This practice CPA Common Final Exam (CFE) Day 3 case focuses on Financial Reporting (FR) and Assurance (A) competencies.
This practice CPA Common Final Exam (CFE) Day 3 case focuses on Financial Reporting (FR) and Assurance (A) competencies.
I chatted with Jonathan, an Honour Roll student from CPA CFE 2019. Below is the partial interview and transcript.
Why don’t we start with your background, could you tell us a little about yourself?
I live in Melfort, Saskatchewan, I work at MNP, I’m a designated professional there, so I just got my letters a couple of weeks ago. I graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, with high honours and great distinction there, and I actually wrote honours thesis paper that’s being published in the American Accounting Association Journal this February.
Why don’t you tell us about your CFE prep schedule, for example, how many weeks did you take off and how many hours did you study?
For sure. I took off from start of Capstone 2 onwards, I took a couple of weeks off before, just to relax and get ready, which I would highly recommend if you can, because it was really nice, I found that after a little bit of time off I was ready to start doing something again, so I could get started right into studying full-time.
I took 8-weeks off in total. I studied every day Monday to Friday from 8 to 5, I took a lunch in that time, I treated it like it was my full-time job during that time and then at 5 o’clock I stopped studying. I would just take the evening off and relax like I normally would if I was just working. I tried to maintain as much consistency as I could from working full-time to studying full-time for those 2 months.
Can you tell us how you debrief your cases?
Yeah, so I debrief a lot, I would say compared to some of my cohorts that were at the same firm, I would say I debriefed the most. I really valued that debrief time because I use that as a study period. Instead of just looking at the solution, I would use my debrief time to really dive in, to understand fully where the solution was coming from, what exact handbook reference do they refer to, how they applied them. When I was prepping, I was told that you should spend equal time as the case was to debrief and I definitely did that, if there was a 5-hour case, I spent at least 5 hours debriefing it. That was my main study resource, I never spent a whole day studying technical, most of my technical study was through debrief, so I would spend (for a 5-hour case) the whole next day debriefing.
* * *
I would have tabs in the tracking sheet for each kind of Assessment Opportunities (Management Accounting, Financial Reporting, Assurance, etc. all six of them) and then every case I would type in what was tested, what you were supposed to do, and how I performed on it.
Once you went through this process and you got to CFE, was there anything that surprised you, when you actually got to Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, or was it like you expected?
I found it to be exactly but I expected it to be. For Day 2, we were warned ahead of time that there’s going to be FR [Financial Reporting] issues that you’re not going to know about, so I wasn’t surprised by them necessarily. I was surprised because I didn’t know about them, but I wasn’t surprised that there ones that I hadn’t studied yet.
Knowing that going in, there was really nothing on there that was out of the normal or bizarre, I would say, I found everything to be very, very expected, in how the questions were provided, how many assessment opportunities there are going to be, etc.
Do you use a computer outline or a paper outline?
I did not know what to do on the first day of Capstone 2.
I was a little overwhelmed. Other people knew what their approach was, going in there, their mentor told them to do this so they’re doing it, so I felt a little overwhelmed because I didn’t know what my approach was going to be.
In PEP [Professional Education Program], it wasn’t as essential, because I felt like I had more time in those exams or I could make up time easier so I didn’t feel as pressured to really nail down a strategy, whereas in the CFE, you don’t have extra time. So I played it by ear and tried out some different things, I found on Day 1 and 2, I did my outline on the computer and I did my outline very [in-depth], it was really fleshed out, it had the full AO [assessment opportunities] on it and it had a lot of points that linked back to the analysis underneath it so that it was kind of ready to roll, so that when I was actually writing my response, I was typing in, fleshing out the details, and done.
On Day 3, I didn’t outline on the computer, because I didn’t have enough time. Instead, I would just, on a piece of paper, I write down how many AOs were there, and the highlight of them (FR, Assurance, weakness-implication-recommendation) so I would do the highlights and then do how much time I have for each one, because it was such a short case, that I felt that I didn’t need to flesh out [the details]. I didn’t outline Day 3, it depends on what works for you, I could remember all of them and I found I was wasting time as I was outlining, I could have just been working on the answer.
But on Day 2, I really needed to outline, after 3 and 1/2 hours, it’s a lot of typing and it’s a lot of thinking, and you’re starting to get tired. I found it really beneficial that in that first hour, I had already fleshed out, you know, AO#8, so that at least when I’m typing it out I kind of already have a benchmark to go on and then I just need to flesh in the details and provide recommendation, what it may be.
(I totally agree with you, you just don’t have the time to do that in Day 3. Sometimes there is not even a point, because the requireds are a little obvious, they are jumping out at you).
Exactly, and you know there’s only there’s only gonna be 4-6, so it’s not as Day 2, 14 or 15 of them. You’re not gonna remember what 12 is vs 14, in hour 4, when you’re exhausted.
You mentioned earlier that you had a mentor assigned to you. Can you tell us a little bit about that and if you had just one mentor and if you had a study partner that you studied with and what was that like?
I selected the mentor, but it was all provided through the firm. I really valued having a mentor.
We didn’t live in the same location, but we chatted on the phone once a week, to talk how the week was and things like that. It was just really nice having a mentor because they’ve been through the process, so they know what to say to you, they know what you’re going through.
My mentor had just wrote in the last couple of years, she remembered the practice cases. When I said to her I just did this case, she said, “Oh, I remember that case, that one was terrible!” That was really nice, they knew exactly what I was going through, I really enjoyed that.
I did not have a study partner, I did everything independently at home. I did that the whole way through University and through CPA PEP, so for me that works and that was my preference, because I didn’t want to feel like I was comparing my performance to someone else’s, and I didn’t want to feel like I was holding someone else back because I wanted to study this more or vice versa, because I heard, leading up to it, that someone doesn’t want to study Day 1, for example, but you do, so I felt it was easier if I did it on my own.
Having a mentor was awesome, it was so important to me because they helped me stay grounded and continually remind me that Perfection is not the expectation and that was so important.
If there’s one, single best advice that you would give to future CFE writers, what would that advice be?
Just stay calm and relaxed during the whole process.
Without my mentor, I know I would have spiralled into a super stressed-out, high-strung state, during that whole 8-week and that is not what you need to do prepping for it.
It’s like what you said before about when you peak, you really want to peak at the end of the 8 weeks. If you are high-strung, if you’re studying all night in week 2, you’re not going to make it to week 8. For me that was really hard, because I’m used to [in] University studying all night, try to get the perfect answers, it was a really different study approach for me, but it was so essential, because I could have never maintained a full day and night study pattern for 8 weeks. On the day of the exam, I would have been totally burned out.
Let’s go into a little more technical side of things, we spoke about case outlining and how you do Day 1 and Day 2 on the computer, can you walk us through the exact steps?
* * *
Sign up for the newest CPA CFE 2020 Review Course for a comprehensive prep package.
I’m excited to announce the release of the CPA CFE Day 1 course: CFE Review: The Honour Roll Prep Program. This is a comprehensive prep and coaching course for CPA Canada September 2020 Common Final Exam (CFE) Day 1.
Despite the May 2020 CFE cancellation due to COVID-19, I encourage you to take advantage of this program now, over 90% of CPA students surveyed are already studying for the September 2020 CFE.
CFE Review Day 1 is a supplementary coaching program that teaches approach, case writing skills and strategies towards the CPA Canada Common Final Exam (CFE) Day 1.
The program offers you a 360-coverage of the Day 1 and includes the following learning materials:
Yes. The Days 2 and 3 program in currently under production and estimated to be released at the end of May 2020.
Instructor & CPA Coach
Updated on January 22, 2020
In this policy, “you” or “your” means any person or entity subscribing to and/or using the service (“users”). Unless otherwise stated, “Gevorg CPA,” “Gevorg, CPA”, “I”, “we,”, “my” or “our” will collectively refer to Gevorg Grigoryan, CPA, the supplementary CPA program mentor, coach and tutor.
Information We Collect
We collect information when you access our website or use any of our services (including but not limited to our mobile applications).
We collect the following categories of personal information:
-Identifiers, such as your name, email address, IP address, or account name.
-Commercial information, such as the products or services you’ve purchased, obtained or considered, and other purchasing or consumer histories or tendencies.
-Internet activity, such as your browsing history, your search history, and information on your interaction with our website, our other services, and advertisements.
-Geolocation data, e.g., your physical location or movements.
-Inferences drawn from other personal information listed above, to create a profile reflecting your preferences, characteristics, psychological trends, predispositions, behavior, attitudes, intelligence, abilities and aptitudes.
Information could be collected in any/all of the following ways.
Information You Provide
When you register as a member or request information, we may use our registration and online enrollment forms to collect personally identifying information such as your full name, mailing address, email address, telephone number, educational background and professional information (“personal data”). In addition, if you contact us via email or offline, we may collect the personal data that you voluntarily provide us at that time.
You may choose to voluntarily submit other information to us through our services that we do not request and, in such instances, you are solely responsible for such information.
Information Collected Automatically
For each visitor to our website, our server automatically records IP (Internet Protocol) address, browser type, operating system, domain name, access times, and referring website addresses.
For users interacting with our services, we may also collect various information using different types of technologies. This information includes:
-Type of subscription and your interactions with our Service.
-Details of the queries you make, and the date and time of your request.
-Any content (as defined previously) you post to the Service including answer responses, notes, flash cards, messages, and forum posts you send and/or receive via the Service.
-Technical data, which may include URL information, cookies, your IP address, the types of devices you are using to access or connect to our Service, unique device ID, device attributes, network and device performance, browser type, language, operating system.
-Location data based on your IP address. We may use third-party applications to look up location based on your IP address. At no point will your personal or other identifying data (other than IP address) be used for such specific purpose.
How We Use Collected Information
We may use any information collected, including personal information:
-To complete, perform, and support the activity for which the information was provided.
-To improve the content of our website or services.
-To develop new products and services, and analyze your use of the Service, including your interaction with applications, products, and services that are made available, linked to, or offered through the Service.
-To customize the content and/or layout of our website for you.
-To notify you about updates to our website, if you have consented to receive such information.
-To contact you for marketing purposes, if you have consented to receive such information.
-To process your payment or prevent or detect fraud.
-To contact you for employment opportunities.
We may also use or disclose the personal information for business purposes, including:
-Secure our network and our website.
-Conduct audits related to our current interactions with you
-Debug the site and service to identify and repair errors that impair existing intended functionality.
-Undertake activities to verify or maintain the quality or safety of a service or good that is owned, manufactured, manufactured for, or controlled by us, and to improve, enhance or update them.
-Perform services on behalf of us, including maintaining or servicing your account and providing customer service.
Persons who supply us with their telephone numbers online will only receive telephone contact from us with information regarding orders they have placed online or with regard to technical, billing, or product-related issues when deemed necessary during our regular office hours.
How is the Information Shared
The information collected may be:
-Shared with our agents or contractors who assist in providing support for our internal operations.
-Used by all of our trading names and affiliated group companies, and transferred to other countries for processing. These countries may not have similar data privacy laws, but if we transfer your information in this way, we will take steps to ensure that your information continues to be protected.
-Disclosed when legally required to do so at the request of governmental authorities conducting an investigation, to verify or enforce compliance with the policies governing our website and applicable laws, or to protect against misuse or unauthorized use of our website, to a successor entity in connection with a corporate merger, consolidation, sale of assets, or other corporate change respecting the website.
The information will not be disclosed to third parties unless you have explicitly consented to do so. We are committed to protecting your personal information.
Storage, Security and Transfer of Data
A cookie is a small piece of information that is sent by a website and stored on the visitor’s computer. Cookies are small files and will not pose any significant disk space concerns. Some cookies used by our websites may remain on the user’s computer after they leave the website, but most are set to expire within 30-365 days. You can disable cookies using the settings on your web browser, but doing so will prevent you from taking advantage of customization and certain security features.
Our website (http://gevorgcpa.com) and related services do not collect personal information about your online activities over time and across third-party websites or online services. Therefore, “do not track” signals transmitted from web browsers do not apply to our Sites or Services, and we do not alter any of our data collection and use practices upon receipt of such a signal. We will not respond to Web browser “do not track” signals.
Because we link to social media sites, and from time to time may include third-party advertisements, other parties may collect your personally identifiable information about your online activities over time and across different web sites when you visit this Site.
Please note that not all tracking will stop even if you delete cookies.
We use learning management system called Thinkific for hosting courses and storing your data. The provider(s) chosen employ a variety of security measures designed to ensure data protection and up-time. Although we are committed to employing safeguards to protect user information, due to the inherent nature of online and evolving technologies, it is not possible to completely secure any/all data. We cannot guarantee that data is absolutely safe and secure from intrusion.
How long is the data stored?
The duration of data storage usually depends on the type of information as indicated below. After the indicated time, the data is either deleted or archived (backed up). In cases where the data is archived, we use reasonable efforts to continue to keep it secure until the time data is deemed safe for deletion.
-Personal Information: This data is stored until the time you request to have it deleted. However, we may retain some personal information for a certain duration for us to meet certain legal and financial requirements, to resolve disputes, to enforce our agreements, and to support business operations.
-Subscription data: Subscription-related data is stored until the subscription is no longer active. Once the subscription expires, the data is archived (backed up). As mentioned previously, we make all efforts to keep such data safe until it is deemed safe for deletion.
-Service via organization: If the Service is provided to you through an organization, subscription-related data can be retained until the administrator of the organization gives approval for deletion or until the point the data is deemed irrelevant. After such time, the data can be either deleted or archived (backed up).
Transmission of Personal Data
The user acknowledges and agrees that by providing us any information through our websites and services, the user automatically consents to the transmission of such personal or proprietary user information over international borders, as necessary, for processing in accordance with our standard business practices.
How to Control Your Information
You have the right:
-To request access to the personal information we have about you.
-To request that we delete personal information about you.
-To opt-out of our use, transfer, exchange or disclosure (including to third parties) of personal information about you.
-Not to be discriminated against based upon whether you decide to opt-out.
To exercise the access, deletion, and opt-out rights described above, please submit a verifiable consumer request using one of the following methods:
Email us at support at gevorgcpa.com or use contact us page on our website.
Update Personal Information
You can review and update your personal information along with other preferences from the “Profile” section of the Thinkific website at all times (subject to availability). You can also request to have any personal information, not relevant to the original purpose for which it was collected, removed by emailing to us at support at gevorgcpa.com.
Opt Out of Email Notifications
You can opt out of receiving subscription/service-related notifications and marketing/promotional updates by emailing us at support at gevorgcpa.com at all times. You can also update your preferences by following the “Unsubscribe” link included at the bottom of any email communication, if such link was provided. Due to the technical failures and/or other unforeseen reasons, if the system fails to update your preferences, you can email to us directly at support at gevorgcpa.com
Links to third parties
The links to third party products and services on our website lead to separate entities with different privacy policies. We are not responsible nor liable for the policies at those linked sites. If you suspect or witness any privacy violations at any of the linked sites, email to us directly at support at gevorgcpa.com
Other Privacy Information
As stated, we will maintain the confidentiality of all user communications that contain personal information transmitted directly to us. Postings by a user on any public arena, such as a message board or in a chat room, will not and cannot be protected as confidential.
Our Services are not intended or directed toward individuals under age 13. If you fall under the age of 13, please do not use our Services or register on our website. We are in compliance with the requirements of Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and do not knowingly collect personal information from users under age 13. If it is brought to our attention that personal information has been collected from individuals under age 13, we will take required measures to delete such information. You can write to our support team at support at gevorgcpa.com to address any concern you may have regarding such information.
California Privacy Rights
This section describes your rights under California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
Subject to certain limitations and exceptions as applicable under the law, you have the right to request that we disclose to you what personal Information we collect, use and disclose, including the right to request specific pieces of personal information we have collected about you in the prior 12 months. You also have the right to request to delete personal information, to opt out of any “sales” that may be occurring, and to not be discriminated against for exercising these rights.
You may choose to exercise your right(s) by submitting your request as described in “How to Control Your Information” section. In order to verify the authenticity of the request, we may use the information your account (including your email address) and/or request a government supplied identification. You have the right to designate an authorized agent to exercise the rights on your behalf. We may require sufficient proof (as applicable under law) to establish the authenticity of the designated agent. In case we are unable to verify the authenticity of designated agent, we may deny requests originating from the said agent.
Terms of Service
Date modified: January 22, 2020
We may change this agreement at any time. Except as stated below, all amended terms shall be effective 30 days after they are initially posted on our site.
In this agreement, “you” or “your” means any person or entity subscribing to and/or using the service (“users”). Unless otherwise stated, “Gevorg CPA,” “Gevorg, CPA”, “I”, “we,”, “my” or “our” will collectively refer to Gevorg Grigoryan, CPA, the supplementary CPA program mentor, coach and tutor.
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING TERMS, CONDITIONS, AND DISCLAIMERS IN THIS AGREEMENT CAREFULLY BEFORE SUBSCRIBING TO GEVORG, CPA COURSES AND LEARNING MATERIALS.
We are in no way affiliated with nor related to CPA Canada, CPA Western School of Business or any other provincial CPA bodies affiliated with the Chartered Professional Accountants in Canada (CPA Canada). Gevorg CPA courses have not been approved nor endorsed by any CPA bodies. CPA is a registered trademark of CPA Canada. Gevorg CPA courses are supplemental educational materials provided to individuals who are preparing for the CPA and university exams. With written permission from CPA Canada, Gevorg, CPA courses contain learning materials owned by CPA Canada, specifically the past CFE exams owned by CPA Canada.
Links to third party sites
We are not responsible for the content available on any other Internet sites linked to on our site. Access other websites linked to our website is at your own risk.
You may link to the home page of our website as long as the link does not cast us in a false or misleading light.
In order to use our services, you need to be 13 or older and have the power to enter binding agreement(s) with us without being restricted by any applicable laws
We comply with the requirements of Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website and services are all intended to people at least 13 years old or older.
Our products are intended for individual self-study and exam preparation and are sold in the form of subscriptions. The products are designed to facilitate careful review by users of all content contained within the subscriptions in order to deliver maximum benefit and optimal study experience to our typical users (hereafter also referred to as “normal” product usage). “Typical” refers to users with a usage pattern of at least 90% of regular users of any particular subscription. Normal product usage does not include the usage of the entire subscription more than 10 times (defined as viewing the entire course more than 10 times), or usage which is suspected to be shared between multiple users on the same device/network.
You may not use our services in any manner which could damage or disable our web site or related services. You agree not to attempt to obtain any materials not made available or provided for through the subscription.
Usage of our subscriptions which is determined not to fall under reasonable use may result in action taken against the account, at our sole discretion. Subscription utilization that is indicative of, or arising from, impermissible business, multiple user, community, or fraudulent use may result in suspension or termination of the subscription in question. We may contact any user at any time to request clarification of a usage pattern which does not fall under reasonable use.
We are under no obligation to review any messages, information, or content (“Postings”) posted on our websites by users, and assume no responsibility or liability relating to any such postings. Users are solely responsible for all the content they post or upload to the website. Notwithstanding the above, we may from time to time monitor the postings on the websites and may decline to accept and/or remove any postings that contain:
-Any unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, profane, hateful, racial, ethnic, or otherwise objectionable material of any kind, including, but not limited to any material which encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any applicable local, state, provincial, national, or international law
-Advertisements or solicitations of any kind
-Messages posted by users impersonating others
-Personal information such as messages which state phone numbers, social security numbers, social insurance numbers, account numbers, addresses, or employer references
-Messages by non-spokesperson employees of Gevorg, CPA purporting to speak on behalf of Gevorg, CPA
-Messages that offer unauthorized download of any copyrighted or private information
-Multiple messages placed within individual folders by the same user restating the same point
-Chain letters of any kind
Refunds and Guarantees
Except as otherwise provided in this agreement or at our sole discretion, no refunds, cancellations, or changes to subscriptions will be allowed. We reserve the right to refuse a refund if the user is found to be in violation of Terms of Service or acting against our interests.
Access to courses and materials is provided for the duration of your subscription as defined in this agreement and until you successfully complete the examination. You must email us your official results to be eligible for this guarantee. If you choose to defer any of the exams at your own discretion, you will not be eligible for this guarantee and you will need to re-purchase the course(s). If you cease to be a registered student with your CPA school, you will not be eligible for this guarantee and you will need to re-purchase the course(s). If the exams are deferred by the examination organizations (such as CPA Canada) due to unforeseen events, you will be eligible for this guarantee and continue to have access.
WE PROVIDE OUR SERVICES “AS IS” AND WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION, EXPRESS, IMPLIED, OR STATUTORY. WE SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF TITLE, MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT.
WE PROVIDE NO GUARANTEE THAT YOU WILL SUCCEED AND PASS ANY OF YOUR EXAMS.
-We do not endorse, and are not responsible for, the accuracy or reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made through our websites and services. Under no circumstance will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information obtained through our websites and services. It is your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, opinion, advice, or other content available through our websites and services. Please seek the advice of professionals as appropriate regarding the evaluation of any specific information, opinion, advice, or other content.
– We do not endorse, and are not responsible for, the accuracy or reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made through our services. Under no circumstance will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information obtained through the services. It is your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, opinion, advice, or other content available through the site. Please seek the advice of professionals as appropriate regarding the evaluation of any specific information, opinion, advice, or other content. All information in our services are provided As Is without any warranty.
-Our services should be used as a tool to help prepare for various exams
-We reserve the right to withdraw subscriptions and the complete website if necessary. If this ever becomes necessary, you will only pay for the time of your subscription that has elapsed (on a pro-rata basis)
-We will use reasonable efforts to rectify any error that occurs on our websites and services but do not guarantee access to the site in case of software errors/viruses/other natural or technical catastrophes that cannot be repaired in spite of a reasonable effort
-We will use reasonable efforts to keep our websites and services online at all times. You understand that scheduled maintenance and problems out of the control of us can cause the site to be temporarily unavailable
Member Account/Password and Security
You shall be responsible for the accuracy of the data provided and may update your profile data in order to reflect the most accurate current information. You will also choose a password. You are entirely responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password and account and for any and all activities that occur under your account. You agree to notify us immediately of any unauthorized use of your account or any other breach of security. We will not be liable for any loss that you may incur as a result of someone else using your password or account, either with or without your knowledge. However, you could be held liable for losses incurred by us or another party due to someone else using your account or password.
Limitation of Liability
We disclaim any liability (contract, tort, strict liability, or otherwise) for any indirect, incidental, consequential, or special damages arising out of or in any way connected with access to or use of our website, this agreement, and our services. You hereby agree that the maximum liability arising out of or in connection with your use of our services and site, regardless of the cause of action (contract, tort, breach of warranty or otherwise), will not exceed your subscription fee.
In consideration of and subject to your payment of the appropriate subscription fee for the services you subscribe to, and your agreement to and compliance with the terms and conditions set forth in this agreement, we grant to you a non-exclusive, non-sub licensable, non-transferable license, and right to use and access our content (the “licensed materials”) from multiple devices/locations with non-concurrant login access (“different times”) for 250 consecutive days. You are not allowed to access our content from multiple devices/locations concurrently (at the “same time”). Access of our services from multiple devices/locations concurrently will be defined as account sharing, and appropriate action will be taken as defined in the “Restriction Against Transfer” section of this agreement.
The licensed materials, including all intellectual property rights within the licensed materials (such as copyright) are our sole and exclusive property. By indicating that you accept these terms, you do not become the owner of the licensed materials, but are entitled to use them according to the terms of this agreement.
You may print out the allowed content from our websites or courses for your personal educational use. “Allowed content” refers to that part of our content where we specifically provide a means to download and print (direct “download” or “print” icons). We reserve the right to restrict printing for any content in the our websites and services. You agree to have access to a computer and the Internet to access our services, but except as provided in this agreement, you may not print out the licensed materials. None of the non-allowed contents are allowed for print, copy-paste, or save-to-media/disk. Checklists and sample cases are allowed for printing.
You are expressly prohibited from copying, reverse engineering, or modifying any or all of the licensed materials. No part of the licensed materials may be copied for resale or other commercial use or offered for sale or reproduced on any bulletin boards, web sites, discussion forums, Internet domains, or online chatrooms. You many not use any device, software, or routine to interfere or attempt to interfere with the proper working of our websites or services. You may not disclose or share your password with any third parties or use your password for any unauthorized purpose. You agree that after your subscription expires you will destroy all of the provided materials and you will not sublicense, resell, reshare, or gift any of the materials to anyone. You agree that you will be held liable and you will pay legal and court fees for unauthorized use of the learning materials.
Restriction Against Transfer
You are not allowed to sublicense, assign, share, sell, rent, lease, or otherwise transfer your right to use the licensed materials. All accounts are monitored for multiple logins. You are allowed to access the services from maximum two different IP addresses. In the event that we believe, at our sole discretion, that an account is being used by multiple users, we reserve the right to terminate that account without any notice or refund. We also retain the right to sue on grounds of breach of contract. Therefore, please do not disclose your account details to anyone else.
In the event that you breach any term of this agreement, we may, at our sole discretion, terminate this agreement, your access to our website and services to you without refund. We reserve the right to seek all remedies available by law and in equity for such breaches.
Search engines, web crawlers, cookies and IP address tracking
The information that is posted on our website is routinely indexed by search engines and web crawlers (such as Google, Bing, etc.). Therefore, when an online search is conducted, the information posted might show up in search results. If you do not wish for posting to be made publicly available or indexed by third-party search engines, then do not make a post on our websites.
We may track your IP addresses to ensure you are complying with the terms of service.
Credit Card Processing
No credit card information is stored on our servers or website. The service Stripe is used to collect payments.
Coaches, tutors, markers
Tutors and markers that sign a contract with Gevorg, CPA are not allowed to conduct CPA coaching, tutoring, and marking outside of our organization. Violation of this may result in civil litigation.
Cheating, plagiarism, unethical behavior
Cheating and plagiarism is strictly forbidden. By subscribing to our services, you agree that you will not copy the templates offered in this course and submit as your work. You understand that this constitutes plagiarism and may result in you being expelled from your program. In no event shall we be liable for any direct, indirect, punitive, incidental, special, consequential damages or any damages whatsoever from your use of our learning materials. We reserve the right to report unethical and illegal behavior.
Settlement and arbitration
By subscribing to our services, you agree that you must settle only through arbitration any disagreements, concerns, and any other conflicts.
CPA Canada has announced that the May 2020 Common Final Exam (CFE) will be cancelled and all registered candidates will automatically roll their exam date to September 2020 CFEs. You can now choose from the following cases for Day 1 of the CFE:
September 2020 CFE:
May 2021 CFE:
Sep 2021 CFE:
If you are a repeat writer from the September 2019 CFE, you can now re-write Marmani case only in September 2020 CFE. Previously, you could re-write it in May 2020 CFE. Similarly, you for Days 2 and 3, you will need to wait until September 2020 to write the exam. If you are a re-writer or a new writer in 2020, you should take the extra time to prepare and practice. Make sure you are well-prepared and have a solid strategy.
I’m Gevorg. I’m an instructor and a CPA exam coach. I’ve been featured on CBC News and Google News as a CPA exam expert. If you want coaching with me, sign up for my CPA CFE Review Course, for a comprehensive prep package.
I chatted with Matt, an Honour Roll student from CPA CFE 2019. Below is the partial interview and transcript.
Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I did my undergrad in accounting then I went on to do the masters degree in Tax, actually, then I’ve been going through the CPA PEP process for couple of years and I wrote the CFE in September 2019 and I wrote the Tax elective
What was it that made you want to take Tax?
Most people [do] take Assurance, that’s obviously the most common [role]. Even some of the people I know that work in Tax take Assurance for some reason. But I think for me my decision was easy, it’s just what I felt most comfortable with, I wasn’t going to jump on another bandwagon just because everybody else was.
When you reached the CFE, was there anything that surprised you or was it as you expected and prepared?
Not really. So I think for the most part, most of the AOs [Assessment Opportunities] were consistent with what was in prior years. There were couple areas that were a little lighter or little heavier, but I think for the most part it was very fair in terms of what they asked for.
When I read about Honor Roll students finding out they are on that list, I always read that they were surprised that they made the Honour Roll. Their reaction to the news is: Wow, I can’t believe it was me. Did you feel the same way when you find out?
I think a little bit. So I was doing well in the practice exams [cases], so I knew I was a competent student, but you know, when you write the exam, hundred things go through your mind, like oh, did I miss this, did I miss that. I was surprised but not shocked, I’ll put it that way.
Which of the CFE days – Day 1, 2 or 3 – did you find most challenging and least challenging?
In my prep, I always thought Day 3 was the toughest just because of time constraint, not necessarily because of technical material. I think on this particular year CFE, I think it was fairly easy and manageable from time perspective, so that’s what I was most worried about, but it was okay.
Do you use a case outline, and if so, is it computer-based or paper-based outline?
I did usually prepare an outline, but I’d say it was, you know, less detailed than maybe 90% of other writers, if not more. I kind of just wanted to make sure I had, you know, what’s the required, and if I noticed something that was a bit later in the case, that I would otherwise forget, I would jot in down, but for the most part I didn’t spend a ton of time outlining.
Any advice for future CFE writers?
I would say, you have to figure out what works for you. A lot of people try to develop this method of writing the CFE, and I don’t think it’s a one-size-fits-all approach, everyone has their own idiosyncrasies, so you have to do what works for you and you have to be confident with that. If it’s working for you on the practice cases, I think they’re pretty indicative of what the exam’s likely to be like. I think that’s the best approach
How do you write Day 2 and 3 cases?
First thing I’d do is …
* * *
The full interview is 30-minutes and covers how to outline and write Day 2 and Day3 cases, how to budget your time, structure quants, how to remember the APSE and IFRS criteria, a live Day 2/3 case demo, and much more. Sign up for the newest CPA CFE Review Course for a comprehensive prep package.
You can choose from the following cases for Day 1 of the CFE:
May 2021 CFE:
September 2021 CFE:
September 2020 CFE:
May 2020 CFE: *Cancelled*
(Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the May CFE has been cancelled.)
If you are a repeat writer from the September 2020 CFE, you can re-write the Distinct Hotels Corporation (DHC) case in May 2021 CFE.
If you are a new writer in 2021, then you should write the case that you learned in Capstone 1, which is WDI-v1 for May 2021 and Creative Toys Incorporated case (CTI) v1 in September 2021 . If you are re-writing the Day 1 in the upcoming CFE, make sure you are well-prepared and have a solid strategy.
I’m Gevorg. I’m an instructor and a CPA exam coach. I’ve been featured on CBC News and Google News as a CPA exam expert. If you want coaching with me, sign up for my CPA CFE Review Course for a comprehensive prep package.
I chatted with a candidate who passed CPA CFE 2019 with Honour Roll – and she has never worked in public practice. About 80% of all Honour Roll students come from the public practice. How did she do it? Here is my commentary, the interview transcript and the 6 key takeways.
What was your CFE prep schedule like?
I booked off the entirety of capstone 2, but retrospectively think this was too much time. I carried over 3 weeks of vacation from last year and used 3 weeks in the current year, so 6 weeks in total. My performance peaked at week 5. I studied 8hrs a day and took evenings/weekends off.
How did you practice writing cases?
I printed out most cases to simulate the exam setting. I used a tracking sheet that split up requireds by category (FR, MA, tax, etc.). For any NCs and RCs, I made notes on how I could take my response to the C level. This helped to identify any recurring mistakes I was making. I used to debrief D3 cases the same day and D2 cases the next day.
How did you feel about the CFE?
D1/3 were fine. D2 had strange FR AOs and also had MA AOs, which, while not unheard of, were unexpected.
Which Day was the hardest?
D2 was the hardest. D1 is the least technical so it could be considered the easiest. While D3 was time constrained I didn’t find it too bad, the FR on D2 was difficult. I felt better about D3 and thought that management accounting would pull me through level 2. The module exams were way easier in comparison.
I was definitely not aiming for honour roll, I just wanted to pass! I was just trying to accumulate as many C’s as possible. I don’t think aiming for CD is a good strategy – any time you spend perfecting one AO is time taken away from another AO, and a CD is worth no more points than a C.
Do you use an outline, and if so, computer or paper-based?
Yes, computer. But I make margin notes on the case itself and write down key facts and a timeline for a visual reminder.
Did you write intro in your case?
No intros – just go right into requireds.
Any tips on “pacing” for three days of case writing on CFE?
Rest for sure! I didn’t look at anything after the exam. I also avoided discussing what I wrote and reading anything about the CFE online until after the results were out.
How do you approach the Day 1 case?
Situational analysis – have the headings ready and fill them in as you’re reading the case. Only write down factors that you will use in the issue analysis.
Issue analysis – make sure you integrate the situational analysis into the analysis of issues; make sure you have both quant and qual analysis; conclude for each issue.
Conclusion – have an overall conclusion to summarize your recommendations.
Any advice for future CFE writers?
Don’t get discouraged if you get a lot of NCs/RCs at first – as long as you understand why you got NC and how to bring them up to C, you will be fine!
Speaking about that, as you were going through Cap 2, were you already at C/CD level or did you gradually improve?
It was a gradual process for sure, but that’s why debriefing properly is so important.
* * *
6 KEY TAKEWAYS:
The full interview transcript covers how to outline and write Day 2 and Day3 cases, how to budget your time, structure quants, how to remember the APSE and IFRS criteria, and much more. Sign up for the newest CPA CFE 2020 Review Course for a comprehensive prep package.