The CFO Case Study Competition

                      POSTPONED INDEFINITELY! 


                      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.   

                      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 and Mathematics in their school curriculum.

                      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 policy makers and big business for one purpose: to inspire the next generation of CFOs & Global Business Leaders. 

                       Our Mission

                      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.

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                      Why Enter/Sponsor

                      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:










                      Case competitions are now the norm in Asia and the West; widely used by schools/universities to asses the global competitiveness of their graduates.

                      1. Compete against other top ranked schools/universities and benchmark your quality against the very best nationally/globally;

                      2. Bring the national and international spotlight on the quality of your teaching and graduates; 

                      3. Attractthefineststudents to enrol with and/or further their studies with your School/University;

                      4. Positionyourbrand as a leader in education and increase the likelihood of forming new and critical partnerships; and

                      5. 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:









                      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: 

                      5 Good Reasons to Sponsor and/or Endorse!

                      1. Engage with the most talented young business minds and identify top candidates for your business;
                      2. Connect with business educators, accounting firms, professional accounting bodies, policy makers and other businesses and explore partnership opportunities;
                      3. Network with other senior executives and policymakers in a unique setting that focuses attention on critical management issues;
                      4. Promote your brand to key target markets including: corporate executives, senior policymakers, leading academics and media outlets; and
                      5. 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 [email protected]   

                      The Global finals will occupy prime-time at Africa's largest expo for Finance professionals Finace Indaba Africa with over 5000 delegates attending the 2021 showpiece. 

                      Competition Format

                      Key Stages, Places & Dates

                      Opening Date

                      Closing Date

                      Duration (+/-)

                       Registrations on The CFO Portal (online)
                      1 Nov 2020
                      31 Mar 2021
                      150 days
                       Release of Pre-seen Information/Case Study Background (in The CFO Portal)
                      1 Dec 2020 
                      28 Feb 2021
                      90 days
                      STAGE 1 : Preliminaries (at your University/School/Country)
                      1 Nov 2020
                      14 Jul 2021
                              1.1     Release of case scenarios, analysis & submission of reports & team profiles. 
                      1 Mar 2021
                      30 Apr 2021
                      60 Days
                             1.1b   Teams invited to submit videos. 
                      1 May 2021
                      31 May 2021
                      30 Days
                              1.2     Panel evaluations.
                      1 Jun 2021
                      12 Jun 2021
                      11 Days
                              1.2b   Top 15 announced.
                      23 Jun 2021
                      23 Jun 2021
                      1 Day
                               1.3     Higher adjudication & Top 6 announcements (possible national finals)
                      23 Jun 2021
                      21 July 2021
                      30 Days
                      STAGE 2:  The People’s Choice (Public Votes -TV & Online)
                       15 August 2021
                      27 Sep 2021
                      45 Days 
                      STAGE 3:  Semi-Finals (Presentations at Johannesburg Stock Exchange - South Africa - Fully Paid Trip)

                      STAGE 4:  The Finals (Extended Case Study and Presentations at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange)

                      AWARDS CEREMONY

                      Competition Rules

                      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.

                      Any Questions? View our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

                      Winning Criteria

                       Please visit SECTION 9: OFFICIAL PRIZE, PRIZE TRANSFER OR SUBSTITUTION of the  Competition Rules above 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
                      For the weightings assigned to each of the above competency areas, download PDF document.

                      Project Governance

                      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: ectitude, xceptionalism and  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.

                      Company team

                      Fathima Gany, CA(SA)

                      Project Board Chairperson (Non-Executive).

                      Company team

                      Valentine Nti, MBA

                      Founding CEO of CharterQuest and Project Executive Director.

                      Company team

                      Grant Shnier, CGMA

                      Project Executive Finance Director.

                      Company team

                      Lillian Mafoleng, MBA

                      Project Communications Director for South Africa.(Non-Executive)

                      Company team

                      Advocate Pusch Commey

                      Project Legal Regulatory & Pan-African Affairs Director. (Non-Executive)

                      Company team

                      KC Rottok, CA (SA)

                      Project Communications Director for Rest of Africa. (Non-Executive)

                      80% Development

                      2020 Judges

                      80% Development

                      2019 Judges

                      80% Development

                      2018 Judges

                      80% Development

                      2017 Judges

                      80% Development

                      2016 Judges

                      80% Development

                      Other VIPs

                      Case Study Resources

                      Welcome to our case study competition resources section!

                      We have compiled pertinent technical information on the past editions of The CFO Case Study Competition ‐such as past case studies,  sample reports and PowerPoint slides from the best teams, video submissions,  and the various marking grids we use to evaluate your submission at various stages of the competition.

                      We thought making this available will help you appreciate how we evaluate your work, in case you were to enter  the competition .  We are by this also making it available as free resources to schools and institutions seeking to build a case  study teaching  capacity, to help advance their case study courses.  

                      You are welcome to send us your comments on the contents of this site at  [email protected]    

                      Master Class                           


                      Part 1

                      Introduction & The CharterQuest Case Study Methodology


                      Part 2

                      Marking Grid and Assessment Criteria


                      Part 3

                      Board Report Structure


                      Part 4

                      Suggested knowledge areas for the analysis of the Mobile Telecommunications Industry: The MCOM Case Study 2016

                      Past Case Studies

                      Reports & Powerpoint Slides

                      Marking Grids

                      Reports Marking Grid

                      Examining Board’s Marking Guide for the 2019 main Case Study
                      Download here
                      Examining Board’s Marking Guide for the 2018 main Case Study
                      Download here
                      Examining Board’s Marking Guide for the 2017 main Case Study
                      Download here
                      2016: Sample Examining Board’s comments: Examiner's Report - Sample  1
                      Download here
                      2016: Sample Examining Board’s comments: Examiner's Report - Sample  2
                      Download here

                      Video Presentations & PowerPoint Marking Grid

                      Examining Board’s Marking Grid for the video presentations and PowerPoint submitted by considered teams.

                        Download Video Presentations & PowerPoint Marking Grid

                      Promo Videos - Team Public Votes

                      The Promo Videos submitted are evaluated against the below grid.

                      Only the selected best 6 will contest the public votes . Others may or may not be used in other social media initiatives or, in The CFO TV Series.

                        Download Promo Video Marking Grid

                      Live Presentations - Top 3 & Top 6

                      Prior to the competition, the judges would have familiarised themselves with the case study, model answer and applied their minds to the main issues facing the case company and distinguishing the symptoms from the underlying problems. Each judge working as part of a collective, delivers on the mandate by individually compiling brief notes (for subsequent sharing and feedback), and scoring each team on 'style and substance' around 6 Key Performance Areas (KPA 1, KPA 2 - to- KPA 6) per the 'live presentation marking grid' below.

                      For the semi-finals, an average weighted score per team will then be derived and extra credits assigned per the following rules: "The top 3 winners (of stage 2 -the public votes) get 5%, 3% and 1% average weighted score to their credit respectively, going into Stage 3: Semi-Finals. 

                      The Chief Judge will accordingly, ensure the applicable percentage (5%, 3%, 1%, or 0%) is then added be to the average weighted score of the team before the final team ranking is done to produce the Top 3 of the 6 teams.

                      For the finals, the best team, produced by ranking these Top 3 teams using a similar weighted averaging method (but without the public vote credit) is determined. 

                      Should consensus not be reached (for either the semi-finals or finals), the Chief Judge and Deputy will seek consensus between them, failing which the Chief Judge will have a casting vote!

                        Download the Live Presentations Grid


                      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.

                      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.

                      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).

                      The registration process is online. Click here to register. Whereas for 'The CFO' you can enter directly, 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.

                      NO! Both the 'The CFO' and 'CFO Junior' competitions allow schools/universities the right to enter any number of teams they so wish, use the case study material to internally conduct their own evaluations and then recommend their best reports/teams to represent the school/university. For our own records, we will require the school/university to formerly register ALL their teams by the deadline on our CFO Regsitration Portal and agree on a cut of date by which they would have communicated their best 3 reports/teams from the total number of teams so registered.

                      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.

                      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.

                      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.

                      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.

                      YES! Please carefully go through the Top Menu to assist you understand other matters pertinent to your engagement with or participation in these exciting compeitions.