As soon as you enroll in the Full Access Bundle you will receive immediate access to ALL our video courses. The courses include a wide range of corporate finance topics including accounting, financial analysis, financial modeling, valuation, sensitivity analysis and industry-specific financial modeling courses. These courses will take you through the model building process in easy to follow, step-by-step format. In each of our courses, you can download the Excel financial model templates and relevant documents required to build the models. By the end of our program, you will have mastered the art of financial modeling and valuation and be ready to accelerate your career! Register for the Full Access Bundle.
Yes the excel files are included and available for download for all of our courses. You have to be registered for the course to download the files.
The Premium Bundle includes our CORE financial modeling and valuation courses but does not include industry-specific courses. Register for the Premium Bundle.
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You need to complete all the video lessons, quizzes and final assessments in each course to earn your certificate. You can retake the assessments as many times as necessary until you reach an 80% passing grade. You will be emailed an official PDF certificate when you complete the course and can add it to your LinkedIn profile.
Corporate Finance Institute® is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education (CPE) on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. CFI courses offered are eligible for NASBA-approved CPE credits. Please email us at [email protected] to request your NASBA-compliant certificate upon successful course completion.
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Yes, our courses can count towards your Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits for your Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. We can provide you a certificate of course completion and verified CPE hours. Please email us with any special requests.
A certification can help set you apart from the crowd. Many recruiters will look at your resume or LinkedIn profile for evidence of financial education and a certificate will add legitimacy to your profile. The Corporate Finance Institute is recognized by many employers as a leading provider of finance training.
Yes, we publish the transcripts for our accounting fundamentals, reading financial statements, financial modeling fundamentals course, how to build a financial model, and mining valuation courses, however, you will have to register for the courses to download the excel templates and watch the videos. You can read our course transcripts by emailing us after you register.
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Yes, please read it here.
Financial modeling is the task of building an abstract representation (a model) of a real-world financial situation. It is a mathematical model designed to represent a simplified version of the performance of a financial asset or portfolio or a business, project, or any other investment. It starts by taking historically observed financial results and forecasting out into the future based on a set of assumptions. The assumptions drive the future results, which in turn drive the valuation. Read our article entitled, “what is financial modeling?”.
A discounted cash flow (DCF) model is a valuation method used to estimate the value of an investment opportunity. DCF analysis uses future free cash flow projections and discounts them back to the present (or time of the investment) to arrive at a present value estimate. If the value arrived at through DCF analysis is higher than the current cost of the investment, the opportunity appears to “add value”.
Financial models are most commonly used by capital markets professionals (investment banking, equity research, private equity) and corporate professionals (corporate development, financial planning & analysis, investor relations). All of these professionals use models to evaluate investment opportunities and transactions.
The main reasons to build a financial model are to understand the business, estimate it’s value, and determine if it makes sense to invest, acquire, sell or hold an investment.
The main reason to use Excel over software when building a model is to thoroughly understand the business. The process of manually building out the relationship between all historical results, drivers, and future results is the most valuable part. If a software program were to spit out the Net Present Value of a business you would not understand that business as well as if you built the model yourself. For this reason, I do not believe software will replace Excel for finance professionals.
Building a Three Statement Model is the baseline that all other valuation models off of. It is important to learn how to build full, dynamic financial statement projection models in Excel from scratch, using real case studies, industry best practices, and sensitivity analyses. This will form the basis for merger models, leveraged buyout (LBO) models, and DCF models.
How do professionals at investment banks, private equity firms, and other financial institutions analyze the impact of mergers & acquisitions? All good models must include a robust sensitivity analysis in order to understand how valuation changes as the drivers move up/down. To perform sensitivity analysis you have to carefully construct your model so you can test inputs. One common method is with data tables. Another more advanced method is to build a tornado chart after manually linking and assessing the impact of numerous inputs.
“Comps” analysis is the quickest, most widely used valuation methodology, and fundamental part of the core valuation skill set of investment bankers and finance professionals. In this course, trainees learn how to select and “scrub” comparables, pick the right multiples and build dynamic comps models in Excel from scratch, using real case studies, industry best practices, and sensitivity analyses.
Transaction comps (aka deal or transaction comps) is a variant of comparables valuation. The value of the firm is derived by assessing the value of comparable companies recently acquired. In this step-by-step, real case study course, you’ll learn how to select comparable acquisitions, find important disclosures in filings, spread the data and build a complete transaction comps model in Excel.
Goal seek is a powerful way to test what a certain input has to be in order to produce a specific output. The common syntax for goal seek is: set cell A to be equity to X by changing cell Y. This can be very useful for break-even analysis, or in a situation where your boss asks you, “how many units do we have to sell to make an X percent EBITDA margin?”
Vlookup is often used to pull data from a table. Use VLOOKUP, one of the lookup and reference functions, when you need to find things in a table or a range by row. For example, look up an employee’s last name by her employee number, or find her phone number by looking up her last name (just like a telephone book).
The key difference between INDEX MATCH and VLOOKUP is that VLOOKUP requires a static column reference while INDEX MATCH uses a dynamic column reference. With VLOOKUP, most people will input a specific, static number to indicate which column they want to return from. When you use INDEX MATCH, the formula allows you to manually choose which column you want to pull from.
EBITDA stands for Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization. It is a heavily referenced financial metric, although it has several drawbacks and frankly less relevant than one may be lead to believe. It is often considered to be a proxy for cash flow, but this is often not the case as it doesn’t take into account capital expenditures, taxes, or changes in working capital.
EBITDA is popular for a few reasons: (1) it can be easily calculated on a GAAP or IFRS Income Statement, (2) it’s considered a proxy for cash flow (although it’s not a very good one), and (3) it’s a has reached level of critical mass where everyone follows the convention without much thought. Not all people like EBITDA, however.
Free Cash Flow is equal to cash flow from operations less capital expenditures. It starts at net income and adds back any non-cash items, adjusts for changes in working capital, and deducts capital expenditures.
Unlevered Free Cash Flow is similar to Free Cash Flow but it assumes the firm has no debt, and therefore the interest expense is added back and taxes are recalculated without the interest deduction.
NPV is the value of a series of future cash flows discounted back to the present at a certain discount rate. It represents the value of a financial asset and expresses how much someone would be willing to pay for it if they are willing to accept the discount rate as their rate of return on investment. To value a business, the discount rate that’s used if typically the WACC.
WACC is a cost of equity and cost of debt for a business, weighted according to its capital structure.
The formula is: WACC = [equity/(equity + debt) x cost_of_equity] + [debt/(equity + debt) x cost_of_debt_after_tax].
An investment bank is a financial institution that assists individuals, corporations, and governments in raising financial capital by underwriting or acting as the client’s agent in the issuance of securities. The main activities of the investment banking division (IBD) are underwriting (debt and equity) and M&A advisory. Read our guide to getting a job in investment banking and example interview.
Sell side Equity Research analysts closely analyze stocks in order to provide insightful investment ideas and recommendations to the firm’s sales force, traders, and directly to institutional investors and increasingly to the general investing public. Buy side analysis perform the same research, but keep their publications and recommendation in-house.
Sales and trading is one of the key functions of an investment bank. The term refers to the various activities relating to the buying and selling of securities or other financial instruments. Typically an investment bank will perform these tasks on behalf of itself and its clients.
In finance, private equity is an asset class consisting of equity securities and debt in operating companies that are not publicly traded on a stock exchange. A private equity investment will generally be made by a private equity firm, a venture capital firm or an angel investor.
A Commercial bank is a type of financial institution that provides services such as accepting deposits, making business loans, and offering basic investment products. The commercial banking division typically provides loans, cash management, hedging, and working capital solutions to business below the investment banking threshold.
FP&A stands for financial planning and analysis. Typically financial planning and analysis departments are structured to serve upper-level management with the information they need to make strategic, operational, and tactical decisions. Analysis typically includes budgeting, forecasting, financial modeling and cash flow planning.
Treasury management (or treasury operations) includes management of a business’ holdings, with the ultimate goal of managing the firm’s liquidity and mitigating its operational, financial and reputational risk. This typically includes managing accounts receivable, accounts payable, hedging, fundraising, and anything to do with cash management.
We have compiled a list of the most common job titles in investment banking, equity research, Treasury, FP&A, private equity, accounting and more.