All aboard!

Jan 03, 2019
The FAE Express is leaving the station! Next stop: results in October 2019.

The New Year is here and as you look forward in 2019, let’s take a moment to review where you are on your FAE adventure. 

Candidates, you have completed your AAFRP examination. I hope this has been a sobering experience for you. It is essential you don’t discard the knowledge acquired from your Financial Reporting studies. Financial reporting is a key element of the core suite of papers that you will see again in August 2019. It might be worth pointing out that candidates reported that they found the cash flow question difficult in the December 2018 AAFRP. This question should not be a surprise to candidates, as cash flow was examined in December 2017 and featured in the Examiner’s Report of that examination.

Your education programme is about to ramp up and you will now have to start dividing your time between your Core studies and your chosen elective. The next priority is your Elective Interim Assessment slated for Saturday 27 April 2019, which is only 16 weeks. In light of this, it is essential that you start to develop a regular study habit. Apply the principles of saving for your pension: the earlier you start, the less you have to invest. If you start your studying far enough out from the exams, you only need to do a little to stay on top of your classes and studies. 

We have plenty of evidence and feedback from those who achieved high scores at FAE to confidently state those students began their studies early and did not find the work load overall as onerous as those who wait until block release. 

In a video commenting on the Summer 2018 FAE results, John O’Callaghan, Chair of the FAE Committee, pointed out that candidates tend to achieve the best success on their first attempt at FAE. In other words, if you need a second attempt to pass your exams, your chances of success diminish. We can discuss reasons for this at another time; however, what is clear is that those who put in the time investment in their studies usually reap the rewards in October. 

What you should do now is go back and read all the Examiner Reports, pay close attention to what the committee have commented on, read the examiners’ comments on the individual indicators for Core and your chosen elective. Each indicator tells a story as to how that particular cohort performed and, importantly, examiners may use this as the inspiration for creating new indicators. 

Finally, endeavour to read the Financial Times at least once a month – buy the weekend edition as examiners find inspiration for their cases there. 

The next weeks and months are going to go by in a whirl. Ensure that you are in control of the adventure and not the other way around.

John Munnelly is a FAE Paper Development Executive at Chartered Accountants Ireland.