The role you play on a UFE case dictates the kind of response you should give.
In general, in 2010 and 2011 The Board of Evaluators had mostly positive things to say about candidates ability to handle the diverse roles presented to them in the UFE. I’m including the comments from the past three years below in case you want to review, but they have ‘spoilers’ in them as to what was required in the simulation response so for those that want to keep it a mystery you need not look below the line.
Some tips for remembering and adjusting to your role:
- Always write your role down somewhere on your outline – this way it’s easy to check back and chances are you will see it many times and it will remind you.
- Remember who your client is. When providing assurance you are providing this for users of the financial statements and therefore it is important to consider what would be material and useful to them. When you are providing advise to a client (not assurance role) you are serving the client and should be providing a response which would improve their position or interests. One of the more challenging and interesting roles was on the 2006 UFE where you played the role of a CRA Tax Auditor. Many students provided advice to the client instead of playing a compliance checking role which is what CRA is concerned with. Auditor, not tax planner!
- Of course you should always provide only ethical information/suggestions. Rumour has it that in one of the past UFEs some candidates advised a client to commit crimes. I can only assume that candidates that offered this advice weren’t taking the exam seriously but of course it’s important to only provide advise which is ethical.
2009 UFE Report:
The roles assigned and scenarios presented to the candidates on the 2009 UFE continued to be varied, with only one simulation presenting a traditional auditor role (Paper II, Simulation 3). The other audit role (Paper I) involved planning a special engagement to provide assurance regarding a sales brochure, which is a less traditional role. The Board was generally pleased with how the candidates adapted to the roles, which included a controller of a school board, an external tax advisor, a manager of financial reporting for a small public company, an internal accountant asked to comment on a strategic plan, and a CA asked to advise a union. For the most part, candidates presented information that was suited to these roles.
However, candidates seemed to struggle the most with their role on the Assurance indicators. On Paper III, Simulation 1, many candidates forgot that they were asked to review a draft response to the management letter that had already been prepared, rather than respond to the management letter themselves. These candidates often wasted time repeating the case facts rather than going to the heart of the matter and critically analyzing the comments made by Sandra to determine whether the auditors would be satisfied. On both Paper II, Simulation 1 and Paper III, Simulation 3, many candidates lost sight of the nature of the engagement involved and provided invalid or irrelevant procedures.
2010 UFE Report:
The roles assigned and scenarios presented to the candidates on the 2010 UFE continued to be varied, with only two simulations presenting a traditional assurance role (Paper II, Simulation 1, and Paper III, Simulation 3). Candidates generally adapted to the roles, which included an advisor to an executive committee (Paper I), a financial advisor on a proposed merger (Paper II, Simulation 2), an advisor for a new business opportunity (Paper II, Simulation 3), a mergers and acquisitions consultant advising on a potential purchase (Paper III, Simulation 1), and an advisor to a client on various issues associated with the death of a spouse (Paper III, Simulation 2). For the most part, candidates presented information that was suited to these roles. The one exception was on Paper III, Simulation 1, where candidates were asked to develop due diligence procedures for a potential purchase. Some candidates struggled to fulfill this role and, instead, fell back into the traditional auditor role.
2011 UFE Report:
The roles assigned and scenarios presented to the candidates on the 2011 UFE continued to be varied, with only two simulations presenting a traditional assurance role (Paper III, Simulation 1, and Paper III, Simulation 2). Most candidates adapted to the roles, which included an advisor to a retired business owner regarding the calculation of a bonus the owner was to receive after retiring (Paper III, Simulation 3), an advisor on a new business opportunity and expansion (Paper II, Simulation 1, and Paper II, Simulation 3), an advisor to a small-business client regarding various issues (Paper II, Simulation 2), and a consultant to a government-controlled organization (Paper I). For the most part, candidates presented information that was suited to these roles.