||Opening Date||Closing Date||Duration (+/-)|
|Key Stages, Places & Dates||
|Registrations on The CFO Portal (online)|| 10 Nov 2019
||31 Mar 2020||150 days|
|Release of Preseen Information/Case Study Background (in The CFO Portal)||1 Dec 2019||28 Feb 2020||90 days|
(at your University/School/Country)
1 Mar 2020
12 July 2020
|1.1 Release of case scenarios, analysis & submission of report & team profiles.||1 Mar 2020
||20 Apr 2020
|1.1b Provisionally selected best reports/teams invited to submit slides & video.||21 Apr 2020||15 May 2020
|1.2 Panel evaluations & Top 15 announcements.|| 16 May 2020
||1 June 2020
|1.2b Top 15 invited to update slides/videos (per preliminary feedback).||2 June 2020|| 12 June 2020
|| 11 Days
|1.3 Higher adjudication & Top 6 announcements (possible national finals)|| 13 June 2020
|| 12 July 2020
|STAGE 2: The People’s Choice (Public Votes -TV & Online)|| 13 July 2020
|| 15 Sep 2020
|STAGE 3: Semi-Finals (Presentations at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange - South Africa - Fully Paid Trip)
||13 Oct 2020||13 Oct 2020||1 Day|
|STAGE 4: The Finals (Extended Case Study and Presentations at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange)
||14 Oct 2020||14 Oct 2020||1 Day|
|AWARDS CEREMONY AT FINANCE INDABA AFRICA 2020 (at the Sandton Convention Center)||15 Oct 2020||15 Oct 2020||1 Day|
The CFO Global
The CFO (Chief Financial Officer) is an annual, open-entry, and global multi-stage business strategy and leadership-focused case study competition, organised by The CharterQuest Institute South Africa. It challenges university students around the world to prove they can compete at the highest level: by solving a set of complex and integrated finance, operational, strategic and ethical problems that beset a real-world global business in the emerging markets. DOWNLOAD CFO GLOBAL BROCHURE
The CFO (Junior) Continental
The cadet version, The CFO Junior has now gone Continental for all High Schools in Africa, running side-by-side this globally-acclaimed intercountry university challenge. The CFO JUNIOR first started in 2017 as a South African National High School Case Study Competition; it has now developed into a Continental Challenge, open to High Schools across Africa. As a cadet version of the main competition, it challenges teenage High School learners to prove their leadership potential: by competing to solve a set of ‘common sense’ real-life business management problems -drawing from their knowledge of Accounting, Business Studies, Economics
The objective of The CFO (Junior) Competition is to embed early in their development, the attributes of logical and critical thinking as well as the research, public speaking, team collaboration, entrepreneurial, competitive and problem-solving skills that are vital to their success at higher education and subsequent career journey.
It is the premier and much-anticipated annual continental event that brings together students, entry-level professionals, high schools, universities, professional bodies, country representatives, education
The objective is to prepare the next generation of CFOs & Global Business Leaders by advocating a deeper incorporation of the Integrated Case Method into the curriculum; highlight the centrality of entrepreneurial and business acumen, teamwork, analytical, critical, creative as well as strategic thinking in honing their applied problem-solving skills in a multinational context.
It is the premier and much-anticipated annual continental event that brings together students, entry-level professionals, high schools, universities, professional bodies, country representatives, education policy makers and big business for one purpose: to inspire the next generation of CFOs & Global Business Leader.
The competition is endorsed by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), CFO South Africa as well as the Association of Corporate Treasurers (UK):
This competition is the premier and much-anticipated annual global event that brings together students, entry-level professionals, high schools, universities, professional bodies, policy makers and big business for one purpose: to identify and build the next generation of CFOs & Global Business Leaders. It has received early support and/or sponsorships from:
The CFO calls for more public support and/or endorsements from policy makers and relevant professional bodies.
5 Good Reasons to Sponsor and/or Endorse!
- Engage with the most talented young business minds and identify top candidates for your business;
- Connect with business educators, accounting firms, professional accounting bodies, policy makers and other businesses and explore partnership opportunities;
- Network with other senior executives and policymakers in a unique setting that focuses attention on critical management issues;
- Promote your brand to key target markets
including: corporate executives, senior policymakers, leading academics and media outlets; and
- Strengthen your CSR by supporting world-class business education for Africans.
For more info about specific sponsorship benefits per package (Diamond, Platinum, Gold & Silver),
please contact Valentine at
Competition Format & Stages
The CFO and The CFO Junior entail an in-depth analysis of a (multinational) business facing a set of 'real world' (strategic) business management issues that need to be addressed. It is structured over 4 Stages:
Preliminaries (Case analysis & Reporting)
Over a 60 day period, the teams analyse the case study to produce and submit a Board report. A panel of examiners then announce a shortlist of The Top 20 Teams who are then invited to submit a 10 minutes video (and final power point presentation slides) from which the Top 6 will be announced. In addition to their 10 minutes video, the teams will submit a 1 minute (60 seconds) 2-part Video: (1): Introducing their team, why they entered as well as the lessons learnt; and (2) Setting out their hopes and dreams, including how the competition has and could assist their future career. This also includes why the public should vote for their team in stage 2, in the event they are selected in the Top 6! The video should also promote entries for the next edition of the competition.
Stage 2: The People's Choice (Broadcast & Social Media)
The videos of the Top 6 Teams so selected in stage 1 then go live on broadcast and social media over a 30-60 day period; for the public to have their say by voting for the best video. The Top 3 winners get 5%, 3% and 1% average weighted score to their credit!
Stage 3: Semi-Finals (Presentations)
The Top 6 Teams arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa to deliver live, their 10 minutes presentation to, and take questions for a further 15 minutes from a Mock Board -comprised of a highly esteemed international panel of judges. The international panel of judges will then select the Top 3 Teams to compete at the finals the next day.
Stage 4: The Finals (Extended case analysis & Presentations)
An extended version of the case study is analysed over 3 hours, followed by a further presentation to the Board (and audience) for 10 minutes. The judges will probe each team for a further 15 minutes on their analysis and recommended strategies and then decide the ultimate winner to receive The CharterQuest Future CFOs and Global Business Leaders 2018 Award!
Key Stages, Places & Dates
All Aspirants, partners and associates of The CFO Case Study Competition and its related contests (The CFO Junior), are inter-alia bound by the spirit and rules covered in the following sections of The Competition Rules:
- Section 1: About the competitions
- Section 2: Participant, team eligibility and registration
- Section 3: Communication
- Section 4: Competition format & stages
- Section 5: Penalties and non-compliance
- Section 6: Intellectual property
- Section 7: Consent and release
- Section 8: Disclaimers
- Section 9: Official prize, prize transfer or substitution
- Section 10: Applicable laws and jurisdiction
- Section 11: Adjudication and outcomes
By getting involved in any shape or form, you agree to be bound by the detailed rules downloadable in pdf version at: Competition Rules.
View our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
Please visit SECTION 9: OFFICIAL PRIZE, PRIZE TRANSFER OR SUBSTITUTION of the
Competition Rules for
updated details about the Competition Awards.
Our panel of independent, highly esteemed and external markers and judges will inter-alia apply the following assessment criteria at all rounds of the competition:
- Finance & Technical
- Diversity & Business
- Ethics & People
- Presentation, Question & Answers
- Decisiveness & Leadership
- Innovation & Integration
The mandate of The CFO Project Board is to ensure the growth and sustainability of the competition and that it delivers on its vision to become the premier and much-anticipated annual global event for identifying the next generation of CFOs & Business Leaders. The Board functions under and is governed by a Board Charter that reflects the King III prescripts on good corporate governance.
Project Board Composition
The Project Board has been constituted to reflect the values of the CharterQuest Institute: R ectitude, E xceptionalism and D etermination ( R.E.D ). It comprises a team of highly skilled, qualified & ethical professionals with a passion for identifying & grooming financially qualified business leaders with Pan-African business instincts. It consists of 5 Non-Executive and 1 Executive Director representing West, Central, East & Southern Africa.
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International Panel Of Judges
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The CFO Case Study Resources
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Am I eligible?
The CFO' is an open-entry international competition so any one from anywhere in the world with a career interest in finance and/or business leadership and not older than 25 can enter as long as he/she can form or be part of a team of 3 or 4 fulltime students of the same university/school (or fulltime employees of the same organisation).
For 'The CFO Junior' version for high schools, the age limit is 19 and only learners currently at high schools in Africa are eligible to enter which must be through a school teacher or administrative representative registering a team of 3.
We advise that you take into account the strengths of each team member in the light of FAQ 3 below in forming or joining a team.
2. What do 'The CFO' and 'The CFO Junior' entail?
Both competitions entail or relate to applying the theory and knowledge you have learned in the classroom and your personal attributes to solving the kinds of business issues or problems you are likely to encounter in the real world once you graduate from high school or university; which may require you to apply that knowledge. A case study will be released to outline the problems and you will work in a team of 3 or 4 to analyse and solve the problem and present a report for evaluation. If your report is selected amongst the best 20, your team will be invited to a 10 minutes video and powerpoint presentation to select the final 6 teams who will then be invited to join the public votes contest and the finals in Johannesburg, South Africa. Obviously the level of complexity of the case material will be much lower for 'The CFO Junior' than for the 'The CFO'. However, the detailed Competition Format & Rounds as well as the Key Dates & Timelines for both are the same.
3. What knowledge will I (or my teams) need to do well?
For 'The CFO', 40% will derive from the 4 broad areas of accounting: Taxation, Financial Accounting/Reporting, Cost/Management Accounting and Auditing; and the balance 60% will be interdisciplinary but mainly drawn from: Human Resources Management; Corporate Governance, Financial Mangement, Risk Management, Strategic Management, Project Management, Operations Management, Marketing Management, Performance Management, Business Law, Business Maths and Statistics, Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, Communication/Presentation and Public Speaking.
'The CFO Junior' will be 40% common sense/logical thinking, communication/presentation and public speaking and the balance 60% will be drawn from the subjects: Accounting, Economics, Business Studies and Mathematics as taught in High Schools (per the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) and the Cambridge GCSE curriculum).
4. How do I register or create an account?
The registration process is online. Click on
on the top left hand side of this page (below the animating picture bar) and register. Whereas for 'The CFO' you can enter direcly, for 'The CFO Junior', you will need to be a high school teacher or administrative representative of that high school to create an account and register the team/s.
5. As a School/University, is there a limit as to the number of teams I can put into the competition?
Although this Website may be linked to other websites, we are not, directly or indirectly, implying any approval, association, sponsorship, endorsement, or affiliation with any linked website, unless specifically stated herein.
You should carefully review the legal statements and other conditions of use of any website which you access through a link from this Website. Your linking to any other off-site pages or other websites is at your own risk.
6. Who is eligible to be a mentor?
A mentor can be a current teacher/lecturer at your university/school or supervisor/manager of your company and will have to formerly accept the code of ethics relating to mentors.
7. Can I amend a team once it is formed?
YES! You can independently amend your team composition online and at any time up to the closing date for registration of teams. After this date, any changes to your team composition will require a written motivation and approval.
8. Can my school/university deny me the right to participate?
YES! In the case of 'The CFO', though an open-entry competition, your university may have restrictions on its students participating in global case competitions without its consent; so it is assumed that you have cleared any permission you may need prior to entry. Your school/university may also directly express interest to be officially represented by a single or limited number of teams for which timelines for entries and best report submisisons will then be agreed direcly with the school/university.
YES also in the case of 'The CFO Junior' as you can only register through your high school teacher or administrative representative.
9. Will our expenses be covered?
YES! The round/full trip to compete at the finals in Johannesburg (specifically flight, accommodation, meals and transport) will be covered by The CharterQuest Institute and/or its sponsors. Any expenses not stated here will not be covered.
10. Are there other critical modalities I should be aware of?
Please carefully go through the side bar or tab on your left to assist you understand other matters pertinent to your engagement with or participation in these exciting compeitions.
4 Good Reasons!
1. Connect with top universities and employers
Many national and international universities as well as recruiters ask us to find top students/graduates and actually attend 'The CFO' finals each year to scout for talents, so you have a real chance to personally connect with and impress them, potentially landing that dream job or scholarship opportunity.
2. Build resilience, competitiveness and differentiate yourself
It will build your tenacity, stretch and teach you how to cope with pressure by combining your normal academic/exams schedule and delivering on deadlines. You will receive guidance from industry experts, adding to ongoing feedback from your lecturer/tutor/coach on how to adapt, differentiate yourself and compete for success - a skill you will definitely need in future!
3. Network with like-minded future CFOs/Business Leaders
It brings together like-minded young aspiring business leaders who may be facing career challenges and decisions you have already faced or likely yet to face in the near future. Meeting each other will be a good way to compare notes!
4. Bring the business, national/global spotlight on your value
This is a chance to display your unique attributes on the big stage. It could see you and your family being profiled in major national and international media, opening doors to many other career opportunities unimaginable!
Watch videos of what previous Top 6 had to say:
5 Good Reasons to Enter!
Case competitions are now the norm in Asia and the West; widely used by schools/universities to asses the global competitiveness of their graduates.
Compete against other top ranked schools/universities and benchmark your quality against the very best nationally/globally;
Bring the national and international spotlight on the quality of your teaching and graduates;
Attractthefineststudents to enrol with and/or further their studies with your School/University;
Positionyourbrand as a leader in education and increase the likelihood of forming new and critical partnerships; and
Challenge your students to function as a team of executives working on a real world management scenario and showcasing their leadership skills;
The Competition Rules allow schools/universities to exercise the right to be represented by a selected team/s.
Watch videos of what previous judges, academics and
industry leaders have to say: