Students CPA Program CFE News

September 2021 CPA CFE successful in continued hotel room exam setting

Greater emphasis on data analytics and information services, reports CPA program coach and mentor Gevorg Grigoryan, CPA

Author: Gevorg Grigoryan
Gevorg Grigoryan, CPA
Gevorg Grigoryan, CPA, is an accounting manager and instructor, mentor and coach to students in the CPA program. Visit Gevorg CPA to learn more and subscribe to Gevorg’s YouTube channel to access CPA program videos.

VANCOUVER, September 18, 2021 – The September 2021 CPA Canada Common Final Examination (CFE) is now complete, bringing relief to Canadian accounting candidates in Central Canada who have been waiting to write the accounting exam since the May 2021 exam cancellation, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The May 2021 CFE cancellation in Ontario and Quebec created the first regionally delivered CFE where candidates only in Western and Atlantic Canada wrote the exam. The September 2021 CFE was written nationally by aspiring chartered professional accountants in hotel rooms across the country. 

Day 1: This CFE’s Day 1 cases were Waste Disposal Inc. (version 2) and Distinct Hotels Corporation (version 3). Candidates found the Day 1 cases similar to past exams in terms of testing of strategic and operational issues. A writer I spoke with commented, "Nothing much was changed. The mission and vision were the same as in the original Capstone 1 case. The rate of return calculation was one of the objectives for the Distinct Hotels, so I used that for my quantitative analysis." 

Day 1 of the CFE is linked to the Capstone 1 case, drawing upon both the content and skills candidates developed in Capstone 1. The assessment of the Day 1 focuses on enabling skills, such as candidates' ability to apply critical thinking, decision-making skills, professional judgment, and integration. 

Day 2: Known as the “Marathon Day,” Day 2 of this CFE was similar to prior years, however there was a greater emphasis on data analytics and information services (DAIS). Some of the “requireds” presented data charts and required the candidates to interpret and advise on the operational implications. 

As reported by Canadian Accountant, candidates are encouraged to study more DAIS, as this is an emerging topic that CPA Canada will be testing more in upcoming exams. The GAAP standard of this Day 2 exam was ASPE. 

Day 3: This “Sprint Day” has three to four cases testing on breadth of competencies. Day 3 of this CFE had similar assessment opportunities as in prior years, where same strategies and approaches that I teach in my CPA prep course should be applied. Candidates found this Day 3’s tax competencies challenging, while the financial reporting and other competencies direct and straightforward. 

Now is the time for CFE writers to rest and relax, as they have completed one of the most challenging exams of their lifetime. Congratulations to all writers of this year’s September CFE on your journey to becoming a chartered professional accountant. 

Gevorg Grigoryan, CPA, is an accounting manager and instructor, mentor and coach to students in the CPA program. Visit Gevorg CPA to learn more and subscribe to Gevorg’s YouTube channel to access CPA program videos.

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