Important Update: The 2012 UFE has stopped using Folioviews. See my update here.
One of the best things about writing the UFE in 2010 was that The Handbook was only allowed in electronic form which was not the case in previous years. I had to learn and use the electronic copy which turned out to be amazingly useful. One of my weaknesses is memorizing long rules and for this, the electronic Handbook is extremely useful. You’ll likely encounter some accounting issue in the UFE for which you can’t remember the exact criteria. Now a days it’s as easy jumping into the Handbook for a few minutes, doing a quick keyword search and finding the criteria. Even better, I understand that you can even copy and paste straight into your case which wasn’t possible when I wrote. How can anybody not be doing this all the time? Yet I still find some people prefer to try to cram the whole Handbook into their heads. It’s an open book exam – no need to memorize the book!
When to use Folioviews?
My advice: Get to know that beautiful electronic Handbook during your study period if you haven’t already and use it often! Why risk memory lapses or digging through Handbook sections for the first time during the UFE? It’s also often faster to find the exact criteria in the Handbook and copy it into your case and fill in the case facts as they apply and then conclude. You don’t want to be fiddling around with Folioviews for the first time during the UFE so I’ll say it again, get to know it during your study period and use it often.
When not to use Folioviews?
While the electronic CICA Handbook available is a beautiful thing, unfortunately the Income Tax Act version of it is not. Unless you are very sure that a specific issue is addressed in the ITA and you know where it is or the exact keyword then I have almost never found it useful. Because of the legislative way that the ITA is written, it’s unlikely you’ll find what you need during UFE time to tackle the issue without wasting a lot of time. You are better off trying to address the issue from memory. Sorry, no shortcuts here!
As always, there are some exceptions and in 2010 I was lucky enough to get one of these when LPP (Listed Personal Property) was an issue. This is one of those where having that keyword available to search can be of some use. Another is specific CCA rates so I would not memorize that list. As I’ve mentioned before, it looks like the CICA might be hinting that you should use this more often so it’s worth fiddling around a little if you haven’t before.
How often have you been using Folioviews? Do you foresee any issues that might arise by using it during the UFE?