(Posted December 2023) 

Candidates are beginning to consider how best to prepare for success on the CPA Canada Common Final Examination (CFE) this coming year. At this time, we often receive questions about whether candidates should invest in a CFE prep course to achieve this success.  

Why Take One? 

The months leading up to the exam will be busy. You will have to balance preparing for the CFE with the submission requirements of the PEP Capstone 2 module and your job, not to mention your personal life and responsibilities. For some candidates, it feels unimaginable to add to their responsibilities by investing in a CFE Prep course. So why should you? 

  1. You want to pass. The pass rates of candidates who take a CFE Prep course are higher because navigating the exam’s evaluation structure and the expectations of the CPA Competency Map alone is challenging. You may have a wealth of technical knowledge, but if you do not know how to apply it to the unique nature of the CFE, that technical knowledge alone will not be enough to pass the CFE.  
  1. You want to reduce your stress and save time. Some candidates are successful at the CFE without the assistance of a CFE Prep program, but this does come at a cost. Planning your own study calendar, finding your own technical resources, trying to select practice cases with a variety of topic coverage, and learning a case writing approach through trial and error is stressful and time-consuming. An effective CFE Prep course should do this heavy lifting for you. 
  1. You want support. Writing cases is only the first step in a lengthy process of learning. You still need to mark and debrief the case and address technical blind spots and writing weaknesses and a CFE Prep course will provide resources and experienced instructors to support you through that process. You also want to be able to ask questions and receive timely answers, and a CFE Prep course should deliver this. 

Why Choose Densmore? 

If you know that a CFE Prep course is right for you, your next step is to identify a provider that meets your needs.   

  1. Reliable track record. Densmore has been providing high-quality material to achieve success on the CPA Canada exams for over 35 years. By combining expert understanding of the exam with our knowledge of student behaviour, Densmore delivers a reliable approach to passing the CFE that is manageable with your life.  
  1. Eliminate the guesswork. Densmore study plans provide a daily “to do” list for you to follow to help you stay organized. They are designed to cover a breadth of topics across carefully selected cases recommended at the right time to optimize your practice. If you are taking the Capstone 2 Module, your Densmore study plan will also incorporate these cases and deadlines. We offer a variety of study plans with different time off schedules to fit your unique needs, whether you are a first-time writer or an experienced writer. Our Skill Drills and Scenario Flowcharts Workbook are included in the course and are designed to help you apply technical topics in a case format using an efficient and proven approach. 
  1. Valuable and timely support. Our team of experienced markers provides valuable feedback on your case writing and our team of instructors is available seven days a week on forums to answer your questions as you learn. 

Which Densmore CFE Prep Course is Right for You? 

While your knowledge of the examinable topics and your schedule is unique, every candidate will show up to write the same CFE on exam day. Whether you feel you have forgotten technical knowledge, are weak in specific areas, or have a busy home and work life that precludes you from studying the way others do, you will need to be prepared to take the same three-day exam.  

To help you, Densmore offers a variety of CFE Prep courses designed for your unique situation:  

  • CFE Prep Online. Our online courses provide the same content as our onsite courses, but the earlier sessions are spread over a longer period of time. This option is designed for candidates who do not benefit from live in-person learning (see our blog on Asynchronous Learning here) and are looking for more flexibility in the early weeks of CFE Prep. This course is offered with or without marking. 
  • CFE Prep Onsite. Our onsite courses provide the same content as the online course, but the earlier sessions are delivered in three full days in person. This intensive immersion into case writing helps to jump start your case-writing progress.  The remainder of the course is delivered online as you continue your CFE preparation. This course is designed for candidates who benefit from live in-person learning and want to practice writing in a large group setting. This course includes marking. 
  • Early Access. The early access course is designed for those who expect to have no, or very little, time off leading up to the CFE. This course offers an extended schedule (compared to our CFE Prep Online and CFE Prep Onsite courses) so you can begin your preparation early and still cover the essential topics. Candidates who find success in this course are self-disciplined and stay on track despite flexible deadlines. This course is offered with or without marking.  

When to Register 

The earlier you register, the sooner you can take advantage of pre-course resources designed to jump-start your technical review. These resources cover topics across each of the CPA technical competency areas: 

  • The Densmore Scenario Flowcharts Workbook is designed to help you understand how to write technical topics when they arise in a case scenario. 
  • The Densmore Skill Drills are designed to refresh your memory on commonly tested technical topics across all six competency areas while demonstrating how to use this technical in a case response under time constraints.   

Pre-course online sessions are also available to support you in the Capstone 1 module. For experienced writers, we also provide three CFE Day 3 practice cases to help keep your case writing skills sharp. 

For May CFE writers, these technical review materials are already posted. For September CFE writers, we post these technical review materials in early March.  

You would not be here if you had not already decided to invest in your future. For more information, please visit our CFE course comparison page. If you have any questions about how Densmore can partner with you in this, contact us at info@densmorecpa.com.