CFE preparation

The Common Final Examination (CFE) is a three-day examination. Sample cases for each day are published on the CPA Canada website: read the examples!

The following documents are available on the CPA Canada website:

  • September 2015 CFE report
  • September 2015 Board of examiners’ report 
  • May 2016 CFE simulations (at the bottom of the page)
  • September 2015 and May 2016 Board of examiners’ report related to the Day 1 case Rejuvenating Spa Inc. (RSI)
  • Supplement to the May 2016 CFE report providing commentary from the Board of Examiners on candidate performance for the Day 2 and Day 3 simulations.

While the purpose to the CFE is first to evaluate the competencies acquired in the program, all prior learnings are also testable. As a result, you will have to draw on knowledge acquired during the undergraduate program (or the equivalency process), as well as in the core and elective modules of the national program delivered by the Order or the university graduate program courses.

Securexam software [+]
Available resources [+]
Regulations [+]
Special accommodations [+]

Securexam software

You must use the Securexam software to write and submit your answers electronically. Note that Apple, Macintosh and PowerPC computers are prohibited, even if they run Microsoft Windows.

Available resources

On all three days of the CFE, you will have access to restricted material, including:

  • the CPA Canada Handbook;
  • the Income Tax Act;
  • tax shield formula; and 
  • other relevant tax information.

The standards and regulations are those in effect as of December 31 prior to the examination.


To familiarize yourself with the CFE regulations, please watch the related video.

© Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada)

Special accommodations

Candidates who have documented disabilities (physical, mental, or learning impairments) can request test accommodations for all the examinations of the Order (including the Common Final Examination and the module examinations of the national program). The requests are assessed on a case-by-case basis to ensure equal opportunity for candidates to fully demonstrate their qualifications without altering the nature or level of the qualification being assessed. However, submitting a request does not guarantee receiving accommodation.

Examples of special accommodations
  • Providing a quiet room with minimal distractions.
  • Permitting timed rest breaks during the exam.
  • Providing enlarged font on the exam question and answer papers.
  • Allowing a medical device in the examination room, such as an inhaler or diabetic equipment (if not attached to the student’s body).
  • Possibility of having a reader, scribe/typist or sign language interpreter (if granted, assistance of this nature will be provided by the Order and not by the candidate).
  • Increasing time permitted for the examination.

Submit a request

All requests must be submitted to the Order at least 10 weeks before the examination and must include all the required forms and information. The Order may accept applications up to 2 weeks before the examination date in exceptional circumstances, such as in the event of an accident or for compassionate reasons.

To obtain the required forms, please contact the examination team at The original documentation should be mailed to our offices.