Financial Acumen (Corporate Finance)

Columbia Business School

What are the topics?

Columbia Business School


Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

About the course

This course is developed based on Columbia Business School’s MBA Core Course B6300-001.

Every decision made by a business manager has financial implications. As businesses expand globally and markets become more volatile, it is essential that managers develop the financial acumen so that they can make astute financial decisions to deliver the greatest value to their stakeholders.

Not surprisingly, as managers rise up the corporate ladder, their performance is increasingly measured and rewarded based on the financial metrics they deliver. Managers have to invest the firm’s scarce resources wisely. To do so they need to have frameworks to evaluate multiple projects and select the best opportunities, balance the tension between growth and profits and optimize the risk-reward payoffs.

Emeritus and Columbia Business School Executive Education

Columbia Business School Executive Education is collaborating with online education provider Emeritus to offer a portfolio of high-impact online programs. These programs leverage Columbia’s thought leadership in management practice developed over years of research, teaching, and practice. By collaborating with Emeritus, we are able to broaden access beyond our on-campus offerings in a collaborative and engaging format that stays true to the quality of Columbia Business School Executive Education. You can read more about this relationship here.


Module 1 - Fundamental Concepts in Finance Pre-Work

  • Pre-Course Participant Survey Framework
  • Valuation Basics
  • Rate of Return, Future Value & Compounding
  • Time Value of Money: – Computronics Example – Net Present Value – Special Cash Flow Cases
  • Leveraged Buy Outs – Examples


  • Individual Assignment – Problem Set

Module 2 - Capital Budgeting


  • Read – The Chocolat Cordon Rouge Case (Columbia Caseworks)


  • Capital Budgeting: – NPV Rule – The Internal Rate of Return (IRR) Rule – The Payback Rule
  • Incremental Cash Flows
  • Chocolat Cordon Rouge – Case Debrief


  • Peer Learning Circle – Chocolat Cordon Case Discussion

Module 3 - Valuation Methods


  • Read – Free Cash Flows


  • Corporate Valuation Methods: Example – Vandelay Industries
  • Equity Valuation Method
  • Firm Valuation Method – Using Free Cash Flows
  • Growth & Value
  • Market vs Book Values


  • Real-World Assignment – Calculate the Free Cash Flows for Apple – Calculate Apple’s Cumulative Discounted Cash Flow

Module 4 - Corporate Valuation in Practice – Clarkson Case


  • Read – Clarksons Lumber Case (Harvard Business School)


  • Financial Ratios and Projections
  • Calculating Free Cash Flows
  • Residual Values
  • Non-Operating Assets
  • Value of Debt
  • Scenario Planning


  • Assignment: Project Free Cash Flow for Clarksons

Module 5 - Risk & Return; Valuation Using Multiples


  • Risk & Return
  • Betas & Tiffany Example
  • Market Risk and Idiosyncratic Risk
  • Capital Asset Pricing Model
  • Discount Rate for Free Cash Flows
  • Valuation using Multiples
  • Commonly Used Multiples


  • Real World Assignment: Value Apple using Multiples
  • Peer Learning Circle: – What are your key takeaways? – Which concepts you can apply at your work? – If you were to have a conversation with your CFO, what questions would you ask to get a sense of your company’s valuation?


Emeritus follows a unique online model. This model has ensured that nearly 90 percent of our learners complete their course.

Orientation Week

The first week is orientation week. During this week you will be introduced to the other participants in the class from across the world. You will also learn how to use the learning platform and other learning tools provided.

Weekly Goals

On other weeks, you have learning goals set for the week. The goals would include watching the video lectures and completing the assignments. All assignments have weekly deadlines.

Learning Videos

The recorded video lectures are by faculty from the collaborating university.

Live Webinars

Every few weeks, there are live webinars conducted by Emeritus course leaders. Course leaders are highly-experienced industry practitioners who contextualize the video lectures and assist with questions you may have regarding your assignments. Live webinars are usually conducted between 1 pm and 3 pm UTC on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Clarifying Doubts

In addition to the live webinars, for some courses, the course leaders conduct Office Hours, which are webinar sessions that are open to all learners. During Office Hours, learners ask questions and course leaders respond. These are usually conducted every alternate week to help participants clarify their doubts pertaining to the content.


The Emeritus Program Support team members will follow up and assist over email and via phone calls with learners who are unable to submit their assignments on time.

Continued Course Access

You will continue to have access to the course videos and learning material for up to 12 months from the course start date.

Assignments/Application Projects

Assignments are given out weekly and they are based on the lectures or tutorials provided. They need to be completed and submitted as per the deadline for grading purposes. Extensions may be provided based on a request sent to the support team.

Discussion Boards

It is an open forum where participants pin their opinions or thoughts regarding the topic under discussion.

Case Studies

These are real world scenario-based assignments involving an up-close, in-depth, and detailed examination of a subject of study, as well as its related contextual conditions.

Emeritus Program Support Team

If at any point in the course you need tech, content or academic support, you can email program support and you will typically receive a response within 24 working hours or less.

Device Support

You can access Emeritus courses on tablets, phones and laptops. You will require a high-speed internet connection.

Emeritus Network

On completing the course you join a global community of 5000+ learners on the Emeritus Network. The Network allows you to connect with Emeritus past participants across the world.


Career capital

  • Professional acceleration through our enriched leadership toolkit
  • Learn while you earn
  • Get noticed. Get ahead.

Social Capital

  • Build new networks through peer interaction
  • Benefit from diverse class profiles

Brand Capital

  • Certificate from Emeritus in collaboration with Columbia Business School Executive Education

Intellectual Capital

  • Global Business Education
  • Rigorous and experiential curriculum
  • World-renowned faculty
  • Globally connected classroom: peer to peer learning circles
  • Action learning: learning by doing


Daniel Wolfenzon

Daniel Wolfenzon is the Stefan H. Robock Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School. He received a Masters and a PhD in economics from Harvard University and holds a BS in economics and a BS in mechanical engineering from MIT. Professor Wolfenzon previously taught at the Unive...

Videos and materials

Financial Acumen (Corporate Finance) at Columbia Business School

This course has no confirmed dates in the future. Subscribe to be notified when it is offered.

Something went wrong. We're trying to fix this error.

Thank you

Someone from the Coursalytics team will be in touch with you soon.


Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.

We are happy to help you find a suitable online alternative.