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Course Preview : Chief Financial Officer Program at Columbia Business School

[Video Transcript] Chief Financial Officer Program at Columbia Business School

So most of the decisions that analysts, entrepreneurs, consultants, investors, and managers require involve looking ahead and making forecasts about uncertain future evolutions of our business. So in this program, you'll learn a unique approach to decision-making that'll help you consider the fundamentals of your company, and how to link the fundamentals to underlying measures, which in turn will help you make better consumption, investment, financing, and operating decisions. Participants who've taken this program often comment on how transformative it's been to their thinking and understanding of how companies operate. Our focus will be on trying to understand how companies create and destroy value, what it would take to change such a path, how to consider uncertainty explicitly in forecasting, and whether and how fundamental value gets reflected eventually in stock price or some kind of valuation.


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Some of the key questions that we plan to hit on in the program include a general framework for understanding, and then forecasting a business and its potential value in an uncertain environment, a critical review of what we see in practice by companies, both early-stage, and established ones, understanding the product or service sold. To whom is the product sold? Where is it sold? What does the pricing look like? What's the market size? What's the competitive position? When and how are customers paying? What property, plant, and equipment, including technology and other intangibles, do we need to sustain that revenue and grow, such that we match our revenue expectations? How much does all this cost? And how will it be financed? How does all this compare with the competition? What kind of talent do you need to sustain and grow the business?

How many? Where are they located? How and why should they be paid? What are the primary materials and components needed in your business? How are they sourced? A few supply chain issues to think about. How much does all this cost? We consider liquidity, financial investments, and how these things get reflected in financial statements. We also reflect on the impact of strategic investments, mergers, and acquisitions, minority stakes, and how should we interpret related growth and acquisition-related assets. We also hear directly from CFOs of the top companies who will share their insights from the trenches on how to run a successful company. So our aim here has been to combine the best of academic theory with the best of practice from world-class CFOs. We've had a great time putting this program together. And I hope after you're done with the modules and after you go through the content, you walk away intellectually challenged, academically curious, and hopefully better equipped to work in your job as a CFO.

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