Students CPA Program CFE News

Congratulations! 1,571 aspiring Canadian accountants pass the May 2023 CFE

16 Common Final Examination writers made the national honour roll in their journey to become chartered professional accountants

Author: Canadian Accountant

TORONTO, Aug. 19, 2023 – CPA Canada has announced that 1,571 individuals successfully passed the May sitting of the Canadian accounting profession’s Common Final Examination (CFE). Forty-four per cent (703) of the successful writers and eleven of the sixteen national honour roll recipients were registered in Ontario. 

In the May 2023 CFE, a complex hedge accounting topic was tested for candidates writing the assurance role, reports Gevorg Grigoryan, a CPA program mentor and coach. “The CFE exam pattern is continuously evolving,” explains Grigoryan. “The Board of Examiners has made it clear that it will test issues of varying difficulty. It is crucial to be balanced in studying, ensuring that you have a sufficient level of technical knowledge in all competency areas.” 

Gold Medal Award and Honour Roll

Hina Bhimani of Toronto is the Governor General’s Gold Medal winner for the May 2023 CFE. Bhimani works as an Intermediate Financial Analyst for Manulife. CPA Canada also awarded regional Gold Medals to: 

  • Jennifer Delaney, Marco Group, St. John’s (NL), Atlantic Canada Region.
  • Stéfanie Lamoureux, Mazars, S.E.N.C.R.L., Montréal, Quebec Region.
  • Justin Pouliot, JYSK Canada, Coquitlam, BC. Western Canada Region. 

The honour roll always contains a few surprises and lessons for current students. For example, it is not necessary to work at a public accounting firm — let alone a Big Four firm — in order to succeed on the CFE. Just one of the 16 winners are employed by public accounting firms. (Far more students at public accounting firms , however, write the September rather than May CFE, as these students are working during tax season.) 

Two of the honour roll winners worked for one company, Mars Canada, with the rest mostly working for a mix of private sector and public sector companies. For writers who were unsuccessful, Grigoryan recommends taking the time to reflect on the areas that have posed challenges and seeking additional support and resources where needed. 

“Consider engaging a tutor or joining a study group that aligns with your learning style,” says Grigoryan. “Focus on strengthening your weak areas, build a well-structured study plan, and be sure to read the many articles in the Students section of Canadian Accountant for more study advice.” 

The path to becoming a Canadian CPA is demanding, but with perseverance and commitment, you can achieve this significant professional milestone. 

Be sure to read the many articles in the Students section of Canadian Accountant for advice from columnists on how to achieve success in the CPA program. If you are considering an appeal, we recommend that you read “Is it worth it to appeal the CPA CFE? Let's look at the stats,” also written by Grigoryan.

“When deciding to appeal the CFE, it's ultimately a question of costs vs. benefits. You really have nothing to lose except the appeal fees, which is a bit like playing a lottery. If you decide to appeal, keep in mind the success rates, the rigorous marking process and your exam results.” 

Published by Canadian Accountant with files from CPA Canada.

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