Welcome to the future

Sep 02, 2019
In this article, John Munnelly provides a starting point for candidates who have passed their CAP 2 exams and are about to commence their FAE studies. 

Congratulations! Your success at CAP 2 means you have passed another significant milestone on your way to becoming a Chartered Accountant. Now it’s time to kick-start your journey to the FAE. 

New developments

This is an exciting year for education at Chartered Accountants Ireland. FAE has undergone some exciting new developments that we are eager to share with you. 
FAE has moved from a two-day examination to a single day! This means that FAE candidates will sit a single core comprehensive-style examination next August 2020. 

The core syllabus has also undergone an overhaul. With this new era in accountancy upon us, a number of traditional areas have been amalgamated or removed from the syllabus and Core 2019/20 is now based on the following four areas:
  • Financial Reporting
  • Strategic Management and Leadership
  • Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies
  • Risk Management and Sustainability
Candidates are advised to download the competency statement to get to grips with the requirements in each of the four areas. You can read more about this in Ronan O’Loughlin’s article on page 18.

FAE will present a fresh challenge to candidates as it doesn’t follow the same silo approach as CAP 2. The subjects at CAP 2 are standalone; at FAE, a mix of skills drawn from your previous lessons is required for the Core Comprehensive and Core Simulations examination.  

CAP 2 examiners report

Candidates should begin their studies by reviewing two reports, the first being the CAP 2 examiners’ report. This report should be read as soon as it is published. In the report, the examiners will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of candidates’ performance. Candidates should pay particular attention to examiner messages from subjects where a marginal pass was achieved. This is a potential area of weakness that a candidate is carrying into FAE. 

Complacency is the biggest problem facing all candidates attempting FAE for the first time – especially for candidates who have performed well in CAP 2. 

Candidates will have to sit two interim assessments for FAE, the AAFRP in December 2019 and the elective interim assessment in April 2020. The examinations department has noted that candidates’ performance can dip from their CAP 2 performance to AAFRP and elective interim assessments. This may be a result of candidates falling into the complacent trap of believing that a good result at CAP 2 guarantees a good result at FAE. Do not let this happen to you. The interim assessments at FAE are designed to allow you to achieve credit toward your final examinations and put you in good shape for first time success. Do not miss out on the maximum gain that can be achieved from the FAE interim assessments due to a false sense of security in your prior studies.

FAE examiners report

The second report that is essential reading for FAE candidates is the most recent FAE report which will reflect the examiners views on the performance of candidate from the August 2019 examinations. This is available from October 2019 and prospective candidates should note any areas of concern/weakness that the examiner comments upon. 

Preparation meets opportunity

Candidates are encouraged to put some thought into planning the year ahead. An investment in planning now will reap rich dividends for candidates. Keep an eye on Accountancy Ireland Extra as exam focussed material is contained in each issue. 

There is a train of thought that luck is the result of preparation meeting opportunity. At FAE, candidates will have three opportunities to demonstrate their preparation: the AAFRP, the Elective Interim Assessment and the main FAE examinations. Don’t fail to meet these opportunities without good preparation. Good luck!