Financial Modeling Case Competition Rules

Last Updated: November 9, 2018.

1.0 About the Competition

The CFI Financial Modeling Case Competition (the “Competition”) is organized by the Corporate Finance Institute® (CFI) with the support of a Board of Directors which includes a number of senior executives from the global business community.

2.0 Eligibility

The competition is open to any individual wishing to pursue a valuable learning opportunity in a case-based setting. Acceptance into the competition is conditional upon:

  1. Accepting the terms and conditions set forth by CFI 
  2. Paying the competition fee and
  3. Completing your registration before the registration deadline at 00:01 UTC (12:01 am) on Friday, November 2, 2018

3.0 Competitors

This is an individual case competition. However, if you are a university student, you can compete as part of a team of maximum 5 other university students. All other entrants are to compete as individuals. Submissions are to be completed entirely by the individual entrant or team and must be representative of the individual or team’s own abilities. Work that has been plagiarized from external sources will not be considered. See section 5.4 for more details.

4.0 Competition

4.1 Format

This will be an online competition that consists of a single round of eliminations, at the end of which we will decide the top three finishers. Once we receive all the submissions, our team will begin assessing each entrant’s submission. For more details about what we look for in case submissions, please consult section 6.0.

4.2 Prizes

There will be cash prizes totaling USD $10,000, distributed as follows:

  • 1st Place – USD $7,000
  • 2nd Place – USD $2,000
  • 3rd Place – USD $1,000
4.3 Objective

The Competition is intended to provide a learning experience for the students that will encourage healthy competition, professionalism and interaction by our future business leaders, both amongst themselves and with our business community. The Rules and Guidelines are not all-encompassing and situations may arise that have not been covered. It is the expectation of the Organizers and of the Board of Directors that any issues or disputes will be resolved in the spirit of the Competition.

5.0 Deliverables

All submissions must be made on this website (financialmodeling.org) from your user account and dashboard. There is an area where you can upload your submission before the deadline.

5.1 Excel Model

All entrants will be required to submit one Microsoft Excel financial model that will showcase your financial modeling skills and answer the case question to the best of your ability. The model’s main purpose is to answer the case question by showcasing the depth and breadth of your analysis.

You are free (but not required) to conduct additional research and analysis outside of the case scope in order to bolster your answer to the case question (ex. Industry analysis, comparables, macroeconomic analysis, etc.)

5.2 PowerPoint Presentation

All entrants will be required to submit one PowerPoint presentation (5-10 slides) that summarizes the outputs from the Excl Model and sets out your recommendations. A template will be provided to all participants.

5.3 Video Submission

All entrants will be required to submit one video that walks us through your model and explains the logic employed to arrive at your answer to the case question. This can be a screen recording of a PowerPoint slideshow, a walkthrough of the excel model, a dedicated animated video made to answer the case question, or a recording of an in-person presentation.

The video submission must not exceed 5 minutes in length. For a free screen recorder for Windows, please follow this link. Mac users can record their screen using the built-in QuickTime player by following instructions found here.

5.4 Access to Information

This is an open case, meaning that you may consult materials outside of the case to aid you in your analysis. Such materials may include online courses, textbooks, online resources or Excel templates to name a few. If you do use any outside resources, you must make sure to reference them at some point in your deliverables.

However, you are not permitted to have someone else directly help you put together your submission. Your deliverables should be a product of your personal analysis and work, and cannot be plagiarized or be someone else’s work.

Submissions that breach this rule will not be accepted.

5.5 Tone and Language

All materials must be submitted in English, and must use a professional tone (i.e no excessive colloquialism, slang, vulgar language, swearing, etc…).

Submissions not in English and/or that do not employ professional language will not be accepted.

6.0 Assessment Criteria

All deliverables will be assessed as a single submission according to the Scoring Rubric published on this website.

You will be graded on ten different criteria worth ten points each, and be provided with an overall score out of 100 (with 100 being the perfect score).

7.0 Case and Submission Details

7.1 Case Source

The Case will be written internally by CFI prior to the competition date. It will remain unpublished until the competition begins, at which time it will be made public. You can download the Case on this website (financialmodeling.org) from your user account and dashboard.

7.2 Dates, Deadlines and Submissions

The case will be released to competitors in an email and available in their user dashboards under “Downloads” at 00:01 UTC (12:01 am) on Saturday, November 3, 2018. Please refer to this website to determine the equivalent time for your region.

Following the release of the case, competitors will have 1 week to prepare their deliverables.

The deliverables will be due at 23:59 UTC on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Submissions are to be made through the candidate’s account under “Contest Submission prior to the due time (check this website for your local time equivalent).

Late submissions will not be accepted.

7.3 File Naming Conventions

All submission files must be uploaded to your user account and adhere to the following naming convention:

  • “[Lastname]_[Firstname]_[File]_CFI_FMCC.xlsx”
  • (ex. Doe_John_Model_CFI_FMCC.xlsx)
  • (ex. Doe_John_Video_CFI_FMCC.mp4)

8.0 Tie Breakers

In the event that any of the top three teams obtain the exact same score, CFI will aim to break the tie through one of the following methods:

  1. With a qualitative assessment that grades the submissions with a high-level perspective (i.e giving additional consideration to additional analysis, presentation, timeliness, adherence to the rules, etc…)
  2. With a video call through which CFI judges will conduct a Q&A about the entrant’s submission

Final Notes

We hope that you have found answers to all your questions in this document. If you still have questions regarding the competition, please email us at support@financialmodeling.org

Thank you for entering the  CFI Financial Modeling Case Competition. We wish you the best of luck!