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FinMo Case Competition Rules

Last updated: September 9, 2021

Rulebook

2021 Updates

Submission Start and End Dates:

  • In an effort to further improve the submission quality, we will offer students an additional week to make their submissions this year.
  • This means we will release the Case Study on Monday October 4th and the submission will be due Monday October 18th by 12:01AM. This gives entrants 2 full weeks to prepare their submissions.

Submission Grading and Feedback:

  • Instead of grading each individual submission this year, we will be providing a detailed video walkthrough of the top three models and discuss exactly what makes them truly world-class.
  • We feel that this will offer more value to students, compared to the traditional provision of generic feedback comments with a marked scoring rubric.
  • We will publish the Top 5 submissions this year, instead of the Top 20 which we have published in previous years. This will increase the level of recognition that our top submissions receive.

The Case Study:

  • This year’s Case Study is under development and we will provide further details closer to the competition.
  • Wondering how to best prepare for the Case Study? The following resources may be useful:
    • CFI’s own Macabacus plug-in can save you incredible amounts of time and improve the quality of your financial model and PowerPoint presentation. CFI paid students are entitled to a 6-month free trial, while non-CFI students are encouraged to utilize the 30-day free trial.
    • We recommend starting a Macabacus trial a couple of weeks before the Case Study is announced to allow time to get familiar with Macabacus and improve your speed with some of the keyboard shortcuts and functions.
    • We encourage entrants to enrol in CFI’s Presentation of Financial Information course (which is part of the FMVA program). The skills taught in this course will assist you in presenting your analysis in a precise and effective manner. We also encourage entrants to review the FMVA course content as a whole.

1.0 About the Competition

The CFI Financial Modeling Competition (the “Competition”) is organized by 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 associated Competition fee relating to your student, professional, or team status

3. Completing your registration before the registration deadline at 12:01am on Sunday, October 3, 2021

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 from 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, your analysis on the case, and answer the case question to the best of your ability.

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 that summarizes the outputs from the Excel 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. If you do use any outside resources, you must 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 our determined scoring criteria.

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 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 on Monday, October 4, 2021. Please refer to this website to determine the equivalent time for your region.

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

The deliverables will be due at Monday October 18 2021 by 12:01AM. Submissions are to be made through the candidate’s account under “Contest Submission“ prior to the deadline.

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_FinMo.xlsx”

(e.g. Doe_John_Model_CFI_FinMo.xlsx)

(e.g. Doe_John_Video_CFI_FinMo.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 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…).

9.0 Disqualification

9.1 Ineligibility of Registration

Submissions ranking in the top 10 will have their eligibility criteria reviewed. Entrants breaching the registration eligibility rules dictated in section 2.0 will be disqualified and their submissions will be rejected (e.g. registering using the student rate without being enrolled in the FMVA® or as a full-time student in a post-secondary institution).

9.2 Plagiarism

All submissions must be free of plagiarism. Any submissions suspected of plagiarisms will be subject to additional review by the judging panel including a Q&A session with the entrant to test their knowledge of their submission. Submissions that are plagiarized will be rejected.

9.3 Professionalism

All submissions must adhere to the professionalism guidelines noted in section 5.5. Submissions that do not follow these guidelines will be rejected and entrants will be disqualified.

9.4 Other Details for Disqualification

Violation of any of the above rules can result in disqualification. Disqualified entrants will be noted and may be restricted from entering future competitions. Entrants that are disqualified will not have their registration fee refunded.

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 refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you cannot find your answer there, please send us a question through our Contact Us page!

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