2020 Board Report

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.

  • The Board was pleased that writers are no longer skipping over AOs as much due to time management. 
  • Most candidates addressed the issues in the order in which they appears in the case, this lead to writers not performing as well.
  • Some candidates continue to list case facts without elaborating why these facts are relevant to their discussion. Writers need to understand that depth includes explaining the impact to the users.
  • Writers would copy and paste the handbook and just list "met" or "not met" without applying case facts to explain themselves.
  • The Board wants to remind writers the importance of answering the questions "why" or "so what" when making any point using 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.
  • It has been noticed that writers did not perform well on Management Accounting issues with a lack of understanding of costing (modelling).
  • Candidates did a poor job of interpreting or utilizing the draft financial statements that were given on Day 2 or Day 3 questions, noting there was not enough information to answer questions - when in fact the statements had the answers.
  • Some candidates tried to insert discussions that were not relevant to the case, many coming from previous CFE exams, suggesting trying to fit answers from practice exams into the current year.
  • Writers were forcing a certain approach into some discussions, which lead to a lot of irrelevant discussions.
  • A template that was seen often and sometimes misused was the WIR template.

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.