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.

Chief Financial Officer Program

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Alumni Benefits

Participants receive these select Columbia Business School alumni benefits upon completing the program:


Value Creation

  • 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: Topics and sessions are subject to change based on faculty availability.

meet the faculty

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.

Note: Faculty is subject to change

Participant Profile

The Chief Financial Officer program is uniquely designed to suit 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. Participants would have:

Date & Fees

Module Date Location


Round Date Application Fees
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