SOA

SOA #2 Results Out

The final UFE cohort to go through is now complete. Congrats the the many candidates who successfully completed the second sitting of the School of Accountancy Exam and received their results. Find your results here. The unique June UFE will be the final sitting offered. It’s still a bit too early to go too hard for the UFE so enjoy the holidays and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get to work (at work) and hit the books in the new year so come well rested.

Congratulations again!

SOA 2014 Results!

Congratulations to the very many successful SOA 2014 writers who received good news today! Phew, it feels good to be on to the last hurdle. Sounds like you’ve got a pretty good weekend coming to you! More coming later today about next steps. For now – congratulations and get celebrating!

View the Results at the link below!

http://www.cpaontario.ca/soa2014/

To those who received the dreaded bad news today – it sucks. We all know it sucks and you should take the weekend to mope, complain and come to grips with it. Dust yourself off quickly because you’ve got a unique opportunity – no time before do you have another chance so soon. There is an SOA makeup session prior to the final UFE in November and you have a real shot at getting through it and only a few months behind your colleagues.

SOA Results Tomorrow

That sure went by fast… At least for those who aren’t waiting for results.

Tomorrow is SOA results day and the end of the painful wait that most of you are enduring. Almost there.

For those getting worries again and need something to do today, here’s an activity I suggest: go through previous years’ SOA results, in particular the breakdown of what percentage of people scored at which level on the final. You’ll see it’s still quite common to score NA and NC on the final. This will hopefully ease your worries about those few things that you know you missed. You can also go through the past comments and you’ll see plenty of people missing various things – perfectly normal. If that doesn’t work, well, at least we’re less than a day away now.

Reminder, SOA results are released at 10AM at the link below.

http://www.cpaontario.ca/soa2014/

SOA done, now take a break

Congratulations to all those in Ontario completing the SOA final exam today. It’s been a tough slog for many and most of you are no doubt tired or worn out from the experience. The good news is that between now and SOA results day I would strongly suggest you take a break from anything SOA/UFE related. This is what many people do and it’s perfectly fine and advised so enjoy the upcoming long weekend and enjoy the next few weeks SOA/UFE-free.

There is more than enough time between SOA results and the UFE in September to get all the practice and training you need.

While you’re welcome to talk about the exam in the comments I suggest you forget about it until results day for now. You can’t change your response now and you don’t know how it’s being marked so it’ll only add stress in your life.

Congratulations again – you’ve now joined the generations before you who have made it through the unique SOA experience.

One down, one to go

Congrats to everyone getting through the first day of SOA exams today. Hopefully you are finding some way to relax and get a great sleep tonight rather than hanging out on this blog but in case you’re not… Remember tomorrow is a completely new day and whether you did great today or bombed it, tomorrow will make a difference to your end result.

Therefore: forget about today now and go full-effort again tomorrow. As tends to happen every year, a lot of people have an exagerated view of their performance (usually to the downside) so don’t let that impact your level of effort tomorrow.

Good luck and best wishes!

Welcome to SOA and Suggested Reading

Hey there – welcome to the start of the 2014 School of Accountancy!

Excited for more? I’ve put together a reading list below which you can add to your readings in the next few weeks during SOA. Have a look through them all or choose your own adventure!

And as always, the comments are open to chat and ask questions.

Some SOA Tips

To those attending SOA in the near future, here is a few tips to make your stay more pleasant:

1. Bring something soft to sleep on like a (or a few) foam pads. The beds in the residence are very unpleasant and pretty much like sleeping on a wooden board. Unless that’s your thing I suggest you soften it up for yourself. It will help you sleep when you need it most.

2. Another something useful you could bring is a printer or print all the material in advance, including the mock exams. It may seem obvious, but you’ll need to print all the practice simulations and solutions. I always liked having a paper copy of the response I’m marking as well but some people can do this well on the computer.

3. As you may know, you’re not supposed to use the stoves in the residence so my experience during SOA was that anyone with a microwave was very popular.

Anyone else out there have suggestions for this year’s cohort?

CKE, May edition and SOA around the corner

It has been entirely too long since I sat and updated things around here. Sorry about that – it’s been one heck of a busy few months for me. The good news is that I think most of the best content is already here so nothing is stopping you from having a look around and using it! Now back to business…

CKE, May edition

The CKE is right around the corner. For some this will be a nervous second (or third+) attempt and for others this will be their first go at it. Hopefully you’ve taken the advice offered here many times – study similar to what worked for you in University. With the CKE only a little more than a week away, I’d also suggest you stick pretty much to writing practice exams at this point, of which there are many available. Best of luck in this remaining week!

Assuming positive results after the May sitting, you needn’t worry about somehow being behind January writers. In fact, your technical will be fresher so you’re in a great position.

SOA around the corner

For the rest of the folks, you’ve no doubt been getting introduced to cases through your prep courses or on your own recently. We’ve talked about some loose schedules in the past and while it’s good to be getting more and more proficient with cases, you’ll really start picking it up during SOA in June (for Ontario). I know a lot of other provinces introduce/practice cases a lot more throughout their two year programs so it’s a little different.

Just a reminder, SOA can be tough for a lot of people. They will be long days and it’s easy to get burned out so the key in May for you is to enter June with your A-game. Don’t overdo it in May in anticipation of SOA. If you think about it, you’re writing 20+ cases in June, which will get you quite a bit of experience very quickly. The only cases that count though are the four taking place June 24-25 so always keep that in mind and plan accordingly.

The big differences between SOA and UFE

To get Ontario students up to speed with the differences between SOA and UFE, today you have your briefing. Some are obvious and some you may just be learning today.

The facts

Indicators are now called Primary and Secondary (Not Diagnostic and Summative!)

Each primary indicator is a ‘summative’ indicator meaning that it’s worth points. Each indicator is worth the same amount of points.

Only primary indicators are worth points. Secondary indicators are not worth anything (except, well, in very rare cases which we’ll cover at a later time). Secondary indicators used to be used to rate ranking (i.e. you were supposed to rank them low and not cover them) but more recently they’ve just done it by adding a time crunch on primaries.

PQs are different and less frequent

The UFE still uses PQs like SOA but it’s not on every case like it almost is on the SOA. Also, the UFE doesn’t use PQs to judge your writing style like the SOA does. In the SOA I found that the PQs are just an average of the rest of the indicators. On the UFE the PQs are specific issues that often are hidden and you’re expected to make ‘the leap’ and figure it out. This could be things like fraud or it can be stuff that really requires you to make a leap and think truly deeply about a simulation. These are tough on the UFE and most don’t start to pick them up until the final week or so.

The UFE is three days

Just incase you didn’t already know. First day is a 5 hour comp and the remaining two days are multis at 4 hours each ranging from 60-90 minutes each.

Passing the UFE is way different than passing SOA

For SOA only your total mark counts. Your total marked is compared to the rest and some passing average is set, similar to CKE. This means that you can skip (for example) Tax and still pass the SOA if your other areas make up for it.

Not the case with the UFE. You must meet both depth (how well you can demonstrate that you know PMR and Assurance) as well as breadth (you must show a minimum competence in every indicator). If you’ve been coasting and avoiding a competency then this is the time to fix that. Again, we’ll have more detail on this later this week.

 Scoring is different

NC is now worth zero. RC is still 3 points while C and HC are 6 points therefore your aim is to score a minimum of RC and a maximum of C. If you’re that good, shoot for HC but you’d better be that good 🙂

 

The opiniony stuff – Stuff that people might debate but I’m pretty sure is correct

UFE is more focused on depth

Yes, SOA tests depth, too. UFE tests it more. You’ll be expected to perform deeper analysis, provide more than one possible way to tackle an issue and compare the merits of each and then make recommendations. This will take some practice but four weeks worth will make you much better at PMR issues. On a side note, it’s interesting how many times I’ve had to do similar in real life.

Time Pressure

I know you’re expecting me to say that the UFE is more time pressured – just the opposite. Most of the people I speak with seem to think that the UFE is less time pressured than SOA. This isn’t to say that you won’t feel it in some of the cases (this is required to force you to rank) but it’s considered less time pressured overall. This gives you some more time to think and to use the Handbook where necessary.

Direction

The UFE is less directed. Issues can be harder to spot when starting out, and certainly the level of depth you might think to write to isn’t as clear at the beginning. You’ll also be put in more situation where you must rank.

 

You can see that although there are differences to be aware of, they’re very manageable with the time you have left. More to come, friends!

What differences are you most nervous about and why?

Go get back to real life for a few weeks!

Those who just finished SOA, congratulations!

Now go get back to real life for a while. Take some time off, get back to work, do whatever it is you want while waiting for the results. Just don’t think about the exam too much 🙂

Yeah, I know.. Look at me saying this silly stuff, easier said than done, of course!

Congratulations once again!

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