification doesn’t make any difference for them.

      • With that, the “additional” offering is only available in 2017. After that, we were told it’ll be just like it was before – -once a year.

      • I love how we are trying to see the advantages and disadvantages of the merger. I also love how we all complain about this merger and then suddenly agree with it. We are CPA, CA’s we dont just agree with things, they have to be logical and practical. So where am i getting with this? The truth is the merger was and will be the worst decision in the history of CICA. It was truly a political and a marketing scheme by the CICA!! CICA alone use to generate millions of dollars just from student registrations and dues, ever wonder how much those people are paid who sit behind the glass doors in the CICA office!!! It is truly a war for brand recognition and maximization of profits (eventhough CICA is a non for profit organization!!) I am a CPA, CA so i am not bitter or hate CA’s….I JUST DONT LIKE HOW THEY RUN THINGS IN THEIR TOWN!!! TIME FOR A NEW SHERIFF WHO CAN UPHOLD THE RESPECT OF THIS DESIGNATION!!!

    • As someone who is writing the CFE right now and had practiced with old UFE cases, I’m not exactly sure what you mean when you say “In the case of the UFE there is no way an average candidate could complete any of the corresponding days below the allocated time limit.” Day 3 (multis) are tomorrow so I can’t speak to those, but the CFE comps are exactly like the UFE comps. You’re right, a candidate shouldn’t be able to complete it in the allocated time – but that’s because you could spend 8 hours writing that case and not have it perfect. The UFE comp’s were 5 hours too, correct me if I’m wrong.

      You seem a little bitter. I can tell you from discussion with my coworkers and other past UFE writers who are familiar with the new process that there is no difference in the quality of the programs nor the complexity of the cases. Save the negativity and have some respect for those who have worked their tail off for the last 2-3 months to write this damn test, JUST LIKE YOU DID!


      I Hope I Pass :S

  2. Frankly I don’t think either the UFE or the CFE could be that hard. I wrote and passed the UFE without taking a study leave and it wasn’t that bad. It’s really an exam about time/stress management, not knowledge. There was also ample time to look up any technical information in the handbook if you’re quick with a computer.

    However, I wonder if the CPA program post merger will have the same reprocity that the CA designation once had. It seems the annual income survey post merger decreasednon both the average and mean levels.

    The one benefit post merger will be the diversification in ones skills and experience. An individual who doesn’t have a business degree and instead specialized in com sci or engineering will have a very stong competitive advantage. It seems most accounting students these days have a very limited skillset or breadth of experience from the resumes I’ve seen cross my desk. However, that is always great at keeping student wages low and firm / company profits high!

    • The CPA designation does not have the same reciprocity that the CA designation has and it is unlikely that a Canadian CPA will be able to obtain a US CPA designation as easily as a Canadian CA can. The CA is the only Canadian accounting designation recognized by the NASBA if one wants to write the IQEX exam and obtain a US CPA. I predict that job postings asking for a CA designation in the past will state “must have a CPA and Big 4 experience” instead in order to attract the same caliber of candidates.

  3. I just wrote the CFE this week. What’s everyones thoughts on the exam and how they did? I’m pretty sure I missed a tax indicator or two. I can’t stop thinking about it.

  4. I did so bad on the CFE and I can’t stop thinking that I will fail. Waiting for 2.5 months is a torture.

  5. Debriefed the CFE front to back with my buddies during a night of drinking. Don’t do what we did. Only bad things can come from it.

    • Haha – thanks for the good advice.

      Perhaps to add to the advice: if you’re going to do that, make sure it’s enough that you forget you did it in the first place.

      Hang in there – the first week or two after the exam and the last week before the results are usually the worst. You sort of forget about it in the middle if all goes well.

  6. Did any of you completely not address questions because you ran out of time?

    • I’m afraid to say it but I actually missed the tax indicator as well. I also didn’t complete my adjustments in day 2. It will be a rough 2.5 months for sure..

      Just hang in there and be happy you made it through those 3 days!

      • How many tax indicators did you write about? I think there was one in each multi on Day 3.

      • Might I add — be happy that you even got to write it in the first place! I know a couple people who weren’t able to because they didn’t pass one mod so that in itself is a bonus. Right?! Right! Well.. a couple more months.

        Eat right, exercise, be with friends! We’ll be okay with or without it!!!

  7. Yes there was two one covering CCA and one self employed contractors. I did not address either as I ran out of time. I’m really wondering what are my chances…

    • There was another one asking about the benefits that they wanted to provide to their employees. re: gym memberships, courses, and gift certificates. — might have been the second comp.

      • Can you elaborate on this particular tax issue? Don’t think I seen this one.

        Good Luck to all the writers!

        • For BBI, they wanted to make sure that their employees were satisfied especially with the planned extended overtime hours– they wanted to provide them with benefits such as giving them gym memberships, access to courses (whatever courses theyd like including music lessons) and lastly gift certificatea ranging from 100 to 500. So they wondered whether these were taxable. Sorry I don’t think we should be thinking about this too much tho it’s giving me cold sweats thinking about it. Lol.

  8. Any thoughts from the CFE writers on the questions above?

  9. Ps. what is this? I am still dreaming about the exam!!!! Anyone else? haha

    oh back at work and cannot focus. darn it.

  10. Did the multi from day 3 with employee overtime non-taxable option count as a secondary indicator for tax? It seems that BBI was suggesting to pay employees non-taxable overtime.

    Hohey I’m still thinking about the exam too lol. I got rocked to my core!

  11. I think overall what CPA has prepared us for and what was actually presented was completely different at least from an assurance perspective. Day 1 was a complete joke and was an insult it felt like CPA was like here is a picture color in the lines like a good 5 year old.

    Day 2 was a disaster from the highest degree. You can’t push a topic for 8 weeks then have no indicator on special reporting or procedures and instead have a weird indicator on governance from an assurance perspective.

    Day three was by far the best I didn’t feel there was any time constraint at 80 mins was a good case length. That said I can see that changing to either a MC format for and bunch of short answers as it would be too hard to try and test breadth on all six competencies meaning each case has four indicators and you miss one you fail.

    Given that this was the first year and a majority was legacy CA students it will definitely be interesting to see what changes they will make.

    As we have done the best I don’t think talking and dissecting what you wrote is the best way to spend the next 12 weeks. It is in the hands of the markers now and we are all in the same boat.

    Best of luck to everyone.

  12. Well said Alicia!

    However some of us like myself and HoHey are back at work and really feel the pressure and anxiety. I really feel as though I failed because of NA’s I have due to time restraints as well as possibly missing the tax indicator for breadth. I think knowing others had the same issue would definitely put us at ease for the time being…

    Also as for the format change and the complexity of day 1, I definitely agree. Day 1 was a joke but I doubt they will change it because its the only logical way to integrate the 3 legacy designations (by adding capstone 1 and day 1 they could make CMA’s happy I guess).

    • I agree with them making CMA’s happy with that case it just feels like from a professional body it was not a professional test. We get our cases marked which looks at our communication skills as well as we still have to write day 2 and day 3 with good communications skills. When I talk about it with my CA friends they laugh in my face about it and wonder if the body is should be taught in high school.

      I wouldn’t worry about missing an indicator I know people who passed the UFE with 1 C and 2 NA it’s all comparative and we all felt the same way.

      I think it will also factor in the number of people they need in the industry. They have noe more CMA or CGA’s entering into the market and they need to plane to demand in the future. We should be in a decent position better than subsequent years where the body will grow with more industry people filling the mix. I think it was 90%+ of public practice in this offering.

  13. Can anyone explain what happen on day one? Why was it a joke? Why would they make one of the days on the CFE easy?

  14. Fred – Day 1 does not test much technical skill mostly high level assessment on your enabling skills (communication, spelling, presentation) and business advice. Plus you get a pass or fail and no NA, NC, RC, C OR CWD in terms of grading.

  15. Weird, the CMA’s always seemed to be the least technical. I’ve met some great CMAs in public practice, but the ones in industry really lacked the knowledge in PMR and Assurance.

  16. Well I think that isn’t their strength. They are good at management accounting, financial planning and analysis.. budgeting forecasting.. stuff like that. PMR and Assurance is more CA knowledge.

  17. Financial planning, budgeting are the easy parts of accounting. But one should really understand the assurance and PMR as that flows into making a stronger budgets.

  18. I wrote the CFE the past week and due to time management issues did not address all assessment opportunities (primary indicators). I’ve heard most students are in this situation so need not worry my friend.

  19. I have seen some conflicting comments here and felt this long winded post will help for anyone writing the CFE in the future. Hopefully this post can be a sticky note for future writers to read.

    I wrote the final CKE last year in May and unfortunately did not pass. I had the daunting task of going through this new process.

    I had to write 4 challenge exams (Core 1, Core 2, with my electives being Assurance and Tax). Since I work in public accounting I had to do assurance and tax as my elective however you can pick other electives (Finance, FInancial reporting) but you will not be able to get the LPA license which is important to some people.

    The challenge exams is pretty much a mix of the old CKE and SOA process. For Core 1 and 2 you had to write a multi and there were 45-60 MPC. For the electives its two multis and 15-25 MPC per exam. The case portion of the case was difficult in my opinion because the institute didn’t offer case writing courses like the SOA. I relied on the PASS challenge exam course and Densmore challenge exam cases. I passed on my first attempt for all.

    It should be noted that CPA has now allowed for certain universities other than Waterloo to have students bypass the challenge exams by taking an additional semester at schools which are approved (Waterloo isn’t the only school any more). Essentially they have to take an extra semester where they learn what the challenge exam offers. Me personally I think this is a waste, as we know university teachers can be out to lunch and likely have no idea what’s relevant under the new process. This really puts those students who took this option at a disadvantage vs students who wrote the challenge exams as they are exposed to technical and case writing early in the game.

    After completing the challenge exams, I moved onto Captsone 1. This is a big project with deliverables every week for 8 weeks. This process was likely to appease CMA as its similar to there final group project that they must do. It wasn’t too difficult but if you have an eyesore group which is randomly assigned it can become a problem and the time commitment is unreal as there is a ton of little things to do.

    Capstone 2 is equivalent to the SOA except there is no exam at the end. CPA provides a 2 day case workshop and a multitude of sample CFE cases (comps and multis) which students have to submit every week for marking. Failure to not submit enough of the cases for marking to CPA will result in failure of Capstone 2 and you cannot write the CFE.

    The CFE, I find it funny how people think the CFE was easy or not to the standard of the UFE. Day 1 is a comp which is based on the capstone 1 case but is 3 years later. There are new issues which need to be addressed and what not. This case is more geared towards MDM, Finance, and heavily on Strategy and Governance in my opinion. Note that this case is independent of day 2 and 3, its either pass or fail. This case is 4 hours

    Day 2, is like a normal comp however you have to select a depth before hand. Those in public accounting like myself have to choose assurance. So if the case has 8 indicators, you will have 5 that are assurance for sure. If you picked tax, you would have 5 and so forth. This is 5 hours, its a common case of for all, but your required to answer for the case change depending on your depth selected.

    Day 3, similar to old UFE process, its 4 hours and is 3 multis that are similar in nature to prior UFE multi’s. It tests all of the 6 competency areas. Day 2 and 3 are marked as another separate component together as part of the passing profile.

    My thoughts on CFE, I felt that it was challenging. I found people who say they struggled came from programs where they didn’t do the challenge exams. This is because they only start case writing when Capstone 2 starts which is in late July. To pick up case writing in the span of a month and a half along with technical to me is too short. Plus most people said the extra semester didn’t really do much to prepare for the CFE. I took Densmore prep class for CFE which I found to be extremely useful and really helped. My study approach was similar to how people would have done the UFE in the past. I had 6 weeks with a study partner and did CPA provided cases, Densmore cases, and selected random prior UFE’s.

    My silver lining in this all is that I was registered as a legacy CA student under the new CPA program. As such provided I pass the CFE, I qualify for dual designation (CPA, CA). I don’t have to fill out the new CPA forms rather all legacy CA forms. The old RQEs that I have to fill out are much easier than the new ones. I am also still required to have the hours and month experience restriction as the old program. If you didn’t register with the ICAO and put yourself down a legacy student you will only get the CPA designation not dual. The cut-off was last year in September to register as legacy student so getting dual is no longer available. You have until 2020 to complete the requirements for the dual designation (exams and experience otherwise you will only get CPA)

    For those of you who think its easier, think about this for a second. ICAO joined with CGA and CMA for the fact that more people where doing CGA and CMA and thus there bodies were growing and getting more fees. This new program is for the most part ran by the ICAO if you ask me. As there now more writers than ever before, whats stopping CPA from lowering the amount of people who passed? It may have been “easier to some” but I’m sure the passing profile isn’t going to be higher than before, and with more writers now its going to be more competitive. If anything I expect it to be harder to pass. Theres no dilution to this process, think of it as the game of baseball, its still baseball we are playing with the new CPA process as the old CA process but its now just in different parks. If you want to hit a home run with the CPA process (pass the CFE) you’ve got to make the adjustments to the new process (Day 1 and Day 2). The only travesty is that people can skip more now through their university program to Capstone 1/2, but it likely wont help until schools get more of a grip on the new program and learn to teach it properly. Hence starting from challenge exams to me is the way to go. The process of challenge to CFE can be done in one year as the old program.

    • So you did youre 6 weeks UFE style schedule and capstone 2 at the same time?

      Just out of curiosity, how many cases/ what kind of cases is Cap 2? Do you possible have a schedule you can share with us?

      • Hi Mezhu1,

        Capstone 2 is the CFE prep, so in the 8 weeks that you are in Capstone 2, you are doing cases and studying at the same time which is why the “UFE style schedule” coincided with Capstone 2.You’re submitting CFE cases on a weekly basis to your facilitator. The rest is individual study time.

        I personally followed Densmore’s CFE study schedule and that worked well with Capstone 2’s schedule.

        Ps. I do not know what these other folks who haven’t written the CFE are talking about when they said the CFE isn’t hard. It is still over 3 days and you’re still sitting and writing for 4-5 hours depending on the day. The level of anxiety is still the same, the difficulty over the process is still the same.

        It’s not a walk in the park– you NEED to study hard for this exam because it is just the same as UFE. And for Day 1, which is what people are calling the CMA component, it has a “different” level of difficulty. When we got practice cases for Day 1 during Capstone 2, they were difficult. There were hidden assessment opportunities like going concern etc, that none of my peers and I detected when we were studying for it. Your time is still restricted. There were a lot of technical analysis necessary in the practice cases that we got — You’re preparing cash flow and variance analysis, NPV’s, etc, financial report analysis to the board (ratios etc). I don’t know about you, but that was not easy. The only difference is that on the day of the exam, what we faced was very different from what we practiced which is what made it easy. I guess that’s what people are talking about when they said it was “easy”. But to be honest, would anyone have predicted that it would be “easy”? No way. I bet you still would have put in the work that was needed to tackle Day 1 of the exam coming in. And if you were to write CFE this May, you better make sure you’re still putting in the work to pass Day 1 and not just go with it simply because we “First Edition” writers found Day 1 “easy”.

        To those folks who have a deep disdain for the CFE/CPA, Please stop belittling the program if you are not in it. I worked hard and studied hard for this exam and I hope I pass. I am pretty sure that’s what people felt when they studied for the UFE. It is not our fault that the UFE is not around anymore, so just stop.

        • 8 weeks? so are you doing 2 multi’s and a comp every week that is to be submitted to cpa? also, is there an attendance requirement?

          I am really just looking for more details, any details, to plan properly…

  20. Hohey. First and foremost, you have every right to be proud of your accomplishments in the new CPA program. It is challenging and requires a great deal of commitment and hard work no matter how you look at it. But when it comes to comparing the UFE & CFE, just know this….the UFE was a full 3-day ass-kicker, day after day after day. At no point during that exam would any candidate (except maybe the top 5% of the pool, gold medalists, honour roll, etc.) consider it to be anything close to easy. Day 1 is a 5-hr comp, nobody finishes with much if any time to spare. This is very different from CFE Day 1 (I mean just look at the comments above). If anything, it is comparable to CFE Day 2 Comp, however with the CFE you select your depth area (i.e. assurance) as oppose to the UFE where you have to know & be ready to address all competency areas, which in my opinion makes the UFE comp more challenging due to its unpredictability and breadth of testing. UFE Day’s 2 & 3 have significant time-constraints and are grueling, very similar to CFE Day 3. Overall, because of lower degree of difficulty in CFE Day 1 and the predictability of the competency areas you need to address on the CFE Day 2 comp, the UFE is undeniably a more challenging exam. I understand candidates doing the CFE want to be respected for their achievements, and that is more than fair. But in the same way, candidates who had to battle the UFE want the respect they deserve as well. So to those candidates that didn’t have the opportunity to write the UFE, just take the CFE for what it is. Don’t look back at the UFE, there is no reason to….the CFE is the way forward now. As for the CA’s that passed the UFE, just respect the new process for what it is and give those that pass the CFE the praise they deserve.

    “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” Alan Watts

    • With all due respect, there’s nothing but admiration for all my peers who went through the UFE/CA/CASB and otherwise. I think I speak for all my peers who are in the CPA program when I say that.

      However, those who are in the CFE have never not shown respect for those who wrote the UFE. From my position, I am just trying to understand why there is so many comments that are being thrown away that undermine the process that we are going through.

      I agree with you — We should all just move on and accept this new process. There’s nothing much to do anyway.

  21. Can we go back to discussing what everyone did on the CFE just like the other UFE comment sections from years back. Instead of talking about which is better. We will all end up with CPA, CA that’s all that matters.

    Anyway, how did everyone do on Day 2? I didn’t get a chance to fully address the audit responsibilities over prospectus.

  22. lol. its true, it doesn’t matter if CFE is easier or harder than UFE. You just need to pass. The respect of the respect comes from the workplace and how you apply what you have learned to your work (technical knowledge/ concise writing etc.)

    be happy 🙂

  23. lol. its true, it doesn’t matter if CFE is easier or harder than UFE. You just need to pass. The respect comes from the workplace and how you apply what you have learned to your work (technical knowledge/ concise writing etc.)

    be happy 🙂

  24. A few of my work friends have been discussing potentially missing the GSRM indicator. I know we are required to obtain an RC in all 6 competencies but what does the exam commmittee consider an RC? Identifying there is an issue and thats it? Please let me know your input guys?

  25. For all the people bantering back and forth and the UFE or the CFE being harder —- you’re both wrong, its not rocket science, it’s a decent accomplishment BUT guess what your work accomplishments, work ethic are going to be valued NOT the fact that you passed an exam. So just shut it, we aren’t solving cancer or going to mars…its accounting

    • Bill take a pill, alright? I think we are all smart enough to understand that passing the UFE/CFE isn’t going to skyrocket you to the top of the corporate ladder and/or make you partner within the next year. It is, however, a stepping stone – a very important one at that (in terms of your legitimacy in this profession). People are bickering about the difficulty between the CFE and the UFE because some people want to have an upper hand over others. The bottom line is, both exams tested the exact same topics. The jist of it is, those who pass the CFE should not feel undermined by past UFE writers. People care about this solely because of the hours of studying and intense commitment to this stupid 3 day exam. It’s not a “decent” accomplishment, its a great accomplishment, and ranks up there with passing the BAR, getting into a great med school, etc. Don’t be so god damn cynical and rain on everyone’s parade.

      P.S you could argue that very few people in this world actually get to do something extremely meaningful in their lifetime. That doesn’t mean, however, that the others can’t be proud of the accomplishments that you seem to deem insignificant.

      • This does not rank close to the bar lol. It’s a regurgitation of case facts with some memorization attached to it! whether your first decile or 9th decile you become a CA and trust me there isn’t much of a difference from 1-9..moderate IQ definitely not equivalent to law bar or MD…the median compensation survey’s don’t lie.

        • I know a couple individuals that have written both and one of them would disagree with you. My question – How is the bar any different? It’s essentially applying case facts to legal principles, weighing various options, etc (Sounds similar to the UFE…) Stop trying to play off your opinion as actual fact.

    • lol this is so entertaining to watch on my work breaks

  26. Can we please go back to talking about how the CFE. This is the CFE blog right? How did the CFE go everyone?

    • Hey Derrick,

      It is a bit frustrating isn’t it! How are you dealing with waiting for results? I honestly hope that the pass rate will be higher for this first offering. I feel like I definitely could have done better on that exam, but I know most people feel the same way. I honestly don’t think it is best to discuss the fine details of the exam seeing that we still have over 2 months to wait on the results.

      On that note — It really depends on how other people do on it, I suppose. I feel like I caught on on most of the tax issues on Day 3, which seems to be what most people on here are worried about. BUT I do not know if I did enough to discuss the SG Assessment Opportunity which echoes what Jessica says above. Although really, all we need is breadth across.

  27. It’s true UFE AND BAR are a lesser IQ test I know people in both profession who maybe able to pass the exams but can’t tie there shoe lacing and are running around in circles in life. Don’t be fooled! real success comes from work accomplishments like Bill said and besides being an engineer I could probably get 2 weeks of training and do both exams lol…cpa = the new mba


  28. Hi Guys, I need some information on capstone 1 and capstone 2. I failed UFE 2015 and will be writing CFE in May 2016, but before I will have to take capstones. Are they very hard and time consuming?

    • Hi Anna,

      First off very sorry to hear about you failing. My colleague failed and he’s probably the smartest guy in our group and I’m at a BIG 4! He told me he is not allowed to take the May 2016 CFE, its for special writers. You will take Capstone 1 starting may and then take the September CFE. If you registered before Feb 2014 then your going to get your CPA, CA just as you would if you passed the UFE. So don’t worry!

    • Anna,

      Capstone 1 is time consuming because of the extent of group work involved. Compared to all other modules though, it is not difficult. You need a solid grip on technical info though. We still needed consolidations, valuations, NPV analysis etc. But it really is not bad.

      Capstone 2 is difficult ONLY because of the cases that you are exposed to in preparation for the CFE. But if you have already prepared for the UFE, I am sure that you would do fine in Capstone 2. Everyone who wrote the mock exam for Capstone 2 passed Capstone 2 (or so I have heard) so you don’t need to worry about this module.

  29. Did anyone here write the CFE a few weeks ago? What did you think of it? How do you think it went?

  30. How did you guys find Day 2?

    • Day 2 was a mixed bag for me.

      Outside of the clear accounting issues they had I also stated that they had no revenue recognition policy for the leasing business. I added suggestions for this based on IFRS.

      I did get caught up with the RAMP section and did not have a chance to go back and add adjustments to my quant unfortunately which has me worried.

      I also didn’t add much information to the final required which was the Additional Audit Responsibilities during an IPO and Prospectus.

      I think some area’s I did well and other’s just ran out of time. I didn’t find it too challenging though.


    CBV OR
    CFA OR
    CRM OR
    FRM OR


    • It all depends on your current career experiences and what you want to do or achieve in the near future. All the designations you stated are from complete different specializations. Let us know that and we can give our suggestions.

      • Well I was thinking of going into Investments and securities valuations or somewhere along that lines. But i have heard that there is a good demand for InDepth tax courses these years. They get pretty high paid jobs these days and the problem with CFA is that its the new MBA!! I can do CBV and still do valuations but i want to the advantages and disadvantages of these designation, whats the trend??, where do you think the market is going, This morning i heard that due to job lossess in canada more and more ppl are now becoming self employed!! Money is my motivation!!! So i dont care, i can do anything, I have done section 55 rollovers to building my own basement and making it a rental property!!! I want to know where is the money at!!! yea….. that sums it up!!

  32. With some perspective from the past:

    Day 1 of the CFE has its origins in an earlier version of the legacy CMA program, before the SLP. In that program, the second day of their National Entrance Exam was a four-hour case exam. This then got moved to the middle of the SLP.

    Day 2 of the CFE cannot be compared to the comp cases of either the much earlier Uniform Final Examination or the more recent Uniform Evaluation from the legacy CA streams. Some here like to point out that the Uniform Evaluation comp cases had a five-hour limit, but the comp cases of the much earlier Uniform Final Examination (until the 1990s) had a stricter, less flexible four-hour limit and quite a bit more exhibits to read and digest. Also, students writing Day 2 of the CFE don’t have to worry about satisfying indicators in at least five competency areas.

    Day 3 of the CFE differs from Days 2 and 3 of the UFE because it’s no longer guaranteed that a case will cover Financial Reporting and/or Assurance.

  33. Good luck to all!

    I think the biggest worry for a lot of us is the stupid results celebrations our companies will be holding for us.

    The thought of failing and having to share that with everybody from your office all in the same day is horrifying.

  34. I am enrolled into CPA from CGA and just realized that I need to declare my role in writing day 2 exam. I am really frustrated as not sure which one to choose. Does it matter in exam wise? I do not work for public practice but feel like I am better at assurance. Or should I go with my career, which is more like finance area… But I am not sure if I could accomplish that role… Should I choose the role based on actual life career or chances Im gonna pass the exam?

    • 90% of the candidates are in the assurance role , 5% finance , 3% tax , 2% performance management

      • Thank you m b. I read through exam answer guide and finally set my mind to finance role. Hopefully it was a right decision.

        • Silvia,
          I came from CGA too, and found they focused more on internal accounting where CPA is more external. For that reason, I did not choose assurance.

          Good luck!

          • Thanks, Steph. I am currently taking capstone 1. How about you? I feel like I am the only one still in the running of becoming CPA… All my other friends, they either passed CGA or not in a rush of pursuing CPA now… Are you in Vancouver BC?

          • I just wrote the CFE at the end of May and I am in Alberta. There was lots of legacy students I wrote with, mainly CA’s and CGA’s. Try not to get discouraged though, there is a lot of similarities between the programs, case approach I found was the biggest difference, and I found the Densmore course helped a lot with that.

  35. Sadruddin Sadruddin

    I am chartered accountant from Pakistan and have got admission in cpa ontario now I want to register for capstone 1 can someone please guide me because when i registered it stated that i have to do module zero,

    • Hi,

      Module zero is basically to capture old course knowledge. You do not pay course fees. You just choose whatever you feel like you need to catch up i.e. area you need to review. Or, you could simply choose none by choosing nothing. It does not affect anything.

  36. Hi Everyone,
    It’s great to read about the the experience of last CFE. I will be writing CFE in coming September. I came from CGA. My biggest fear is my typing speed. It is getting better by wring the case but still I couldn’t finish multi case within the time limit. It is very frustrating.
    I am found a website to help me with my typing speed.

    Any suggestion on increasing the typing speed?


  37. Hi everyone,

    I am enrolled in Core 1 (FAR), which begins this September, and am curious as to the pass/fail rates for each module. There is plenty of information on pass/fail rates for the american CPA program, but seemingly none pertaining to Canada’s CPA designation. I have heard anywhere from 40%-70% of candidates pass each module on their first try, however, from where I live, the pass rate appears to be closer to 70%.

    does anyone have any information regarding pass/fail rates? If not, can you compare CPA difficulty to university accounting courses?


    • Lucas,

      I would not worry about the modules. I challenged the exams (old CA stream, was switched over), so I studied with Densmore and I did good on all of them, first time pass on all 4. Most people I know did the same.

      As long as you write practise cases and do practise multiple choice you will be fine. Do not worry about the average pass rate – strive to be above average.


      • Core 1 and Core 2 are 75% multiple choice and not that hard. With a Densmore pack you should be able to annihilate them. Electives are a bit more tough. I took assurance just so I would have a chance as a CMA track being thrown in with 90+% CA and managed to get a middling pass, and that was with the CPA elective plus Densmore. Same combo for performance management got me to within a hair of distinction, one stupid move bumped me down to RC on one indicator. CFE: CPA plus some Densmore cases plus PrepFormula tutoring… one day left and news in December.

  38. 2 weeks to go and I couldn’t score a single C on Day 2 to save my life. I’m CMA track, never intend to work in audit ever. There are a total of four practice cases on the entire planet for the Performance Management elective and I have so far failed three of the four, with 2-4 RC and the rest NC or NA. I do ok on Day 1 and Day 3 cases but get slaughtered by Day 2. Any clues on how I can pass and escape this hell?

    • Hey Small Shark,

      Don’t be disappointed. We all are in same boat. Just be confident and practice. If you are good in day 3 case then you are more than 50% safe in day 2 case. You will be able to tackle Financial accounting accounting and management accounting issues. I have taken assurance, so can’t really say anything about performance management.

      Be positive and try your best!!
      Good Luck

    • Small Shark, don’t get discouraged man. I wrote performance management last May 2016 CFE and find it very difficult. But then, I ended up passing. Just practice a lot and be confident. If your having hard time, then expect everyone else in the room on the same boat.

  39. Writing my Core 2 exam this Friday!! super nervous. I am doing the dens more objective style questions. Has anyone done it yet? i wonder how in line the dens more questions and cases are with the exam

  40. Results are released today, December 9th, 2016. Here is some encouragement to those who are preparing exam for 2017.
    I wrote CFE in September 2016 in Finance role. I felt good on Day 1, almost too good to be real. Day 2 my Finance role, I felt horrible. I literally panicked during the exam. There are questions I do on a regular base for my work, but I just couldn’t calculate on day 2. I could feel tears in my eyes, so I had to pause, took a deep breathe and regroup myself. So you can imagine how bad it was… and I slept at 3am on Day 3 before exam (did not study, not because of day 2 either…).
    I thought I was going to fail for sure, so I was preparing my heart to accept and ready for next year. There are so many unexpected things. It doesn’t mean you are a loser or did not do enough. Do not let one exam determine your success or who you are. Life goes on and you will keep fighting because you are a warrior.
    I passed CFE. So… even when you feel really really bad, please have faith and hope.
    “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

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