(Posted March 2022)

I recently had a conversation with a writer about technical study. It went something like this. Can you explain to me how to delineate the steps in IFRS to discuss Carbon Credits? And I said, no. And let’s talk about why.

There are approximately 31 assessment opportunities on the CFE. Of these, 29 -30 are going to be in areas that are repetitive, things you have seen before and that as you write and debrief prior year CFEs you get an opportunity to write and learn. The remaining one or two AOs could be in a technical area that is not often seen. So 90% of the technical can be refreshed by writing and debriefing cases. The other elusive 10% will come from the vast amount of “other” technical that could potentially be asked. Spending your technical review time trying to learn the “other” is not efficient and can be harmful. As you dig into the “other” technical, you will drown in the number of potential topics, and it can take you way off plan. There is no way to learn all the remaining technical that COULD get tested and it is not a wise thing to attempt to do.

In our CFE Prep course, we include a Scenario Flowcharts Workbook. It works through each of the repetitive testing areas of the CFE in a “how to apply” format. This is your technical elephant broken into bite size pieces. If you use only the Handbook or the CPA Canada ebooks, you will be chewing for a long time and likely never leave the dinner table.

Focus your technical review on the commonly tested areas to keep it manageable. Only go into a deeper learning if needed for a topic coming from this list. And, Competency Map Study Notes, is our go to resource on the deeper learning, if you need one.