Students CPA Program CFE News

Congratulations! 6,371 future CPAs pass unique hotel room CFE

Challenging CFE cycle comes to an end under unique conditions

Author: Colin Ellis

TORONTO, November 27, 2020 – In a year of challenging pandemic conditions that saw aspiring chartered professional accountants take their national exam in about 10,000 hotel rooms across the country, CPA Canada has announced that 6,371 individuals passed this year’s Common Final Examination (CFE). 

“In any year, the CFE is recognized as a rigorous and challenging examination. However, 2020 presented a unique obstacle with the presence of the ever-changing COVID-19 situation,” said Charles-Antoine St-Jean, president and CEO, CPA Canada. “Those who wrote the September 2020 CFE displayed impressive dedication and perseverance as they prepared for the exam while living through global health concerns and economic uncertainty.”  

As reported by Canadian Accountant, in order to ensure both social distancing and academic integrity, the September 2020 CFE was deemed a success despite the unique setting. Yet many students said they preferred the hotel room setting to the traditional study hall locations, as it allowed them to concentrate and relax, while being reassured of academic integrity and a smooth technological delivery

As CPA Canada stated, the constraints associated with the pandemic meant that the profession needed to determine a way to allow students to write in the safest possible environment while also upholding the integrity of the exam. “A special thank you goes out to all those who made the exam writing possible in what was an unpredictable setting,” added St-Jean. “So many individuals went above the call of duty out of respect for the students and the work they put in preparing for the exam.” 

Awards, honours and noteworthy aspects

Michelle Per of KPMG in Toronto is the recipient of the 2020 Governor General’s Gold Medal Award as the 2020 CFE’s top writer. “I was certainly extremely surprised when I found out that I had won the gold medal,” said Per. “Being named the gold medalist is a huge honour and a nice way to cap off this two-year journey.” 

The CPA Canada regional Gold Medal awards for achieving the highest standing were awarded to: Mark Joseph Skinner, R.C. Squire & Associates Professional Corporation, Corner Brook, NL, (Atlantic Canada); Ariane Villemure, KPMG s.r.l./S.E.N.C.R.L., Quebec City, QC (Quebec); and Omar Dhanani, Ernst & Young LLP, Vancouver, BC (Western Canada). 

A number of aspects of the list of honour roll members were noteworthy. Homegrown national accounting firm MNP LLP placed seven employees on the honour roll, surpassing one of the Big Four firms and tying another — an impressive achievement given the volume of employees at Deloitte, EY, KMPG, and PwC. 

The list also included a number of future CPAs from smaller accounting firms, such as Dusanj & Wirk in Victoria, McGovern Hurley in Toronto, Avail LLP in Lethbridge, and more. 

A number of employees from private sector corporate giants such as BCE, TPL Energy, Shell Canada, and Walmart made the list. But Emily Potvin, as assistant controller a Rewind, a tech company in Ottawa, made the list, as did Jordan McGarry, a senior analyst at Strand, a real estate development company in Vancouver. 

Congratulations to all the successful writers of the September 2020 CFE. For those who didn’t make it this time around, be sure to read the many articles in the Students section of Canadian Accountant for advice. 

Click here to download the Honour Roll. Colin Ellis is a contributing editor to Canadian Accountant.

Canadian Accountant logo

(0) Comments