December 2016 CFE Results

CFE results time is upon us again! From the comments in the last few days here and from the candidates I’m working with I’m quickly brought back to my own results day a few years back now. Even before the results – congratulations for making it through the long and tiring wait.

If you’re not sure where to go to get the CFE results, below are some of the key spots to check for your results.


Recipient of the Governor General’s Gold Medal and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada cash prize of $5,000 for the highest standing in Canada in the September 2016 Common Final Examination:

Ms. Julie Cardinal PricewaterhouseCoopers s.r.l./S.E.N.C.R.L. Montreal (QC)



1,249 Successful Writers!

Results released Friday, December 9 at 10 AM EST
Go here: CPA Ontario September 2016 CFE Results

Recipient of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada Gold Medal and cash prize of $2,500 for the highest standing in Ontario in the September 2016 Common Final Examination: Ms. Sanly Zi Shan Li KPMG LLP Toronto (ON)



866 Successful Writers!

Results released Friday, December 9 at 9 AM EST
Go here: CPA Quebec December 2016 CFE Results



(British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon)

Results released Friday, December 9 at 7:00am Pacific
Go here: CPA West December 2016 CFE Results

Recipient of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada Gold Medal and cash prize of $2,500 for the highest standing in Western Canada in the September 2016 Common Final Examination: Lindsay Mclean Deloitte & Touche LLP Calgary (AB)



(Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Bermuda, Caribbean)

212 Successful Writers! (At least that is my count from the cryptic PDF file put up)

Results released Friday, December 9 at 9:30am AST
Go here: CPA Atlantic Web Site CFE Results

Recipient of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada Gold Medal and cash prize of $2,500 for the highest standing in Atlantic Canada in the September 2016 Common Final Examination: Mr. Andrew Garrett Nickel PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Halifax (NS)


  1. failed the cke, passed the cke, failed the SOA, passed the SOA, failed the UFE, passed capstone 1, passed capstone 2…..CFE we shall seeeeee!!!

  2. Super nervous.. Can’t stop thinking about those financial issues

  3. Day 3 was bad for me especially Case 3.
    Funny how all the negatives come right at the top!!

  4. The issues were very challenging but I was able to use the handbook. I am not very confident about day 2; the day 3 case 3 was a killer for me.

  5. An early congrats to all successful 2016 CFE writers today! Enjoy the well deserved moment and celebrations!

    For those who were not as fortunate, please see my blog post posted today entitled: Next steps for experienced writers – thoughts and perspective from an experienced CFE instructor and coach:

  6. Waiting game is brutal ..Can’t take it any more !! Heart is pounding !!

  7. same here. Why can’t they just post it?? Urrgghh

    • Failed level 1 and level 3 audit

      6th decile and failed level 1 .. so result must be less than 70 %

      • Failed level 1 with 2 decile ranking but passed all other levels (2,3,4).

        I don’t understand why?

        Can anybody help me to understand what decile ranking 2 means…. I would appreciate for your answer.

        • Candidates who didn’t pass level 1 are ranked from 1-10, indicating how they performed against other candidates who didn’t pass level 1. A decile ranking of 1 is those who were the closest to passing, and level 10 is those who were furthest away from it. If you got a 2, you were closer to passing than those with a 3-10.

          CPA have said “Candidates who fail at Level 1 and are assigned an overall sufficiency grouping of 1 or 2 may want to request a review of their results (an appeal). Candidates who failed to demonstrate competence in one specific competency area at any of Level 2, Level 3 or Level 4 may want to request an appeal”.

          Obviously there is a cost to do so, and there is a risk the appeal wouldn’t change your result – but it sounds like you were close to passing so it might be worth the risk.

  8. Passed day1; failed day 2-3 at level C (role) and passed all other levels… Is it worth it to ask for a result review? Have anyone heard any success stories from fail to pass after an appeal?

    • i’m in the same boat.. failed level 3 – Role.. I’m also considering an appeal + PAR

    • Were you in Assurance role?

    • Also wondering about this, I passed all levels except level 3 (role – assurance). Wondering how the appeal process works and how they go about marking it fairly. Would the mark still get scaled like everyone else’s that wrote with us?

    • There are modified comments from a post I wrote a few years ago but should give candidates an idea what to do in regards to ordering a PAR and/or re-grade of the CFE exam. If you still aren’t sure, please contact me directly for a consultation:

      PAR Reports:
      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 CFE. Others, like myself, believe a PAR could be helpful to pinpoint areas of strengths and weaknesses on your performance at the CFE. 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 CFE coach/instructor. If you review it on your own, you run the risk of ‘burning’ the prior year’s CFE 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 CFE.

      Re-Grade Process:
      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, CFE coaching and marking, practice cases, etc.

  9. 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.”

  10. PASSED!!!!!! Is it just me or the number of students that have passed in incredibly high this year (1,2k Ontario, 866 Qc)
    I certainly won’t complaint, but i’m almost scared that there was some kin of mistake !

    • I was told one program had a 100% pass rate, but it kicks out 1/3 of its students before the capstones resulting in a net yield of only 67%. My estimate of the pass rate from a sample not subject to intensive weeding out is 75%, high but not excessively so. So if you did bomb, so did 1 out of 4 other people in the room.

  11. Does anyone know when the results of the Sept CFE get published in the newspaper?

  12. Are the names of the successful writers be in the newspaper? If so which one? I am from Quebec thank you.

  13. Hi there,

    I failed day 1 and passed day 2/3. Looking for others who also failed day 1. I am feeling pretty bad about it right now but I’m a lot better than results day. I still don’t know what exactly they want out of day 1. I know they say “soft and professional skills” but that doesn’t mean a lot to me. I did not have much trouble on day 2/3 – Assurance role. But day 1 was a disaster for me. I thought I had at least talked enough about the strategic/operational issues but I guess it was not enough. Is it worth getting the PAR for this day? Is there some form of specific format they want? The issue that I have with day 1 is that there is not a lot of practice for it like days 2/3. There was only 2 practice cases and they were not consistent with each other in terms of a layout or pattern to follow in how the response should look. I understand that most people passed day 1 with only the two cases, but what about those who aren’t good enough with two cases? I will also include Densmore day 1 for next CFE offering but now I do not have any other options for day 1 cases since next year will be a different day 1 case.

    • NK, I was in the same boat as you last May 2016. Passed Days 2 & 3 but missed Day 1. The materials they shared in Capstone 2 were way different with the actual exam.

      I re-wrote it last September and passed this time. I found Densmore to be more aligned with the BOE requirements (e.g. situational analysis using external environment, internal environment, key success factors, etc..). I only took a one day off to study Day 1.

      Don’t be discouraged. You will definitely make it next time. Day 2 & 3 is really difficult so good thing you cleared all those days.

      • Thanks for the support. It’s a little comforting knowing that you only had to take one day off. What was your study schedule like if you don’t mind me asking? Did you really need a lot of time between May – September CFE? Did you understand the case inside out? This offering was a specific division rather than the whole company (The company comprised of two divisions under one holding company) so it threw me way off in the exam. But there must be a pattern to day 1, no matter how different it is from case to case. I know I did not put a lot of time into studying day 1 because I thought it was not going to be the day that would fail me if I did fail. Sure enough, I failed day 1.

        There is no more capstone 2 for repeat writers from my understanding so I believe I only have the materials from this past capstone 2 and Densmore day 1 experienced writers.

        • I only did the 2 cases by Densmore and followed their response structure. You need to prepare a bridging document – Densmore will talk a lot about it when you take their course. Also, read sample CFE responses included in the CFE Report. This will give you the idea as to what elements they need for you to pass Day 1.

          I know its hard and unbelievable that we failed the day where most of the students passed. But I guess the lesson here is to know how to play their game. Just make sure you don’t make the same mistake again.

          Best of luck NK! I still congratulate you for passing Days 2&3 (these days are no joke after all). This is just a bump on the road. You will certainly pass your CFE next year and eventually get your CPA. 🙂

        • Hi NK, congratulation on passing your Day 2 & 3, I did not pass Day 2 &3 with Assurance role and I wonder if you could share your experience on how was your study approach for case writing technics and technical studying and if you took any CFE program such as PASS or Densmore. Thanks for your help.

          • Hi,

            I took the Densmore 5 day prep course. They do not teach you a lot about technical, Densmore teaches you how to write the cases. They are very effective in their methods. I followed a very strict study schedule over the 6 week Capstone 2. Densmore provides a study schedule but I went with a bit more strict schedule. You need to debrief thoroughly after each case. The game isn’t to write as many cases as possible but to improve your writing technique on each and every case. Day 2 is all about reaching the depth in FR and Assurance (This means you must be very thorough in your discussion which means typing quickly is an asset to you. Hit as many C’s as you can in FR and Assurance areas. Do management accounting type requireds last since you are not a PM major) Each day 2 case is very similar to the next in terms of the layout. Start with FR (ALWAYS) and begin the audit planning memo. The reason is because you will need to know what the FR issues are when you get to the audit plan (Especially at the testing stage of the memo).

            Day 3 is all about breadth (This means you need to hit as many areas with a minimum of “RC” as you can). Do not do FR first, you had to have hit depth in FR on day 2 so breadth for FR on day 3 is not relevant to you. There are no depth opportunities on day 3, if I remember correctly. You need to manage your time effectively and should aim to not take longer than the recommended time. You want to finish the case (even if you did finish your answer for a part of the case, you have to move on). Some cases are designed not to be finished entirely. However, since I can type very quickly I was able to finish pretty much all cases within the time limit nearing the end of Capstone 2.

            This was just my approach. Everyone can be different in their methods. If you wouldn’t mind, could you tell me what was your technique for day 1?

          • Really try to understand the feedback guides and determine how to hit the C’s for technical. Basically the format for FR is:

            What is the issue? (Assess the situation)
            Why is it an issue? (Analyze the major issue)
            How do we correct the issue? (Conclude)

            Build flowcharts to guide your studying. Densmore teaches you all about this stuff. Technical is learned by debriefing the cases and going through the VPL. The trick for day 2 is to understand enough of the technical and where to find it in the handbooks given to you so on exam day you can navigate quickly should you require it.

          • Thanks NK for your great detailed study approach, I appreciate your help. For the Day 1 this is what I did:

            1. Minimal spelling and grammar errors close to zero. You could check your spelling at the exam.
            2. I spent not more than 15 minutes for situational Analysis
            3. For every single issue discussed several implications
            4. For the identified issues I used WIR format
            5. A balanced discussion of qualitative and quantitative
            6. The ethical issues need to discussed

            Since your role was assurance, could you please let me know what was your approach for tackling the Procedures?

            As you know, Day 1 focus is not the technical accounting, be careful and do not get trapped to the technical analysis. Hop this helps and thanks again NK!

          • Follow the format of RAMP for the audit planning memo’s. (Risk, Approach, Materiality, Procedures). Start by discussing factors that increase or decrease risk. Then determine an approach such as controls based, substantive, or combined. Then determine materiality at the overall financial statement level and then determine performance materiality. Then you can do procedures. For procedures, you need to tailor them to the specific risk areas based on each case.

            For example:

            If there is an cut-off of revenue issue(because you determined this in your financial reporting analysis), you should likely have a procedure in place to test for this. Say, look at deposits that occurred near year end and vouch them to receipts to determine when the revenue should have been recognized. Try to come up with 4 or 5 procedures at least to achieve “C”.

            Don’t worry, it’s all a game. Just like day 1 which you passed. Learn to play the game for day 2 and 3 as well and you will most definitely be successful. I am going to ensure I learn the game for day 1 for the 2017 CFE.

          • Thank you so much NK for your encouragement! I am sure you will pass Day 1 strongly.

          • Hi 2017 CFE Writer,

            How did you find this year’s Day 2? I focused too much on assurance and missed a few of the FR issues.. im so scared that i wont pass level 2..

        • I felt like I did ok this time around. I discussed everything I could find. I was confused because there were fewer a/os than I expected. I only talked about the us expansion in my overall conclusion. But I feel like there were 3-4 clearly directed requireds everything else would have been a hint at something. I just hope it was all enough to pass!

          • Day 2 was a killller

          • Was there US expansion on Day 2?
            I wrote Day 2 assurance and didnt find anything new or scary for Assurance; just that FR took me forever to understand. And we need it for Assurance. Overall on Assurance I spent about 2 hours and thats not enough:(.

    • Hi NK,

      I am in the same situation as you are having failed day 1 only and going to take the Densmore course. I took day 1 little easy as well. Lets connect. so we could share some study techniques

      • Sure we can do that. CFE 2017 is approaching.

        • I’m re-writing day one only for PRI. I got my PAR and it was one AO missed a strategy and gov issue with Jennifer. I feel like this is where most ppl failed Day 1. It was an undirected AO.

          • Hey,

            I missed that AO as well. I noticed that was a problem but wasn’t completely aware of how Day 1 exactly worked. If you want, we can help mark each others practices or bounce questions off each other. I am only re-writing day 1 for PRI as well.

        • Yes definitely, we can connect and keep each other motivated for this last exam. I’m not sure how much technical to study for day 1. Since it’s not a technical exam. Reasonable answers get a pass but missing even one AO is a game changer. So it’s just planning properly to catch every issue. I wonder if a week of studying will be enough.

          • I think a week off from work should be sufficient especially if you start a bit earlier. Send me your e-mail and we can keep in contact through that.

        • Is there a way to send my email to you directly? Or do we need to use the study buddy search.

          • Hi I am also in the same boat as you guys. I missed the AO relating to Jennifer. We should all connect

          • Hey,

            The Densmore schedule recommends you to start on August 12th if you have no time off or if you can get three weeks off you start on August 26th. I recommend getting the PrepFormula package over Densmore – it’s more flexible and has better content, the live webinars. If you guys have any idea how to get each others e-mails without posting on here let me know. I have a couple of people I will be studying with as well in addition to you both if you want.

          • How did you guys find it? Was there any hidden AO? I’m not sure about the US expansion.

        • I’m also doing the DCS course for day 1 and it’s terrible. I’m taking sep 1-13th off to study, I think that should be enough time to write the 5 PRI cases for practice. I feel like I’ve forgotten some of the technical but debriefing should take care of that. I’ll be reading and debriefing the previous day 1 cases for RSI and CHEI but not writing them like DCS suggests. I really hope that will be enough to not make any mistakes this time around. Discussing the underlying issue was my downfall last time.

          • I also will be studying with one other person, my email is Lets connect if you guys are studying in Toronto

          • Hi Oeo,

            I am faced with the same situation in my Sep 2017 CFE as you and NK faced a year earlier- could not pass Day 1 🙁

            I hope you did pass this time around the PRI version 2.

            I am not so clear about the approach that I should take for Day 1 and would like to seek your guidance based on your experience; also was it worth taking Densmore Day 1 course only.

            Would it be beneficial if I order a PAR to know better the reasons for failing Day 1

        • I felt like I did ok this time around. I discussed everything I could find. I was confused because there were fewer a/os than I expected. I only talked about the us expansion in my overall conclusion. But I feel like there were 3-4 clearly directed requireds everything else would have been a hint at something. I just hope it was all enough to pass!

          • Hi Day 1 writer

            I have been going over and over in my head that perhaps I was missing a page in my case of Day 1 V2 of PRI but wanted to confirm with another candidate- there were not any financial statements provided in order to calculate ratio or trends correct? Only some financial information in paragraphs, for example real estate value trends etc.

          • Yah no financial statement analysis for PRI

          • Hi Oeo,

            I am faced with the same situation in my Sep 2017 CFE as you and NK faced a year earlier- could not pass Day 1 🙁

            I hope you did pass this time around the PRI version 2.

            I am not so clear about the approach that I should take for Day 1 and would like to seek your guidance based on your experience; also was it worth taking Densmore Day 1 course only.

            Would it be beneficial if I order a PAR to know better the reasons for failing Day 1

  14. Hello,

    I am writing my Day 2 & 3 CFE in Sep 2017 for the third time and I am shocked and scared to death, and I am hoping you could help me to pick a CFE program.

    I was thinking of either Densmore or PASS program, I did read some good reviews for Densmore but more negative, but nothing about PASS CFE mentor program.

    I really appreciate your comments and experiences with Densmore and PASS CFE program, and I you think I need to retake the Capstone 2.

    • I passed the CFE on the first try and I attended Densmore this past July. I truly believe the reason I passed was because of Densmore. It completely changed the way I was thinking and approached cases.

      They provide you with the necessary tools you need to pass the CFE; a detailed study plan for the summer, how to approach day 2 and day 3 cases, how to create a timeline and plan for each case and help to refine your time management skills.

      It was well worth the money and I would highly recommend it. The firm I work for is small and they send each of their CPA/CA students to Densmore and we’ve all passed on our first attempt (5 of us).

      Remember, you can and will pass the CFE!

      • Thanks NP & KB for sharing your experience with me and words of encouragement, I wonder how much focus is on technical (MA, FR, AU, TAX) as part of the CFE Densmore program, since I need them based on my CFE results. Thanks again

        • In the study schedule you have quite a bit of technical study time at the start. They encourage you to make up scenario flow charts to help you with this. At Densmore they also point out what specific items to focus on in each competency area that are usually tested.

    • I just wrote the CFE for the first time this September and passed. I attended Densmore in July and highly recommend it. I had previously been unsuccessful on 2 modules – so I was definitely not your A+ CPA student.

      At Densmore they provide you with insight on how the exam is written, marked, and what you as a candidate need to do to win the game of the CFE. They honestly put you on a path for success. If you follow their plan, you will succeed. They will stress things like outlining, time management on cases, having a study partner, and debriefing. I believe these things are all major ingredients in CFE success, not only from myself but other candidates I know who have been both successful and not successful.

      I truly believe they set me up for success! Good luck in 2017 – keep your head up, you will succeed!

    • Hi there,

      I wrote the CFE in Sept 2016 for the first time and passed, I took the PASS course through my employer (was mandatory) and also took Densmore. Densmore I paid for out of my own pocket and is a world better than what is offered through the PASS course, I would recommend you spend your time and efforts doing the Densmore course and scrap the PASS course all together!

    • Hello 2017 CFE writer. Firstly, I want to let you know that you have nothing to be afraid of. Set backs occur in life and they will only make you stronger. You are doing the right thing by starting early.
      Enjoy the next few days and really take time to enjoy the rest of the holidays because 2017 will be a busy one for you.

      I suggest that you start looking at your technical notes in January. Make a study plan of action for the first quarter. Perhaps even write down how many hours you will study each week for your theory/technical and specifically which competency area and topics. Starting early will help you build your confidence. Also, you may want to slowly get into case writing by perhaps writing one case each month for the first quarter and then stepping it up slowly. The key is to slowly build your confidence by getting into your 2017 prep.

      Best of luck 🙂


  15. Has anyone who has requested an appeal received a response from CPA Ontario?

    • Nothing yet – they did say closer to early February..

      • I haven’t heard of anyone getting their appeal back yet. CPA Ontario says they will have appeals back by Feb 3rd, 2017 at the latest. PARs will be released by May 5th, 2017. Hang in there – try to get your mind off it if you can (I know this is easier said than done).

      • Hi there,

        I am also planning to appeal my result. I failed the depth in role for assurance though assurance is my strong suit when I was in my master’s. Is there anyway you can share with me your experience from the appeal? How likely is it that they will change the result?

  16. No, I have not heard anything back, and made my appeal, within hours of the results, so thought I would have been one of first to hear (from BC)

  17. Still waiting for a response in SK as well.

    • I haven’t gotten a response for my day 1 appeal and it’s 5.44 in AB. I guess it’s not happening this week then.

    • Hi there,

      I am also planning to appeal my result. I failed the depth in role for assurance though assurance is my strong suit when I was in my master’s. Is there anyway you can share with me your experience from the appeal? How likely is it that they will change the result?

      • An – you should contact your provincial institute. Each one has mentors to guide you through your report and whether you should appeal, or not.

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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.
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  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.


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