Chief Financial Officer Program

The Chief Financial Officer Program is a five month, multi-modular program that will enable participants , with finance background, take the next step in their careers. Through a comprehensive curriculum led by Ivy League faculty and industry practitioners, , this program will help participants develop the knowledge and skills to be an effective CFO.

Key Benefits

  • Experience an expertly developed curriculum: Acquire the skills to be a successful CFO through a cutting-edge curriculum covering value creation, strategic decision making, capital markets, monitoring performance, leadership and managing digital disruption as a CFO.
  • Connect with your experienced peer group: Prepare for your next career milestone alongside other seasoned financial leaders from around the globe—and make new, lifelong connections.
  • Learn from Ivy League faculty: Learn from Columbia Business School faculty, who are world renowned experts in Finance, Strategy and Leadership, as well as from practitioners that include former CFOs.
  • Immerse in the world's financial capital:Over the three in-class modules of the learning journey, immerse yourself in the financial capital of the world—New York City.
  • Connect with an elite network of Alumni: Receive Columbia Business school alumni benefits upon completing the program and be part of a distinguished network of over 47,000 Alumni worldwide.

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Participant Profiles

The Chief Financial Officer program is uniquely designed to suit mid–career professionals with a strong finance background from diverse industries. Individuals new to a CFO role or stepping into such a financial leadership role will benefit from the in-depth curriculum, expert faculty, and invaluable networking opportunities.

  • A minimum of 10 years of work experience in Finance
  • International exposure is preferred
  • Fluency in written and spoken English

Program Curriculum

  • Value Creation Audit

    • How does the firm make money, margins, and asset turns
    • Information beyond the financial statements: 360-degree feedback on the firm’s value drivers
    • How can we potentially change costs, implement operational improvements, and make business model refinements?
    • Valuation of the firm
    • Designing the corporate portfolio for optimal value creation
  • CFO as a Strategic Partner

    • Strategy audit: identifying drivers of differentiation and costs; analyzing the value proposition of business models, and the desired capabilities and activities
    • Strategic choices and their value implications; linking them to financial metrics
    • Making strategic decision for growth and margins
    • Balancing discipline in finance with investing in innovation
    • Responding to competition
    • Managing relationship with CEO
  • Capital Markets

    • How do capital markets view the firm?
    • Managing investors and quarterly earnings calls
    • Raising capital
    • Pay-out policy and signaling
    • Credit Ratings and Implications for Capital Structure
    • Regulatory compliance
    • Capital allocation and capital structure
    • Capital expenditure: how to split between pay-outs/acquisitions; dividends, stock buybacks
    • The M&A Process: strategy, valuation, and execution
  • Monitoring Performance

    • What are the KPIs and Dashboards to monitor?
    • Data–driven decision making and decision making under uncertainty
    • Risk management (credit, currency, etc.)
    • Compensation policies
    • Accounting systems and legacy systems
  • CFO as a Leader

    • Managing and motivating teams of people
    • Engaging the board
    • Communicating effectively with the board, investors, different functions, and business units
    • Learning to work with various leadership styles and capabilities
    • Crisis management
    • Activist investors
  • Tomorrow's CFO

    • Global economic environment
    • Move to capital markets
    • Real options; valuation of international projects
    • FinTech and the finance function
    • Sustainable investing (Environment, Social, and Governance [ESG] framework and implications)
    • Disruptive technology (artificial intelligence, robotics)
    • Blockchain and cyber risk
Note: The list of topics is not exhaustive and is subject to change.

  • Shivaram Rajgopal

    Shivaram Rajgopal

    Faculty Director

    Shiva Rajgopal is the Kester and Byrnes Professor of Accounting and Auditing at Columbia Business School. He teaches fundamental analysis of financial statements for investors, managers, and entrepreneurs and a PhD seminar on accounting regulation. Key awards include 2006 and 2016 American Accounting Association (AAA) Notable Contribution to the Literature award; 2006 and 2016 Graham and Dodd Scroll Prize given by the Financial Analysts Journal; and the 2008, 2012, and 2015 The Glen McLaughlin (Endowed) Prize for Research in Accounting and Ethics.


Dates & Fees

Dates Length Location Tuition Fees
Jan 25–29, 2021 5 Days New York City 35,000* USD
Feb–Mar, 2021 Online
Mar 15–19, 2021 5 Days New York City
Apr–May, 2021 Online
May 24–28, 2021 5 Days New York City
Deadline Application Fees
Round 1 Aug. 11, 2020 300 USD
Round 2 Sep. 22, 2020 400 USD
Round 3 Nov. 10, 2020 500 USD
Round 4 Dec. 8, 2020 600 USD


  • • Inclusions: Program Materials, Coffee Breaks and Lunches
  • • Exclusions: Travel Costs and Accommodation

*Applicants of Rounds 1 & 2 can avail an early registration benefit of 3000 USD on the Program Fee.