2018 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.

  • Candidates presented case facts without elaborating on why they were relevant to the discussion or the position being argued.
  • There were too many generic comments or conclusions regarding an analysis that failed to integrate the case facts.
  • Some candidates spent too much time addressing financial reporting issues, resulting in some writers running out of time for the other assessment opportunities.
  • There were struggles with certain difficult accounting issues, frequently misinterpreting the handbook in their analysis, such as IFRS 11 (Joint Ventures) and IAS 32 (Financial Instruments).
  • Writers were giving generic reporting options or incorrect advice about how a clean opinion could be obtained.
  • There was a struggle with providing a discussion on the specific characteristics of interim reviews and how these are different than a year-end review.
  • Candidates did not understand how to quantify transfer pricing options.
  • Within the taxation role, some writers were addressing only the simpler topics, and when attempting more difficult topics, there were significant technical errors.
  • There were some irrelevant discussions, and primarily it was noted that because there was an enabling AO in the prior year, writers assumed that there would be another in the 2018 CFE.
  • Candidates thought that they were performing a qualitative analysis when they were actually just listing factors under their quantitative analysis.

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.