We have prepared an information session specifically for candidates writing in Canada under a MOU. We would encourage you to watch this short presentation to get a fuller understanding of the Canadian CFE exam and what is expected.
Your preparation for the CFE depends on your level of comfort with case writing skills, Canadian tax, and current technical knowledge. You should plan your writing date according to your own situation, which may mean deferring until a later sitting. Our recommendation would be for you to work through our Essentials course for Core 1, Core 2 and one of the electives (either Tax, Performance Management, Assurance or Finance) prior to registering to write the CFE. The Essentials Elective you choose will depend upon which role or depth area you choose for your CFE Day 2 case. (Please note that if your plan is to have a license for public practice in Canada, you will need to choose Assurance for your CFE Day 2 depth area and therefore, Assurance is the Elective you will want to choose as well). These courses will help you to build up your technical knowledge and your case writing skills. You will find these courses listed under our PEP offerings.
Unfortunately the pass rates for candidates coming through MOU agreements has been historically low, as candidates do not realize the significant difference between the CPA exam and previous CA exam experiences. Most Canadian candidates work through this coverage and begin writing cases in the lead up to the CFE, and their pass rate is significantly higher. In order to be successful we would strongly recommend you consider this route.
These Essentials courses involve technical review and multiple choice type questions and tutorials to help in the areas where you may need a refresher. They also have cases that you can write and then online walkthroughs with an instructor explaining to you how you would approach and learn from the case. These courses (each of the three) would take approximately 50 hours of time to work through (on average). We would recommend you budget enough time to complete each of them again, prior to registering for the CFE; however, you would still want to then transition to actual CFE cases (which are much more time constrained) and perhaps take the Bridge to Capstone course. This is a course that takes you up from the Elective case style to the CFE case style. There are six cases to write and debrief in that course, so it would take at least approximately 18 – 22 hours to complete this portion.
Once you have done those courses, then we would suggest you enrol in CFE Prep and register for the CFE. It will take you from the technical teachings of the Essentials to a case writing course that encompasses all of the skills needed to pass the CFE. If you are in Canada, you could take this onsite (our preference) or online. It runs either in July or early August for a September CFE or beginning in March for a May CFE, depending on your timing. After that, it takes approximately 3-4 weeks of full time study to write enough practice CFE cases (applying the skills you have learned at CFE Prep) to be ready for the CFE exam.
This is the process we recommend to be successful on the CFE. The timing obviously is impacted by your own experience and if you are working or not.