UFE results this Friday

It’s that time of the year again and I’m feeling nostalgic. It was just over a year ago last year when I learned that I had passed the final hurdle to obtaining my much sought-after CA designation (notwithstanding that pesky experience requirement which continues to elude me), the UFE.

This year’s results are out this Friday, and I have many friends sitting on pins and needles waiting to see if they passed. My office is having another party, as is the tradition, to celebrate that evening. I’m actually on the social committee so I was involved with the planning.

The night before there is another tradition. The offices in the Toronto region all get together informally (not a sanctioned firm event in other words) and go out in downtown Toronto, inevitably joining CA candidates from other firms and their well-wishers at a club or bar for some partying. The goal is to celebrate the efforts of all writers, not just those who will pass the next day.

Good times. Enjoy the evening(s), writers. And good luck.


Back from Punta Cana

Wow, it’s been a while! I can’t say as I’ve missed this thing since I last posted about two weeks ago; I have been in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, enjoying a much deserved vacation. Best of all, I was able to use a travel voucher that BDO gave me for passing the UFE last year to pay for the trip for both me and my girlfriend Christine!

The trip was amazing. We stayed at Barcelo Premium Resort and when we weren’t enjoying the white sand beaches, we visited the capital city Santo Domingo and snorkeled with stingrays and nurse sharks at the Marinarium! I miss it so much, it has been so hard going back to work this week.

I’ll have a full set of photos from the trip on my Flickr as soon as I can find the time, but for now you can see the pics on Christine’s Facebook. If you’re a friend of mine you can see my pics since she’s tagged me in them. And if you’re not my friend, add me.

The travel voucher was a pretty sweet perk for passing the hardest exam of my life, and I was glad to finally take advantage of it. Not to be too booster about it, but I haven’t heard of any of my friends at other firms receiving something like that.


When will I be a CA?

I recently passed the 2-year mark working in public accounting since graduating without doing any co-op terms. I started work at the beginning of May 2005, so through the end of June I will have 26 months experience, less the approximately 2 months I took off last summer to attend the SOA and study and write the UFE.

To fully earn the CA designation in Canada, you need 30 months of practical experience, along with satisfying some more specific hours requirements in certain areas (i.e. audit, tax, review). I chose a mid-tier firm because the experience is very well-rounded, so the hours requirement is almost certainly satisfied.

(Along with the experience requirement, there is of course the education and examination requirements.)

Therefore, at the end of December this year I could be Neil McIntyre, CA.


UFE Report is out… Finally!

The UFE Report for the 2006 test is finally available on the ICAO website. It’s been many months, since November 24th when the results came out, but it’s here!

I would link to it or provide it for download, but it’s behind the paywall that only members can access so I have a feeling I may run afoul of the Institute by offering it – and I know that people at various Institutes read my blog!

The UFE Report is fun to read because in it the Board of Evaluators talk about how disappointed they were while reading candidates’ responses. I mean they really lay into us. It’s great entertainment. Some gems:

  • “In some cases candidates discussed treatment options at some length even though they were evidently not suitable in the circumstances or were clearly not allowed by the profession’s standards… [which] would be a waste of a client’s time in real life.”
  • “Many candidates failed to demonstrate their understanding of the various types of risk (audit risk, inherent risk, control risk and detection risk). They would often state ‘risk is high’ without specifying which risk was high.”
  • “The board was shocked and disappointed by the number of candidates who did not attempt even a single calculation on this simulation, considering that they were specifically asked to calculate the preliminary adjustments.”

Shocked and disappointed in that last one! I can’t remember whether I tried a calculation on that case, but I do remember the case and feeling like if I failed, it was because of that case. So maybe I did try a calculation.

After the listing of the grievances the Report goes through each case in detail, providing a marking key for future writers to study from.

However, I’m realizing now just how useless it is for me since I don’t have my test. It was encrypted and saved on a USB key each of the three days and we don’t get it back. I can’t remember the details of my responses, since it’s been since mid-September.

Oh well. It’s done, I passed, I’ll be a CA soon!


Are recruiters really using the internet?

A long time ago, before I bought this domain and set up this blog, I Googled myself to see what came up. What came up, was Neil McIntyre Photography, at It’s taken about a year, but I’m now the #1 result when you Google me. Great success!

On a related note, I keep reading that recruiters and hiring managers are increasingly using the internet to search about their candidates. Most articles focus on these inquisitive people finding embarrassing pictures which result in the candidate not getting the job (which I guess makes for a juicier story from a readership standpoint), but this post on Web Worker Daily focuses on improving your online “brand” and using it positively to get jobs.

So why is it that of the many recruiters I’ve talked to since passing the UFE, precisely none of them have mentioned that they’ve seen my blog? As noted in the first paragraph, it’s easily found. The whole thing is very puzzling.

Update: Here’s another interesting take on the recruiting industry: “I’ve been increasingly annoyed by the spammy, mail-merged, sugar-laced drivel that passes for “personalized” contact these days.” Read the rest, it’s gold!