CPA CFE 2021 Study Plan – 5 Months Before CFE

Join me on Instagram for regular CPA tips & updates! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss any CPA posts!

My first thought when I started this post was, “where did the time go?”

At work, our year-end concluded in January. Since my company’s parent company is a public corporation, we had a tight timeline to make sure deliverables were completed on time. As a result, I was quite busy when the year started. However, the flip side was that once the deadline has passed, the workload was back to normal. I focused on my last elective module for the first couple of months this year and really started picking up on my CFE Prep pace in March. On top of that, we finally sold our condo last week so we were busy cleaning up our place to show for weeks before that.

I expect mid-June to be quite busy as we will be moving (not far, just 10 minutes away) but other than that, I am prepared to be consumed by CFE prep, jenthinks & Castle (the TV show) for the next 5 months!

Read all of my CPA CFE posts here

A Recap On Everything I Did In The Past 3 Months (9 to 6 Months Before CFE)

Late-January & February

  • learned all I could about CFE, CFE Prep & the Capstone modules
  • decided on my elective role for Day 2 of CFE (I chose Finance – but no need to declare until I register for Capstone 2 in May)
  • focused on completing all of the module assignments for Performance Management (PM) before beginning of March
  • started getting familiar with the CPA Competency Map as I planned on using it to guide my technical reviews

RELATED POST – CPA Capstone 1 – Tips on How to Do Well


  • registered for Densmore CFE Prep (thanks Densmore Consulting Services Inc for sponsoring their product) and received the Densmore Scenario Flowcharts in the mail
  • started a CFE diary that I have been updating “daily” (I put daily in quotation because I missed updating several times)
  • started reviewing technicals for taxation (TX) as I self-identified that to be my weakest area (relied on the Knotia e-text, Competency Map & Youtube)
  • finished watching the introductory videos provided by Densmore (part of the CFE Prep) and attempted several skill drills on Management Accounting (MA)
  • studied for PM and wrote my last elective exam on the last day of March
  • registered for Capstone 1


  • finished reviewing technical for TX
  • started reviewing technical for Financial Reporting (FR)
  • found out I passed PM – yeah!

Read all of my CPA CFE posts here

Updated Study Timeline For CFE

The Rest of April

  • finish reviewing FR
    • I took notes by hand until today – it was taking too long and I found it marginally useful for FR
    • will start reading the chapters without making notes and rely on Densmore Scenario Flowcharts and PDF summaries you can get on Knotia instead
Topic Summary for Financial Reporting on Knotia

May to Mid-July

  • Capstone 1 starts so I will assess how much time that will take before finalizing my study schedule
  • Goals:
    • start reviewing technical for Assurance in May
    • start reviewing technical for Finance (my role) in June
    • start reviewing technical for Strategy & Governance (S&G) in July
  • Capstone presentation from Jul 3 – 6 (pre-recorded video)
  • not budgeting any time for PM review as I just finished the module

Mid-July to Mid-September

  • Capstone 2 starts
  • Densmore CFE Prep on Jul 10, 14, 24 & 28
  • Off work for 13 working days (21 days including weekends)
  • Write cases and technical review as required
  1. 4.21.21
    Amy Lee said:

    Hi! Just completed two electives as well. PM and Finance. Why did you choose finance over pm? I liked finance, but I wasn’t sure if I can really master all required well enough for CFE.

    • 4.22.21
      Jennifer Chun said:

      Hi Amy,

      I chose Finance for a couple of reasons: I like the Finance topics (financial analysis, valuations, budgeting etc) and I am more confident I can do better than average in Finance (so I will score better in terms of competency since it’s curved) than in PM. I found PM to be the easiest module like many so I think I will have to try harder to score higher than average than I would have to in Finance.

      I hope this makes sense. More than happy to chat more 🙂 At the end of the day, I think choosing the topic you won’t mind studying more (because you enjoy it more or you find it easier) is the most important.


Comments are closed.