There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

The CFO is responsible for an enormous range of activities, including accounting, fund raising, risk management, acquisitions, and strategic planning. The CFO Guidebook is specifically designed to give detailed advice on all of these areas of responsibility. In an era where the CFO is expected to be the chief advisor to the chief executive officer, this course can be of considerable assistance in ensuring that a company is financially viable and positioned for long-term growth. This course covers the control environment, mergers and acquisitions, budgeting, cash management, going public, and much more.


Steven M. Bragg, CPA

Steven M. Bragg, CPA, is a full-time book and course author who has written more than 70 business books. He provides Western CPE with self-study courses in the areas of accounting and finance, with an emphasis on the practical application of accounting standards and management techniques. A sampling of his courses include the The New Controller Guidebook, The GAAP Guidebook, Accountants’ Guidebook, and Closing the Books: An Accountant’s Guide. He also manages the Accounting Best Practices podcast.

Steven has been the CFO or controller of both public and private companies and has been a consulting manager with Ernst & Young and an auditor with Deloitte & Touche. He holds an MBA from Babson College, a Master of Finance from Bentley College, and a BA from the University of Maine (summa cum laude).

Course Specifics

Feb 15, 2018
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Chapter 1

  • Identify the key responsibilities of the CFO position, and key aspects of CFO relations with the controller and CEO.

Chapter 2

  • Note the stages in strategy development, strategy types, and the role of the CFO in strategy.

Chapter 3

  • Cite the methods for identifying and mitigating risks, especially in regard to foreign exchange risk and interest rate risk.

Chapter 4

  • Identify the types of controls, when they should be used, and the characteristics of better controls.

Chapter 5

  • Recognize the characteristics of the cash conversion cycle.

Chapter 6

  • Identify the strategies under which acquisitions are made, the steps in the due diligence process, the characteristics of a strong acquisition candidate, and the various methods for valuing an acquisition candidate.

Chapter 7

  • Note the advantages and disadvantages of budgeting, types of budgets, and how to operate without a budget.

Chapter 8

  • Itemize the different types of product pricing and the situations in which they are most useful.

Chapter 9

  • Identify the methods and concepts used to evaluate capital budgeting proposals, as well as the alternatives to fixed asset acquisition.

Chapter 10

  • State the methods used to construct and update a cash forecast, as well as the methods employed to concentrate cash for investment purposes.

Chapter 11

  • Cite the available cash investment strategies and the more common investment instruments.

Chapter 12

  • Identify the types of debt funding and associated covenants.

Chapter 13

  • Note the types of equity funding, the investor rights associated with these instruments, and the types of investors who may invest in them.

Chapter 14

  • Identify the main credit rating agencies, the types of credit ratings, and the process for obtaining and appealing a credit rating.

Chapter 15

  • Note the processes by which a company can go public or take itself private and the reasons for going public or private.

Chapter 16

  • Cite the reasons for being listed on a stock exchange and the qualifications for listing on the various exchanges.

Chapter 17

  • Identify the participants in and topics covered by an earnings call, the use of guidance, the topics covered in a road show, and the regulations governing investor relations.

Chapter 18

  • Identify the major public company reports, key reporting concepts, and the method by which reports are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Chapter 19

  • Note how float can be increased, as well as alternative methods for selling shares.

Chapter 20

  • State how competitive advantage can be gained from the use of information technology (IT), as well as how to manage risk with IT.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – The CFO Position

Learning Objectives


The CFO Job Description

The Controller Job Description

CFO and Controller Differences

The CFO Organizational Structure

Relations with the Chief Executive Officer

Relations with the Board of Directors

Relations with the Audit Committee and Auditors


Chapter 1 Review Questions

Chapter 2 – Strategic Planning

Learning Objectives


Strategy Overview

Types of Strategies

Risk Analysis

A Tight Strategic Focus


Acquisition Strategy


The Consideration of Cash in Strategy


Chapter 2 Review Questions

Chapter 3 – Risk Management

Learning Objectives


Risk Management

The Role of the CFO

Risk Identification

Risk Quantification Issues

Risk Planning


Data Security Risk

Supply Chain Risk

Political Risk

Foreign Exchange Risk Overview

Foreign Exchange Risk Management

Take No Action

Avoid Risk

Shift Risk

Time Compression

Payment Leading and Lagging

Build Reserves

Maintain Local Reserves



Types of Foreign Exchange Hedges

Loan Denominated in a Foreign Currency

The Forward Contract

The Futures Contract

The Currency Option

The Cylinder Option



Interest Risk Overview

Interest Rate Risk Management

Take No Action

Avoid Risk

Asset and Liability Matching


Types of Interest Rate Hedges

The Forward Rate Agreement

The Futures Contract

The Interest Rate Swap

Interest Rate Options

Interest Rate Swaptions


Chapter 3 Review Questions

Chapter 4 – The Control Environment

Learning Objectives


The Genesis of Accounting Controls

The Proper Balance of Control Systems

The Nature of Risk

Control Principles

The Failings of Internal Controls

Preventive and Detective Controls

Manual and Automated Controls

Constructing a System of Controls

Special Case - Acquisitions

Special Case – Employee Turnover

Special Case – Rapid Growth

Special Case – Audit Committee Oversight

Control System Documentation


Chapter 4 Review Questions

Chapter 5 – Performance Measurement

Learning Objectives


Cash Conversion Cycle

Days Sales in Accounts Receivable

Days Sales in Inventory

Days Payables Outstanding

Free Cash Flow

Working Capital Productivity

Cash Reinvestment Measurements

Cash Reinvestment Ratio

Funds-Flow Adequacy Ratio

Contribution Margin Ratio

Core Earnings Ratio

Quality of Earnings Ratio

Breakeven Point

Margin of Safety

Return on Equity

Return on Assets

Return on Assets

Return on Operating Assets

Affordable Growth Rate


Chapter 5 Review Questions

Chapter 6 – Mergers and Acquisitions

Learning Objectives


Acquisition Strategies

The Failings of Acquisition Strategy

Acquisition Due Diligence

Indicators of a Strong Acquisition Candidate

Acquisition Valuation

Forms of Acquisition Payment

The Stock-for-Stock Exchange

The Debt Payment

The Cash Payment


The Acquisition Legal Structure

Tax Issues

Issues with Stock Purchases

Gain Recognition Avoidance Rules

Type “A” Acquisition

Type “B” Acquisition

Type “C” Acquisition

Triangular Merger

Reverse Triangular Merger

Asset Purchase


Acquisition Integration

General Integration Concepts

Function-Specific Integration Issues

Integration for the Serial Acquirer



Chapter 6 Review Questions

Chapter 7 – Budgeting and Forecasting

Learning Objectives


The Advantages of Budgeting

The Disadvantages of Budgeting

Capital Budgeting Problems

The Command and Control System

Behavioral Impacts

Bureaucratic Support

Information Sharing

The System of Budgets

The System of Budgets for a Multi-Division Company

Operating Decisions Impacting the System of Budgets

The Reasons for Budget Iterations

Alternatives to the Budget

Forecasting without a Budget

Capital Budgeting

Goal Setting without a Budget

Strategy without a Budget

Management Guidelines

The Role of Senior Management

Compensation without a Budget

Behavioral Norms

Profit Knowledge

Information Exchange

Accounting Reports

The Rolling Forecast

The Rolling Forecast Format


Chapter 7 Review Questions

Chapter 8 – Product Pricing

Learning Objectives


Psychological Pricing

Cost Plus Pricing

Dynamic Pricing

Freemium Pricing

High-Low Pricing

Premium Pricing

Time and Materials Pricing

Value Based Pricing

Other Pricing Strategies

Internet Pricing

Price Elasticity of Demand

Cross Price Elasticity of Demand

Non-Price Determinants of Demand


Chapter 8 Review Questions

Chapter 9 – Capital Budgeting

Learning Objectives


CFO Responsibilities

Overview of Capital Budgeting

Bottleneck Analysis

Net Present Value Analysis

The Payback Method

The Outsourcing Decision

The Lease versus Buy Decision

The Post Installation Review


Chapter 9 Review Questions

Chapter 10 – Cash Management

Learning Objectives


The Cash Forecast

The Short-Term Cash Forecast

The Medium-Term Cash Forecast

The Long-Term Cash Forecast

The Use of Averages

The Use of Clearing Dates in a Forecast

Cash Forecast Reconciliation

The Need for Cash Concentration

Cash Sweeping

The Zero Balance Account

Multiple Sweep Arrangements

Manual Sweeping

Sweeping Rules

Sweep Problems

Sweep Costs


Notional Pooling

Notional Pooling Problems

Notional Pooling Costs


Multi-Tiered Banking

Cash Concentration Best Practices

Cash Concentration Alternatives


Chapter 10 Review Questions

Chapter 11 – Investment Management

Learning Objectives


Investment Guidelines

Investment Strategy

Repurchase Agreements

Time Deposits

Certificates of Deposit

Bankers’ Acceptances

Commercial Paper

Money Market Funds

U.S. Government Debt Instruments

State and Local Government Debt


The Primary and Secondary Markets

The Discounted Investment Formula

The Effective Interest Rate


Chapter 11 Review Questions

Chapter 12 – Fund Raising with Debt

Learning Objectives


Overview of Debt Funding

The Line of Credit

The Borrowing Base

Invoice Discounting


Inventory Financing

Purchase Order Financing


The Long-Term Loan

Agency Financing

Other Lending Alternatives

Improving Upon Prepayment Terms

Floating-Rate Notes to Individuals

Debt Covenants

Lender Relations

Debt Risk Issues



Chapter 12 Review Questions

Chapter 13 – Fund Raising with Equity

Learning Objectives


Overview of Equity Funding

Restricted Stock

Unrestricted Stock

The Accredited Investor

Regulation D Stock Sales


Regulation A Stock Sales

Angel Investors and Venture Capital

Debt for Equity Swaps



Chapter 13 Review Questions

Chapter 14 – Credit Rating Agencies

Learning Objectives


The Credit Rating Environment

The Rating Process


Chapter 14 Review Questions

Chapter 15 – Going Public and Going Private

Learning Objectives


Reasons for and against Going Public

The Initial Public Offering

The Reverse Merger Concept

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Reverse Merger

The Price of a Shell

Shell Due Diligence

Trading Volume

Other Reverse Merger Issues

Rule 144

The Reverse-Forward Split

Going Private


Chapter 15 Review Questions

Chapter 16 – Stock Exchanges

Learning Objectives


Stock Exchange Overview

The New York Stock Exchange

The NYSE Amex


The NASDAQ Global Select Market

The NASDAQ Global Market

The NASDAQ Capital Market

The Toronto Stock Exchange

Delisting from an Exchange

The Over the Counter Bulletin Board

The Pink Sheets


Chapter 16 Review Questions

Chapter 17 – Investor Relations

Learning Objectives


Investor Relations Overview

The Earnings Call


Earnings Smoothing

The Road Show

The Fund Raising Road Show

The Non-Deal Road Show

The Road Show Presentation

Regulation FD

Short Sellers


Chapter 17 Review Questions

Chapter 18 – Public Company Financial Reporting

Learning Objectives


Interim Reporting

The Integral View

The Discrete View

Comparison of the Integral and Discrete Views

Interim Reporting Issues

Segment Reporting

Primary Segment Reporting Issues

The Segment Report

Earnings per Share

Basic Earnings per Share

Diluted Earnings per Share

Presentation of Earnings per Share

The Public Company Closing Process

The Form 10-Q

The Form 10-K

The Form 8-K


Chapter 18 Review Questions

Chapter 19 – Share Management

Learning Objectives


Float Management

Activities to Increase the Float

Activities to Delay Stock Sales

The Direct Stock Purchase Plan

The Employee Stock Purchase Plan

Dividend Reinvestment Plans

Stock Splits

Dividend Payments

The Stock Buyback Option

The Stock Repurchase Safe Harbor Provision

Odd Lot Shareholders


Chapter 19 Review Questions

Chapter 20 – Information Technology

Learning Objectives


Types of Information Technology

Technology Ranking Methods

Technology Usage Based on Strategy

Cloud Computing

GRC Software

Enterprise Resource Planning Systems

Sales Force Automation Software


Chapter 20 Review Questions

Review Question Answers and Rationales



Qualified Assessment

Answer Sheet

Course Evaluation

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