CPA Common Final Examination (CFE)

The Common Final Examination (CFE) is the culmination of the CPA Professional Education Program (PEP). The CFE is a three-day examination that evaluates students on the competencies defined by the Competency Map, which outlines the knowledge, skills and proficiency levels you must have as a Canadian CPA.

During the three-day CFE you will be required to:

  • Demonstrate depth in Financial Reporting and/or Management Accounting and in your Elective depth role and breadth of your abilities across all six technical competencies based on the CPA Competency Map.
  • Draw on learning from your Capstone 1 case to complete Day 1 of the exam.

To see your detailed CFE results, log in to the Candidate Portal with your candidate number once CFE results have been released.

CFE Guides and Resources

This video will walk you through what the CFE entails.

CFE Resources

  • The Certification Resource Centre (CRC) offers valuable resources for CPA PEP students which will help guide you through what you need to know before sitting the CFE. The Centre provides guidance on the structure and administration of CPA PEP modules as well as regulations:
    • The CPA Canada Competency Map will help you understand the competencies that you need to demonstrate on the CFE by competency area, module and proficiency level.
    • The CPA Harmonized Education Policies Vol. 1 outlines the profession’s expectations regarding the format of the CFE, eligibility policies, repeating the CFE if unsuccessful on a previous attempt, feedback and remarks.

Evaluation Resources

  • CPA Canada publishes a number of documents to help students understand the CFE’s content and technical requirements:
    • The CFE blueprint provides students with information on what to expect from their examination, including the format of the examination, the resources accessible during the examination and testing objectives that affect the examinable material.
    • The CFE Regulations outline what is expected of students writing exams.
    • The Competency Referenced Evaluation Methodology presentation highlights the important examination design elements and describes the assessment model, particularly the differences in the testing objectives for each day of the exam.
    • The CFE Board of Examiners’ reports on previous CFEs provide feedback on candidates’ performance, how to improve candidate performance and methods used for guide-setting and marking.
    • Determine which Capstone 1 module business case will be examinable on the CFE.

Academic integrity and professional conduct

Once you are enrolled in CPA programs and courses, you are expected to adhere to the profession’s standards. You will be subject to CPA Ontario’s policies on academic integrity and professional conduct and misconduct may result in disciplinary action.

  • Academic misconduct includes (but is not limited to) plagiarism, the enabling of plagiarism and inappropriate use of a current or former student or candidate’s work. See Regulation 9-1, Appendix A.
  • Please note that CPA Canada defines plagiarism to include the use of materials posted to study resource websites or platforms such as Course Hero, Chegg, Oneclass, Quizlet, WhatsApp groups, Kijiji, etc. Any instance of use of these types of materials will be flagged by our plagiarism detection software and subject to investigation. The provision of materials (posting of content) to these websites or platforms before, during or after your enrolment in the program/module is also considered plagiarism and will be investigated accordingly.
  • Professional conduct includes (but is not limited to) adhering to CPA Ontario’s Student Code of Conduct, behaving ethically, demonstrating integrity and honesty and exhibiting respect to others including all written and oral communication with students, candidates, facilitators, session leaders, educational staff and provincial staff.
Review the CPA Harmonized Education Policies Vol. 1 and the CPA Professional Education Program Candidate Guide for more information.

Deregistration

A student will be deregistered 45 days after the release of the results of their third unsuccessful attempt at either Core 1, Core 2, Capstone 1, Capstone 2 or the CFE. For an elective module, after three unsuccessful attempts, no further attempts for that module or examination can be made. Students who are unable to successfully complete two of the electives will be deregistered.

Refer to Regulation 9-1, section 1.19 for the definition of an unsuccessful attempt and section 47.5 for the details and timing of deregistrations.

A student who has been deregistered shall not be reregistered except in extraordinary circumstances at the discretion of, and on the restrictions and conditions deemed appropriate by, the Registrar or the Admission and Registration Committee, or the Appeal Committee, as the case may be. Refer to Regulation 9-1 sections 58 and 58A.

CFE FAQs