Your FAE journey begins here...

Aug 30, 2018
In this article, we provide 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’ve passed another significant milestone on your way to becoming a Chartered Accountant. Now you’re facing into the FAE, here’s some advice to guide you through the last leg of your journey.

This year, Chartered Accountants Ireland launched two new electives at FAE level – the Financial Services elective and the Public Sector elective. Both electives are the result of newly formed partnerships with the Institute of Banking (IOB) and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

Furthermore, Advanced Performance Measurement (APM) has undergone a syllabus review and following changes to the syllabus material, the elective is now called “Advisory”. Details of these new electives will be covered in other articles in this issue.

Candidates should consider the elective options that are now open to them, as there are now five electives to choose from as opposed to three last year.

The FAE syllabus will present a fresh challenge to candidates, as it doesn’t follow the same siloed approach as CAP 2. The subjects at CAP 2 level are standalone whereas at FAE level, a mix of skills drawn from previous learnings is required for the Core Comprehensive and Core Simulations exam.

CAP 2 examiners report

Candidates should begin their studies by reviewing two reports. The CAP 2 examiners’ report should be read as soon as it’s published. This is relevant to candidates progressing to FAE as the examiners will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of candidates’ performance. Candidates should pay particular attention to examiners’ comments in subjects where a marginal pass was achieved, as these are potential areas of weakness.

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

Candidates will have to sit two interim assessments for FAE: the AAFRP in December 2018 and the Elective Interim Assessment in April 2019. 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 trap of believing that a good result at CAP 2 guarantees a good result at FAE. Don’t let this happen to you. The interim assessments at FAE level are designed to allow you to achieve credit toward your final examinations and put you in good shape for first-time success. Don’t 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 reflects the examiners’ views on the performance of candidates in the August 2018 examinations. This will be available from October 2018 and prospective candidates should note any areas of concern or weakness that the examiner comments on.

What next?

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

There is a school of thought which states that luck is the result of preparation meeting opportunity. At FAE level, candidates will have three opportunities to demonstrate their preparation: the AAFRP, the Elective Interim Assessment and the main FAE examinations. Good luck to all candidates!