2017 CFE Board Notes

The Board was very thorough in reporting that they were disappointed with different case issues that writers failed to see or talk about in sufficient depth. I only take the time to read this report because they have the habit of revisiting items that writers missed during the previous year or two.

I have attempted to give some feedback below without revealing too much information about cases when you start writing them yourself.

  • An “Enabling” AO was included for the first time this year. This is similar to the Persuasive Qualities (PQ) that you would have seen if you wrote some of the old UFE cases. This was an assessment opportunity to which you wouldn’t be directed, but there were a ton of little tidbits throughout the case that allow you to see the issues to discuss.
  • Candidates simply used bullet points to restate case facts without further explanation.
  • Calculations lacked explanations (i.e., assumptions) or underlying calculations.
  • Just stating the correct solution will not help you achieve competency. You need to explain the thought processes you used to reach the solution.
  • Too much time was spent on the easier issues or the quantitative issues. Students were notably afraid to tackle the more difficult issues.
  • The report noted that candidates simply skipping directed issues altogether if they found them too challenging.
  • Revenue Recognition on long-term contracts was not done well.
  • Candidates mixed up ASPE v. IFRS handbook guidance to address issues.
  • Weaker discussions were made with respect to independence for the assurance role.
  • Surprisingly, candidates struggled with challenging tax issues!
  • There was a lack of knowledge about responsibility centres and transfer pricing.
  • There was a reminder that the Board does not like generic discussions. Writers need to integrate case facts to get past NC/RC. The report highlighted procedures as a place where this was a bigger issue.
  • Writers should not contradict case facts in the simulation, especially those from authoritative sources.

I don't recommend current CFE writers to read the entire report, as it will give away what is in the case. However, if you really want to read it, you can download the full Day 1 CFE Board notes here and Day 2 & 3 CFE Board notes here.