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Capstone and CFE FAQ

Capstone 1 is an integrative module where you learn about team management and how to communicate in a professional environment. You also deepen strategic leadership competencies using the knowledge acquired in the prerequisites and earlier CPA PEP modules. Throughout the module, you work in groups to complete a large business case, which relates to Day 1 of the Common Final Examination (CFE). Instead of writing an exam, you are evaluated on group presentations of a board report based on the case. 
  
During Capstone 1, you: 

  • Work in groups to research specific topic areas related to the case provided in the Capstone 1 workshop. 
  • Use core and elective competencies while developing key enabling skills. 
  • Draft and orally present a business case. 
  • Develop abilities in competencies such as teamwork, negotiation, and oral communication. 

You are placed in a presentation group based on workshop location, home city location, DiSC score, and completed electives.

Once the groups have been created and communicated, no changes are permitted.

Capstone 2 prepares you for entry into the CPA profession by requiring you to apply the competencies you have acquired throughout the CPA program in complex and highly integrative cases. You continue to develop your enabling competencies in situations which simulate real-life projects and assignments that newly certified CPAs may encounter in their careers. There is no exam for Capstone 2; instead, after successfully completing Capstone 2 you will be eligible to write the CFE.

The Common Final Examination (CFE) is a three-day examination requiring you to demonstrate depth and breadth of competency development in accordance with the CPA Competency Map. 

The CFE is offered twice annually. Each offering spans three-days, with four hours on Day 1, five hours on Day 2 and four hours on Day 3. 

Although the Capstone modules technically do not have an exam date, Day 1 of the CFE is based on Capstone 1, and Day 2 of the CFE is based on Capstone 2. Provided you successfully complete Capstones 1 and 2, you will be eligible to write the CFE.

The capstone modules are offered before each CFE, which is offered twice annually. The  full schedule is posted at least one year in advance. 

The CPA PEP module schedule is posted on the CPAWSB website. Capstone 1 registration dates are listed under the Spring session, Capstone 2 under the Summer session, and the CFE is under the Fall session. Capstone 2 and the CFE share the same registration periods although they appear under different sessions in the schedule.

The DiSC is a short personality assessment tool that you will complete in your first CPA PEP module. After taking the short quiz, you will end up with a score of D, I, S or C. You must enter that score in your profile in the My CPA portal. To enter the DiSC Score: log into the My CPA Portal, click My Profile, click Contact Information, click the Capstone tab at the top of the page and enter the score. 

If you have a score of two letters, select the one you feel more closely represents your personality type. 

Capstone 1 and 2 have no module-specific examinations since they immediately precede the national Common Final Examination (CFE)

You need to successfully present a group report to a panel as part of completing Capstone 1, and you must complete a set amount of practice cases in Capstone 2 to be eligible to write the CFE. You are tested on the capstone materials when you write the CFE. Day 1 of the CFE is based on Capstone 1. Day 2 of the CFE is based on Capstone 2. 

Before registering in Capstone 1 make sure you have entered your DiSC Score in your profile. 

Before registering for Capstone 2, make sure you have entered your Declared Elective in your profile. 

To enter this information: log into My CPA Portal, click My Profile, click Contact Information, and click the Capstone tab at the top of the page. 

Before registering for the CFE, make sure you have registered for or successfully completed Capstone 2. 

You need to have successfully completed all required core and elective modules and exams before starting the capstone modules. It is not possible to take a capstone module concurrently with an elective module before successfully completing two electives. 

If you are registered in the capstone modules, you will receive access to module content three-to-five business days before the module start date.

Capstone 1 cases are used for two CFE offerings. If your Capstone 1 case is tested twice before you successfully complete Day 1 of the CFE, CPAWSB will provide you a new case (at no cost) for self-study before your next CFE attempt. 

Past CFE Reports can be found on CPA Canada’s website

A declared elective is the focus, or depth, that will be tested on Day 2 of the CFE. You can select one of four declared electives: Assurance, Taxation, Performance Management, or Finance. More information about each declared elective can be found on the  CPAWSB website. 

To enter your declared elective: log into My CPA Portal, click My Profile, click Contact Information, click the Capstone tab at the top of the page and enter the Declared Elective.

CPA Canada has designed the program with the expectation that you would only take the few days between the end of Capstone 2 and the CFE as days off for study purposes. However, the decision to take time off, and how much time to take, is between you and your employer. 

The case that is instructed in Capstone 1 is tested for two CFEs. To maximize writing potential, we encourage you to attempt the CFE which immediately follows your capstone modules. 

If you have previously taken and successfully completed Capstone 2, you are eligible for the Capstone 2 not for credit (NFC). This is an optional self-study tool for repeat CFE writers to access read-only Capstone 2 materials for the current offering. In the Capstone 2 NFC, you will not have access to a facilitator, are not permitted to submit weekly tasks or the simulated CFE, will not receive feedback, and are not permitted to attend the workshop. 

If you have previously passed Capstone 2, you have the option to retake the module and receive facilitator feedback. When you retake Capstone 2 you are required to meet the minimum threshold as established by CPA Canada, including submission of weekly tasks, the full simulated CFE and attending the workshop before you can write the CFE. The cost to retake the module is the same as the regular module fees. If you wish to retake Capstone 2 contact the Module Services team at cpamodule@cpawsb.ca during the Capstone 2 registration period to request permission to retake the module. 

If you are writing the CFE for the first time, or were unsuccessful on all days of the exam, CPA Canada requires that you write all days of the CFE within the same session. 

CPA Canada has designed the program with the expectation that you would only take the few days between the end of Capstone 2 and the CFE as days off for study purposes. As such, the decision to take time off, and how much time to take off, is solely between you and your employer.