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August 16, 2016 9:04 AM

Conestoga grad named to CPA national honour roll

Darren Rennie, a 2014 Bachelor of Business Administration - Accounting, Audit and Information Technology graduate, has been named by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) as one of the top writers of the Common Final Examination (CFE). According to CPA Ontario, Rennie is believed to be the first Conestoga graduate to make the CFE honour roll and that of its predecessor, the UFE (Uniform Evaluation).

Written over a three-day period in May, the CFE assesses essential knowledge, professional judgment, ethics and the ability to communicate. Rennie finished among the top 20 of the more than 1,000 successful CFE writers across Canada and was one of seven Ontarians named to the honour roll.

The CFE is a component of the new CPA qualification program, which includes prescribed education, practical experience and examination requirements. Only those who complete the program successfully are entitled to use the designation of Chartered Professional Accountant.

“I felt good about my technical skills going into the exam,” said Rennie. “The difficult part was waiting more than two months for the results. Even though I felt well-prepared, I started to analyze my work during the first few weeks afterwards.”

The long wait was cut short by a few days when Rennie’s employer was notified in advance that he had successfully completed the CFE and had been named to the honour roll. Any doubts about the exam quickly turned to excitement.

Rennie fell into accounting by accident in high school when the physics course he hoped to take became too full to join. He opted for accounting as an alternative and clicked with the content immediately: “I liked the systematic structure of accounting and realized it’s not just about numbers. The numbers also tell a story.” Following high school, he chose Conestoga because it offered what he was looking for: an accredited program that provided both a degree and practical learning.

Looking back, Rennie said a number of his Conestoga classes related to the CFE and helped develop his technical skills. He also credits his three co-op experiences for providing a valuable learning experience: “Co-op is a must-have for anyone in accounting. It provides the opportunity to translate theory into real-world practice. It also plays an important role in building communication skills.”

Rennie is currently employed with MNP LLP - a national accounting, tax and business consulting firm - at its Waterloo office.

CPA Ontario shared news of Rennie's success in a July 29 news release

Conestoga’s Bachelor of Administration - Accounting, Audit and Information Technology degree program, delivered at the honours level, provides a comprehensive education in accounting, audit and information technology to produce graduates who possess the skills needed in the global business environment. The degree meets the undergraduate educational requirements for direct entry into the CPA's Professional Education Program which is part of an individual's path to obtaining their full CPA designation.

Visit the program page for more information.

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