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.

14 thoughts on “UFE results this Friday

  1. Yeah, I’m one of this year’s UFE writers who are on “pins and needles”. Of course I want to pass so that I can put it behind me and move on with my life, but I also am hoping that as many of my former classmates as possible will pass too. The celebration will be a lot more fun that way.

  2. Edmund et al,

    Good luck. Tomorrow will be the 20th anniversary of getting my results. It’s obviously one of those memories that you don’t soon forget.


  3. Thank you Neil. It feels good that I don’t need to go through the process again next year. There is a bit of sadness, however, because some of my former classmates were not successful. We have all worked so hard together for the last couple of years and I wanted us all to cross the finish line together.

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  5. Congrats Edmund. And all writers – Ontario got hit hard this year, ICAO writers averaged around 68% from what I heard.

  6. Thank you Krupo. About the Ontario UFE results – there is an article in the current edition of Checkmark (Autumn 07, p. 15) that discusses the various factors that affect UFE pass rates. It may explain why Ontario is below the national average – it seems we go into the UFE with less work experience under our belt than other provinces. For students from my school, it is possible to write the UFE with only 4 months of public firm experience. I wonder if the ICAO should change their professional program, like maybe make it necessary to work for a year or so before writing the CKE/SOA/UFE.

  7. Krupo and Edmund,

    Low provincial/regional pass rates are always hard to swallow and can undoubtedly be improved by increasing the amount of screening and the length of the education period prior to allowing a UFE candidate to write for the first time.

    However, I question whether a higher UFE pass rate would make the program more attractive to potential entrants. After all, what’s the benefit of making it easier to get THROUGH the UFE if it makes it harder to get TO the UFE in the first place?

    Here’s a hypothetical example: Assume a CKE pass rate of 80% and an SOA pass rate of 80%. In this example, 64% of candidates will make it TO the UFE in their first year. If the UFE first-time writer pass rate is 75%, the flowthrough rate in the first year would be 48%.

    This doesn’t inspire any confidence until you compare it to some of the other programs in the country where candidates have a 0% chance of getting through the UFE in their first year because they are essentially two-year programs.

    In a similar vein, Ontario could improve its UFE pass rate by dropping its CKE and/or SOA pass rates to screen candidates more aggressively. The UFE “headline number” would be more attractive, but there would probably be even fewer successful candidates since so many more wouldn’t make it TO the UFE.

    In short, I think that Ontario has made some conscious decisions to make its program more attractive and to give as many candidates as reasonable a shot at the UFE as soon as possible. I’ll also bet that these decision-makers have to suffer bruised egos, but do so with the knowledge that they’ve helped as many candidates as possible make it TO and THROUGH the UFE.

  8. Its quite interesting how you have different regions with different entry requirements in the same country (like the States and Canada). In New Zealand we have the NZICA and CPA Australia as an alternate, although pretty much everyone goes for NZICA’s CA qualification.
    It involves 4 years full-time degree/bachelors level study with specific papers and a balance of Accounting/Business and Liberal papers, then one year general work experience at a workplace with a registered mentor, after which you take ‘PCE 1″ Professional Competency Exam.
    After this you do two years work at an Approved Training Organisation doing Accounting work, participate in Professional Accounting School (series of weekend workshops) and then finally PCE 2, the mother of all exams which is 6 hours long.
    All in all it takes 7 years to become a CA. I guess you’ve got to make it challenging and not easy to make sure that the CA designation is not just ‘handed out’ and that it is well earnt.
    Maybe it is better to have work experience required before being able to sit the exams?

  9. 6 hours? Ours is 13. Albeit spread over three days. ;)

    Of course, geographically NZ is the size of one state or province or so. The reason for the separate regional configurations… well that’d be an interesting story to learn. But I’m sure Organizational Design folks could spin a yarn to explain it.

    The total time is similar – 4 year degree, 30 months experience. So effectively also 7 years.

    I’ve said it before and will say it again: work experience definitely helps with our exams. I was glad to get a year under my belt going into the final.

  10. Hi, I am a university student considering pursuing the CA stream. I am now researching the requirements and reading about the process to become a CA. One thing that is confusing me is the pass rates that are posted up on websites. If, for example, the UFE had a pass rate of 74.1%, does that mean that 74.1% of the people that attempted the UFE succeeded? If this is the case, then why is it that in some websites, it is given that a second time attempt had a pass rate of 41.%. How is it the first time writers have a higher pass rate?

  11. Rima, you’re assuming that if you wrote the exam once, you’d automatically do better the second time, since you have “experience.”

    It’s a tricky exam – often people who fail once, will fail again either for the same reason, or yet ANOTHER reason. There seems to simply be more risk on that front.

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