A frequent obstacle for students preparing for **CPA Canada’s** PEP and CFE exams is whether is an AO needs need to be discussed both **quantitatively (quant) **and **qualitatively (qual)**, or just **quantitatively (quant)**. Here’s my strategy on approaching these AOs correctly.

### How to tell if both quant and qual are needed?

There are **two triggers **that you can use to find out whether you need to write **quant, qual **or **both:**

- The way required is phrased.
- Information in the appendix.

Let’s take a look at these one by one.

### Look at the required’s wording

The phrasing of the required is a hint how to approach it. For example, if it says: “Please prepare a **quantitative** analysis and provide a recommendation”, then it’s **quants** only.

If it says: “Please prepare a **qualitative** analysis and provide a recommendation”, then it’s qual only.

When it says: “Please prepare a **quantitative** and **qualitative** analysis, and provide a recommendation.”, then it’s **both**.

Below is an example from CFE W2C case where they requested both:

Clearly, both quant and qual are needed.

### Look at the information in the appendix

Second **trigger** is the type of information provided in the appendix. If the appendix contains **qual **data, it’s a clear hint that **qual** information should be incorporated into the analysis.

For example, below is a case with **make vs. buy **required:

The required is ambiguous and doesn’t tell us if we need quant, qual, or both. So we’ll look at the Appendix:

The first part has lots of numbers, which we’ll use for **quants**. The rest of the appendix is full of words such as: **extremely strong, impossible to break, safer, long lasting, survey.**

These are all **qual** terms, so the only possible reason they’ve given this information is to have us prepare a qual analysis.

### Conclusion

In summary, if the required says “**quant** and **qual**,” or the information in the appendix has **qual** items, then you need to perform **both** quant and qual. However, if the required explicitly asks you **not** to perform qual, or there are **only numbers** in the appendix, then perform **quants **only.

### Extra resources

Extra resources are available at PEP and CFE Review courses.