Public accountancy examination

In rare cases, some candidates pass the Common Final Examination (CFE), but their financial reporting competency results are not good enough for them to obtain the public accountancy permit (CPA auditor or CPA auditor limited to review engagements). These candidates are required to write an additional examination to validate their proficiency in this competency.

The 4.5 hour national examination consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and a case analysis testing the required technical knowledge presented in the module.

You have up to three attempts to pass the examination.

Refer to the examination blueprint for the competency area weightings.


To be eligible to write the examination, you must:

  • have passed the CFE in the assurance role
  • have failed to demonstrate depth in financial reporting

You are not required to register for the examination preparation module, but we strongly recommend that you do to maximize your chances of success.

Preparation module

The examination preparation module is available online on CPA Canada’s learning management system, Brightspace (D2L). This is a self-study module without any submissions or workshops.

The module covers the technical knowledge needed to obtain a public accountancy permit (CPA auditor or CPA auditor limited to review engagements) as described in the CPA Competency Map: assurance, taxation, financial reporting, finance as well as strategy and governance.

An 8-week study schedule is suggested. The self-study activities require an average of 15 hours per week and include the following:

Learning eBook

The Learning eBook is organized by competency area. Some of the chapters cover technical areas of the CPA Competency Map. These chapters include questions and exercises.

Virtual Professional Library

The library provides access to the CPA Canada Handbook collection, Federal Income Tax Collection and Canadian Professional Engagement Manual, so you may consult the assurance, taxation and financial reporting standards in effect.

Sample cases and other documents

You can use the sample cases to practise, and a Board of Examiners document will help you better prepare for the examination.

Discussion board

Use the board to talk to other candidates enrolled in the module.

Module and examination registration

To register for the module and/or examination, email the following information to

  • Six-digit CPA Quebec client number
  • First and last name
  • Examination name: public accountancy examination
  • Registration type: module and examination or examination only

The fees are payable by credit card within five days of your registration.

Registration fees

  • Module and examination: $1,437.19 (including taxes)
  • Examination only: $1,149.75 (including taxes)

Important dates

Spring 2021
Registration deadline
July 31, 2021
Module duration
Between May 1 and August 20, 2021
Duration: 8 weeks
November 5, 2021
Release of results
December 17, 2021

1 The examination will take place in Montreal (location to be determined).

Cancellation and refund policy

Module registration

  • A full refund may be issued if access to the module on the Brightspace (D2L) platform has not been created. Once your access is created, you cannot obtain a refund.
  • Once you begin the module, you cannot obtain a refund for the examination. You may, however, defer writing the examination to the next session.

Module registration

  • A full refund will be issued for any cancellation made more than five days prior to the examination.
  • A partial refund will be issued and a penalty will be charged for any cancellation made less than five days prior to the examination.


For questions about the public accountancy permit, please contact the CPA Order by email at