FAQ

1 UNIQUE SELLING POINTS:
Why become a Certified Financial Modeler?

Why to choose the Certified Financial Modeler?

Why to choose the Certified Financial Modeler?

1.       Top Quality: Accredited and certified program

2.       Reputation: World-renowned program

3.       Global: Program in English and German in numerous financial centers worldwide 

4.       Leading Financial Modeling Textbook: Serves as the foundation of the training program in English and German

5.       Top learning and exam preparation support:
          through test questions, case studies and personal feedback on learning progress

6.       E-Learning: Access to course materials anytime anywhere

7.       2 paths one title: "Professional Excellence" and "Academic Excellence”

8.       Specialization: Electives enable specialized knowledge of chosen subjects

9.       Modern forms of examination on the way to "Professional Excellence":
          Case Study Method with laptop and open book processing. No written exam with calculator.

10.     International crediting of examination results: Acquisition of ECTS in the "Academic Excellence" path

What are the job profiles of candidates who complete the Certified Financial Modeler program?

What are the job profiles of candidates who complete the Certified Financial Modeler program?

The following types of occupations from these specialized fields mainly complete the Certified Financial Modeler:

  • Transaction Services

  • Corporate Finance

  • M&A

  • LBO/Acquisition Financing

  • Private Equity

  • Treasury

  • Controlling

  • Auditing

  • Asset Management

  • Strategy Departments of Corporations

  • Area of Finance and Controlling of Corporations

  • Management Consulting

  • Lawyers who are exposed to Finance Topics

  • Doctoral Students

  • Wirtschaftsprüfung

  • Asset Management

  • Strategiebereich von Unternehmen

  • Bereich Finanzen und Controlling von Unternehmen

  • Unternehmensberatung

  • Juristen mit Bezug zu Finance-Themen

  • Doktoranten

Why is the Certified Financial Modeler attractive for top companies?

Why is the Certified Financial Modeler attractive for top companies?

  • Highly applied due to focus on the most important questions in applied finance.

  • Academic quality due to outstanding teaching materials.

  • The models are applied by the finance professors in applied work and thus are continuously verified and developed further.

  • Individual pace of study via e-learning.

  • Proof of success through examination at Deutsche Börse AG or Deutsches Institut für Corporate Finance.

  • Attractive title “Certified Financial Modeler” with large external impact.

  • More cost effective and efficient than multi-day seminars on the topic of “Financial Modeling”.

  • Increased competencies for both company and client.

  • No annual membership fees. Instead permanent access to the “Center for Financial Modeling” (CfFM).

What were the milestones in developing the Certified Financial Modeler?

What were the milestones in developing the Certified Financial Modeler?

2019: Introduction of the Case Method to obtain the Certified Financial Modeler

2017: The book “Financial Modeling” is published in English by Macmillan, London.

2016: Upon successful completion of the Certified Financial Modeler program, 30 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) can be transferred.

2016: Introduction of the Certified Financial Modeler-Three-Module-Strategy.

2016: Certificate program “Certified Financial Modeler” is accredited and certified.

2016: The second edition of the book “Financial Modeling” is published by Schäffer-Poeschel.

2011: The Certified Financial Modeler is offered at the locations in Frankfurt, Zurich, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore and London.

2011: Internationalization of the Certificate program “Certified Financial Modeler”.

2011: Cooperation with Deutsche Börse in the training course “Certified Financial Modeler”.

2010: Start of the certificate program “Certified Financial Modeler”.

2010: The first edition of the book “Financial Modeling” is published by Schäffer-Poeschel.

2007: Founding of the German Institute for Corporate Finance at the state university HfWU.

Who backs the Certified Financial Modeler?

Who backs the Certified Financial Modeler?

  • German Institute for Corporate Finance

  • Nürtingen University

  • Deutsche Börse

  • Macmillan

  • Schäffer-Poeschel

  • FIBAA

  • Accreditation Council

 

 

How is the quality of the program assured?

How is the quality of the program assured?

The academic rigor and the link to applied work of the Certified Financial Modeler are assured via the accreditation and certification of the program. The Certified Financial Modeler was awarded the systems accreditation by the accreditation council. FIBAA has certified the Certified Financial Modeler and awarded the FIBAA Premium Seal due to its outstanding quality.

Can I get ECTS/Credits for my studies at the bachelor and master level?

Can I get ECTS/Credits for my studies at the bachelor and master level?

The participants in the certificate program “Certified Financial Modeler” can obtain so-called ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) following the successful completion of Module 1, Module 2 and Module 3. The 10 ECTS from Module 1 and the 20 ECTS from Module 2 can be submitted for approval for bachelor and master programs. In that way, a participant who successfully completed the certificate program “Certified Financial Modeler” can present up to 30 ECTS as credits towards bachelor and master programs.

What do graduates have to say about the Certified Financial Modeler?

What do graduates have to say about the Certified Financial Modeler?

2 CONTENTS: What will a Certified Financial Modeler study?

Are all topics covered that are relevant in finance?

Are all topics covered that are relevant in finance?

The Certified Financial Modeler covers the most important topics in finance. This includes:

  • Types of return calculations

  • Different types of debt financing

  • Bonds

  • Equity capital increases

  • IPO

  • Private equity

  • Leveraged Buyout (LBO)

  • Cash flow management

  • Corporate valuation based on DCF

  • Corporate valuation using multipliers

  • Risk management

  • Capital market theory

  • Asset management

  • Portfolio management

  • Options and futures

Will I obtain top notch knowledge in financial modeling?

Will I obtain top notch knowledge in financial modeling?

The course materials were developed by academic authors who have both applied and research experience in their areas of expertise. The contents is constantly assessed by practitioners at leading international corporations in the financial industry concerning topicality and relevance. Therefore you will I obtain top notch knowledge in financial modeling.

Are electives available or are all topics relevant for the exam?

Are electives available or are all topics relevant for the exam?

Electives are available for those participants who have chosen the "Academic Excellence" path. In Module 1 you will become familiar with the most important methods of Financial Modeling, which are relevant for all specializations in Module 2. Therefore no electives are available in Module 1. The most important finance topics are presented in Module 2. For the exam in Module 2 you can select three of the four submodules based on your professional focus or interest (Investment Management, Corporate Finance, Portfolio Management as well as Derivatives). One of the four modules available is thus not relevant for the exam.

3 PROCESS: What are the main milestones on the way to the Certified Financial Modeler?

What are the fees of the program?

What are the fees of the program?

Path 1: If you choose the path "Academic Excellence" applies:

1) Course fees

The course fees for the "Certified Financial Modeler" amount to EUR 3,995 plus the applicable statutory value-added tax, currently 19%, which brings the total to EUR 4,754.05. This overall package includes the course fees for modules 1-3, the examination fees for modules 1-3, the course book as e-book and the issuance of a university certificate and certificate supplement for the acquisition of ECTS.

2) Modules can be booked individually

Modules 1-3 can also be booked separately. The fees for Module 1, Module 2 and Module 3 are EUR 1,595 per module plus VAT, currently 19%, i.e. a total of EUR 1,898.05 per module. While Module 1 and Module 2 can be booked independently, Module 3 can only be booked if the exam for Module 1 and Module 2 has been passed successfully.

3) Repeat examination

For a repeat examination for Module 1, Module 2 or Module 3 due to failure to pass the examination, the GICF charges an examination fee of EUR 295 plus the applicable statutory value-added tax, currently 19%, a total of EUR 351.05 per module.

4) Issue of a university certificate

The acquisition of ECTS is linked to the university certificate and the certificate supplement. The issuance of a university certificate (certificate and certificate supplement) of the HfWU is included in the fee for the complete package.

5) Students (complete offer)

Students (please enclose a copy of your valid student ID card with your application) receive a discount. The course fees for students amount to 1,495.00 EUR plus the applicable statutory value-added tax, currently 19%. This brings the total to EUR 1,779.05. This overall package includes the course fees for modules 1-3, the examination fees for modules 1-3, the course book as e-book as well as the issuance of a university certificate and certificate supplement for the acquisition of ECTS.

6) Students (payment by instalments)

Students can also book and pay for the modules individually. The fees for Module 1, Module 2 and Module 3 are EUR 550.00 per module plus VAT, currently 19%, i.e. EUR 654.50 in total.

Path 2: If you choose the "Professional Excellence" path, the following applies:

1) Course fees for practitioners

You can apply for a scholarship at GICF. If you receive this scholarship, the course fees for the "Certified Financial Modeler" amount to 1,495 EUR plus the applicable value-added tax, currently 19%, thus a total of 1,779.05 EUR. This overall package includes the course fees for modules 1-2 (and also voluntary module 3), the examination fees for modules 1-2 (and also voluntary module 3) as well as the course book as e-book.

2) Course fees for students

Students (please enclose a copy of your valid student ID card with your application) receive a discount. The course fees for students amount to 836.13 EUR plus the applicable statutory value-added tax, currently 19%. Thus a total of 995.00 EUR. This package includes the course fees for modules 1-2 (and also voluntary module 3), the examination fees for modules 1-2 (and also voluntary module 3) and the course book.

3) Repeat examination

Each module consists of three sub modules. Each submodule can be repeated twice. There are no additional fees for a repeat test.

Which services are included in the course fees?

Which services are included in the course fees?

The course participant receives the following services from the German Institute for Corporate Finance (GICF), regardless of whether the course is "Academic Excellence" or "Professional Excellence":

  • Personal Supervision by senior professors
  • Feedback on learning success
  • The course book "Financial Modeling" as Ebook
  • The Models of the Textbook "Financial Modeling"
  • The Certified Financial Modeler Toolbox
  • Lifelong access to the Center for Financial Modeling (CfFM)
  • Excel models: Templates Library for the most important financial topics
  • Further additional materials on the topic of "Financial Modeling
  • Certificate: Certified Financial Modeler
  • Award: Representative certificate within the framework of the

Depending on whether the course is "Academic Excellence" or "Professional Excellence", the course participant receives additional the following:

  • Possibility of applying for a GICF scholarship for non-students (if "Professional Excellence" is chosen).
  • Participation in the initial examination of the respective module (Academic Excellence) or up to three possible submissions per sub module (if "Academic Excellence" is chosen).
  • University certificate, certificate supplement and possibility of ECTS recognition in Bachelor's and Master's programmes (if "Academic Excellence" is chosen)

Who can utilize the reduced fees?

Who can utilize the reduced fees?

The reduced fees are in effect for students who are enrolled at the time of registration. The student is required to provide proof of enrolment when registering. Should the enrollment of a student terminate during the course of studies, it is still possible to utilize the reduced fees.

Non-students who have opted for "Professional Excellence" can apply for a GICF scholarship. The GICF scholarship is a high distinction and is awarded to individuals who demonstrate a high level of motivation for the subject of financial modeling. GICF scholarship holders receive a GICF scholarship certificate. The course management decides on the award of the GICF scholarship.

The application for a GICF scholarship must be made in writing and sent by email to the following address: scholarship‎@ätgicf‎.‎de.

We would like to ask you to submit the following documents for the GICF scholarship:

  • Detailed curriculum vitae
  • Detailed letter of motivation
  • Possible social and honorary engagement

GICF scholarship holders receive a GICF scholarship certificate and a reduction in fees from €3,995 plus VAT to €1,495 plus VAT. This scholarship is linked to the fact that you do not acquire ECTS. This means that you will receive the "Certified Financial Modeler" certificate in English, but no university certificate and certificate supplement. After graduation, you can hold the title "Certified Financial Modeler". The GICF scholarship means that you give us a testimonial with a picture of the course, which we can publish on our website.

 

 

Preparation time: what is the expected preparation time for the individual modules / the entire course?

Preparation time: what is the expected preparation time for the individual modules / the entire course?

Case 1: You have chosen the "Professional Excellence" path

Experience has shown that participants need approx. 4 months to complete the case study, depending on their previous knowledge.

Case 2: You have chosen the path of "Academic Excellence

The following examination period is calculated as an example for a participant with a degree in economics (e.g. Bachelor):

Module 1: 10 ECTS points x 25 hours = 250 hours
Module 2: 15 ECTS points x 25 hours = 500 hours
Module 3: 10 ECTS points x 25 hours = 250 hours (assessed as "passed" or "failed")

Participants who have/have had a focus on finance in their studies or practitioners from the financial sector can expect a reduced preparation time.

Representatives of the above mentioned professional groups who are preparing part-time for the Certified Financial Modeler and have a total of more than 3 years of professional experience can expect a preparation time of approx. 8-12 months.

Are face-to-face sessions required?

Are face-to-face sessions required?

The course and the course materials are created and coordinated in such a way that learning is possible independent of time and location. Face-to-face sessions are not required in this study format and are therefore not included. The course materials follow different learning concepts and already allow you to check study success as you progress.

What do I do in case of questions about the Certified Financial Modeler?

What do I do in case of questions about the Certified Financial Modeler?

You can always contact the course leaders via e-mail at info‎@ätdicf‎.‎de. All questions will be answered right away.

Is the title Certified Financial Modeler awarded for a lifetime or are additional certificates of achievement required over time?

Is the title Certified Financial Modeler awarded for a lifetime or are additional certificates of achievement required over time?

The Certified Financial Modeler is an academic training with strong practical relevance. Once the exam has been completed successfully, the achievement has been demonstrated and the title Certified Financial Modeler is awarded. Additional, for example annual certificates of achievement in the form of seminars are not required.

 

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4 EXAM: What does the Certified Financial Modeler exam look like?

What is the best way to prepare for the exam?

What is the best way to prepare for the exam?

Academic Excellence:
We recommend the utilization of all available learning tools. In case of a systematic approach it is recommended to first become familiar with the contents of the textbook and to complete the corresponding case studies in Excel step by step. Next, the test questions for the exam preparation can be completed. For many participants, it has been a successful approach to mark those questions in green, which were clearly understood.

We recommend to mark questions were some uncertainty of ambiguity remained in the color yellow. Questions that could not be answered should be marked red. For all yellow and red questions, the contents should be reviewed again with the help of the textbook and the case studies. Once all questions are marked in green, it can be assumed that you are very well prepared for the exam.

Professional Excellence:
You will receive a case study. In this case study you will be guided step by step through the calculations. One of about 50 steps could look like this:

Multiples (3 points)

Derive the following peer group multiples

  • P/E
  • P/B
  • V/Sales
  • EV/EBITDA
  • EV/EBIT

See book „Financial Modeling“, pp. 637-642.See Excel file “Chapter 10 Corporate Finance Part II” worksheet “Trading Multiples”.Solve tasks 344-353 in the "Certified Financial Modeler Toolbox" in the "Corporate Finance" tab.

To be successful in this step, you can prepare yourself by

1) reading the relevant pages in the "Financial Modeling Book
2) reproducing the worksheet given here in the Excel on which the book is based
3) understanding the exercises on this topic including solutions.

Point 1) is rather of a fundamental nature. Point 2) describes how the calculation is carried out in the overall context. In point 3), the calculations related to the overall context are broken down into many individual intermediate steps and discussed exemplarily using small examples.

Which testing locations are available?

Which testing locations are available?

Academic Excellence:
The exam for the Certified Financial Modeler can be completed at the following locations:

  • Eschborn/Frankfurt,

  • Zurich,

  • London,

  • Paris,

  • Hong Kong and

  • Singapore

Other locations worldwide

In principle, examinations can be taken worldwide (except for the USA) at the locations of the German Chambers of Commerce (AHK). Please ask us by email at which examination locations we offer the "Certified Financial Modeler" exams in your home country. Appointments are made on an individual basis.

Professional Excellence:
The case study can be processed from any location.

Where can I find the current exam dates and locations?

Where can I find the current exam dates and locations?

Academic Excellence:
The current exam dates and locations can be found on our homepage www.certified-financial-modeler.de  at 

How can I register for the exam?

How can I register for the exam?

Academic Excellence:
You can register online for the exam for Module 1, Module 2 and Module 3 at:

Register for the exam

What is the latest date to register for the exam?

What is the latest date to register for the exam?

Academic Excellence:
You need to register at least 3 weeks prior to the exam of your choice by providing the intended exam time and location. In addition you provide the following information: Last name, first name, date of birth, place of birth, street, postal code and residence city.

What is the latest date to cancel my exam registration?

What is the latest date to cancel my exam registration?

Academic Excellence:
You can cancel your exam registration by sending an e-mail to DICF at info‎@dicf‎.‎de, stating that you will not participate in the examination on the date selected. This cancellation must be send at the latest three weeks prior to the exam date for which you are registered. If you do not cancel your registration before this deadline, you are considered to be registered for the exam and your exam is scored by the examination committee.

Should you cancel your registration with the examination committee for health reasons and send a doctor’s note via e-mail to the examination committee, the examination committee will consider the exam as not registered. Hence no grade will be awarded for the exam. Should the cancellation be received by the examination committee at the latest three weeks before the examination date, the fee for a repeat exam is also waived. If the cancellation due to illness has not been received at least three weeks prior to the examination date, the fee for a repeat examination must be paid.

How many questions am I required to answer and during which time period?

How many questions am I required to answer and during which time period?

Academic Excellence:
In the exam for Module 1, 220 questions based on a computer application must be answered within 180 minutes.

In the exam for Module 2, 120 questions based on a computer application must be answered within 180 minutes.

Are all modules relevant for the exam?

Are all modules relevant for the exam?

Academic Excellence:
The exam for Module 1 consists of 4 parts, which must all be covered. There are no electives, since all the material is relevant for the submodules of Module 2.

Die Exam for Module 2 consists of 4 parts, but only 3 of the 4 parts must be answered during the exam. One submodule can thus be dropped.

What type of question is asked during the exam and what is the total number of points available?

What type of question is asked during the exam and what is the total number of points available?

Academic Excellence:

Module 1 Exam:

There are 55 questions per submodule. The composition of the questions per submodule is as follows: 24 multiple choice questions, 24 single choice questions and 7 sentence completion questions. This yields a maximum number of points of 186 per submodule. The maximum score for the Module 1 exam is thus 744 points. Successful completion of the exam for Module 1 requires a minimum score of 139 points in every submodule (75% of the maximum points achievable in each submodule).

Module 2 Exam:

There are 40 questions per submodule. The composition of the questions per submodule is as follows: 12 multiple choice questions, 0 single choice question, 1 sentence completion questions and 27 calculations. This yields a maximum number of points of 216 per submodule. The maximum score for the Module 2 exam is thus 648 points. Successful completion of the exam for Module 2 requires a minimum score of 162 points in every submodule (75% of the maximum points achievable in each submodule).

Do I need a minimum pass rate of 75% in each submodule selected?

Do I need a minimum pass rate of 75% in each submodule selected?

Academic Excellence:
Passing a module exam requires the successful completion of all submodules. Should a candidate score less than 75% of the maximum number of points in one or several submodules, but pass other submodules from the same module, he is only required to retake the submodules that he did not pass.

How are the grades for the individual exam results determined?

How are the grades for the individual exam results determined?

Academic Excellence:
In case candidates have opted for the University Certificate when signing up for the Certificate Program “Certified Financial Modeler”, the results are graded per module element in the following manner:

When will I find out whether I passed?

When will I find out whether I passed?

You will receive a written notice about the result of your exam within one week.

What is the failure rate?

What is the failure rate?

Thanks to our excellent teaching materials and the commitment of our participants we have so far a 0% failure rate related to the entire course.

Academic Excellence:
If a participant fails the exam for module 1 - 3, he has the opportunity to retake the exam up to two times. If the participant has failed in one or more sub-module examinations but has passed other sub-module examinations of the same module, he only has to retake the failed sub-module examination(s).

Professional Excellence:
Each participant can repeat each module up to twice per sub-module. 

How often can I retake the exam in case I fail and which submodules must be repeated?

How often can I retake the exam in case I fail and which submodules must be repeated?

Academic Excellence: 
Both the exam for Module 1 as well as for Module 2 can be repeated twice. A module exam is passed once all the submodules have been successfully completed. Should a candidate score less than 75% of the maximum number of points in one or more submodules, but pass other submodules, he is only required to retake the submodules which he did not pass.

Professional Excellence:
All three "Learning controls" in Module 1 as well as Module 2 can be repeated up to two times. A module examination is passed if all sub modules are passed. To pass a sub module, at least 75% of the points must be achieved.