Best CFO/ Executive Programs in Finance (2022)

In Finance Courses & Certifications by Gaurav SharmaUpdated On:

Let’s be honest, being a CFO is not something that can just be taught in a classroom. It’s a senior leadership role and it requires years of experience, ideally in a finance position. However, there are always exceptions. For example, non-finance professionals may sometimes have to step into this role. Or maybe you are a finance manager expecting to be fast tracked and need to learn leadership skills quickly?

This is why all these executive programs exist in the first place. The idea is to provide you with a mid-career boost. A lot of careers begin to stagnate towards the middle and these courses help you get out of that rut and into the fast lane again. For such courses, quality and brand value is super important so that is what we shall focus on here.


1. Executive Finance Programme from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Course Review

This one from Oxford is one of my favourite executive finance programs. The best part is that you don’t have to be a finance whiz to really benefit from this. The course will ease you in by explaining foundational finance concept in a suitable way while always looking at things from a senior executive’s point of view.

Oxford is one of the best brands you can have on your CV. If you need some personal branding, then this is an excellent opportunity. And the fact is that you really should start thinking about personal branding at this stage of your career, if not sooner. There was a time when networking was considered king in finance. But I have always placed personal branding first and foremost.

Getting to the actual meat of the course, there is everything here to help you get that boost for that CFO or equivalent finance role. After looking at the basics, you move on to strategic financial considerations like M&A, IPOs, debt issuance, Governance issues and other leadership dilemmas. These are things that CFO have to deal with on a regular basis. A lot of CFOs that I have interacted with during my career were former investment bankers!

The strategic aspect of finance is always front and centre and that is what makes this course best for CFO and other top finance roles. Even when you are talking about basic finance stuff, you are talking about it from a strategic angle. How it affects the bigger picture. How it affects the firm, rather than your personal KPIs. No matter how many resources the firm has, there will always be tough decisions to make. That is what financial leadership is all about.

Click here and use code GS-AF-BBD15 for a 15% discount on this course!

Summary

Time to Complete6 weeks, about 8 hours per week
FormatSelf-paced, fully online
LevelExecutive

2. Managerial Finance from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Course Review

Kellogg is one of the best business schools on the planet and the managerial finance course they have created here is one of the best. Not only will this course teach you financial concepts from the perspective of senior finance managers and leaders, but it will provide you with a significant personal branding boost.

While the course is meant for executives and business leaders, it does cover the fundamentals of finance quite well. You get the opportunity to brush up your corporate finance concepts like financial statements, CAPM, discount rates, cost of capital, investment decision making, cash flow forecasting, financial modelling, fund options, capital structure, mergers and acquisitions and even multiples valuation.

These are concepts that senior leadership and CFOs especially have to grapple with on a regular basis. As a banker and an investor, I always appreciated when the executives sitting on the other side of the table really knew at least the broader strokes of all complex the financial products that we were pitching to them. Courses like this one really help build that level of knowledge and confidence.

Click here and use code GS-AF-BBD15 for a 15% discount on this course!

Summary

Time to Complete6 weeks, about 8 hours per week
FormatSelf-paced, fully online
LevelExecutive

3. Entrepreneurial Finance from the London School of Economics and Political Science

Course Review

Being a CFO is not just about managing the finance departments of large corporates. Rather it’s the start-up sector that has the most demand for such professionals and is creating the most CFOs. Most of my banking colleagues get multiple offers every year to quit their banking job s and join a start-up as their CFO. It’s a pretty great experience and the stock options can be a gold mine!

That is the target audience that this excellent course offering from LSE is trying to capture. This is a course that has been custom built for entrepreneurial finance. Start-ups have finance requirements that are so distinct from established companies that this course seems fresh to me despite my decade plus of finance experience.

You will learn about the financing needs and ownership structure of start-ups. You will learn to evaluate new business opportunities, returns, venture capital valuation and multistage financing, how to pitch business ideas to investors, how to make term sheets, how to negotiate with finances, how to scale your business and prepare for an exit with a sale or an IPO. Maybe I am a bit biased because these topics interest me so much, but this is a literal gold mine.

Click here and use code GS-AF-BBD15 for a 15% discount on this course!

Summary

Time to Complete6 weeks, about 7 hours per week
FormatSelf-paced, fully online
LevelExecutive

4. Managerial Finance from the London School of Economics and Political Science

Course Review

This one is another great finance offering from the nice people over at the LSE. This is course designed for mid to senior level finance managers to find themselves with an ever-expanding repertoire of financial options and tools. This is a natural by-product of the ever-evolving modern business environment and everyone has best keep up.

What’s on offer here is a basic foundation of finance that then expands on to more advance and strategic topics. For example, you will start off with basic financial statement analysis and financial forecasting. After getting comfortable with these topics, you move on to the more advanced concepts.

These advanced topics include things like optimal investing, developing strategies to fund a business or venture, valuing verticals or entire companies and so on. These are CFO level considerations that senior executives will have to deal with, and this course prepares you to do exactly that.

Click here and use code GS-AF-BBD15 for a 15% discount on this course!

Summary

Time to Complete6 weeks, about 8 hours per week
FormatSelf-paced, fully online
LevelExecutive

5. Think like a CFO from IESE Business School

Course Review

This is a great specialization to learn the language of finance and develop a keen understanding of financial accountability, corporate finance and operational finance. This course is recommended for beginners and learners without a financial background can also benefit from it.

Topics covered include the basics like accounting principles, working capital and financial management, dealing with investors, financing options like stocks, bonds, capital structure and dividend policy etc.

The core idea is to prepare you for financial decision making and presenting your firms financial story to investors, shareholders and all other stakeholders in a comprehensive and authoritative manner.

Preview  Course/ Enroll Now

Summary

Time to Complete40-45 hours
FormatSelf-paced, fully online
LevelBeginner

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About the Author

Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav started his finance career as an intern in Citi’s Institutional Clients Group in 2009, eventually ending up as an Associate Director at Standard Chartered Bank’s Corporate & Institutional Banking division a few years later. By 2016, he was an independent consultant helping FinTech start-ups in London with product development and launch. Gaurav also helps banks with their digital banking initiatives and advises PE & VC firms with investments in the financial services and FinTech sectors. Gaurav writes on topics ranging from EU banking regulations and tradional finance to Blockchain startups and the future of banking itself! He has an Engineering degree in Computer Science and an MBA with a double major in Finance and Marketing. He is also a Certified Financial Risk Manager.