2019 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 gave too much time to the common AOs versus the role AOs for Day 2.
  • There was a higher number of candidates skipping or hardly addressing AOs on Day 3 as compared to prior year; specifically skipping the harder AOs.
  • Across all three days candidates continue to list case facts without elaborating why these facts are relevant to their discussion. Most often this would happen within pros/cons discussions or when discussing issues technical areas where they would just list a case fact without tying it back to a criterion.
  • At times writers drew conclusions on an analysis that failed to integrate the case facts.
  • The Board has noticed that there is a better performance on more straight forward financial reporting issues, while candidates are avoiding the more difficult issues.
  • Some candidates spent too much time addressing financial reporting issues, resulting in some writers running out of time for the other assessment opportunities.
  • Writers were giving generic reporting options or incorrect advice about how a clean opinion could be obtained.
  • When giving procedures, candidates did not always test the relevant risk.
  • Candidates struggled with performing analysis for a financial reporting issues for which there was no clear guidance on how to account for an item in question. There was a level of uncomfort to conclude that there may not be an obvious handbook section to utilize.
  • Within the taxation role, some writers were addressing only the simpler topics, and when attempting more difficult topics, there were significant technical errors.
  • 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.