The CFI offers a huge catalog of e-learning courses. Most are expensive paid courses, whereas some are completely free.

To save you from the trouble of finding the best free CFI courses, I’ve put up this list to advance your profession, whether you’re new to finance or looking to hone your skills.

The best part is that all the free CFI courses offer certificates, making them a reliable and valuable asset to your CV.

Follow this guide to find some of the best resources to help you achieve corporate success. 

Top CFI Free Courses (My Recommendations)

Here are the best online CFI free courses I have used and thoroughly reviewed in this upcoming article.

The selection and ranking of these courses are based on the quality of study material, CPE credits offered, and popularity of the courses.

CFI Free CoursesInstructorDifficulty LevelCertificate offered
Accounting FundamentalsScott Powell2Yes 
Excel Fundamentals- Formulas for FinanceDuncan McKeen2Yes
Introduction to Business IntelligenceSebastian Taylor1Yes 
Reading Financial StatementLisa Dorian2Yes 
Introduction to ESGNoah Miller1Yes 
Corporate Finance FundamentalsTim Vipond 2Yes
Fundamentals of Data Analysis in Excel Joseph Yeates2Yes
Statistics FundamentalsJoseph Yeates 2Yes 
Data Science & Machine Learning FundamentalsSebastian Taylor and Lester Leong2Yes
Graph Database FundamentalsSebastian Taylor4Yes 
M&A Accounting & Purchase Price AllocationScott Powell5Yes

This review will help you find the ideal fit for your study path, from accounting fundamentals to advanced financial modeling. 

Let’s now review each of these courses in detail to understand what they offer.

Note: CPE stands for Continuing Professional Education. These are the points received by professionals for taking part in specialized training programs.

1. Accounting Fundamentals

InstructorScott Powell
Course Inclusion60 lessons, videos, exam, and certificate
Length5+ hours 
CPE Credits2

Accounting Fundamentals is one of the best CFI courses for beginners, as it offers an extensive curriculum and learning opportunities. 

In this course, Scott Powell will teach you the basics of Accounting through videos, interactive practices, quizzes, and case studies. It is a flexible and completely online course. 

CFI Free Course - Accounting Fundamentals
Source: CFI

This course also discusses the significance of financial statements and the leading financial statement concepts. It will help you understand how accounting provides insight into profitability, operations, growth, and the underlying drivers of a firm.

What you’ll learn in this course:

1. The Balance Sheet

2. The Income Statement

3. The Cash Flow Statement


  • Short, simple, to-the-point content. 
  • Beginner-friendly teaching practices.
  • You learn at your own pace.


  • Free videos are also available on YouTube.
  • No detailed information present in content.

Who should take this course?

1. Professionals working in finance.

2. Students who want to review the fundamentals of the accounting process.

3. Financial analysts.

CFI User Testimonial

“Loved the practice sets.

I enjoyed the course for the whole duration. I had refreshments for my accounting subjects, especially financial accounting. It’s been a year since I studied financial accounting, and I was kinda nervous about answering all the interactive tests, but I answered them correctly. I thought I couldn’t do it. This course gave me time to review; I chose to read the PDF, though I watched the videos, too. It’s refreshing, all in all. :)”

Dolly Jorge

Source: CFI Accounting Fundamental Course Website

2. Excel Fundamentals- Formulas for Finance

InstructorDuncan McKeen
Course Inclusion104 lessons, videos, exam, and certificate
Length3.5+ hours
CPE Credits3.5

In the Excel Fundamentals course, you’ll learn to use Excel 365’s basic statistical analysis features, such as aggregation, date functions, and lookups.

After completing this course, you will be able to differentiate various financial analysis roles along with their benefits and drawbacks.

Excel Fundamentals- Formulas for Finance
Source: CFI

The best part of this course is that this course will teach you diverse tools and countless shortcuts to improve your tempo and precision.

What you’ll learn in this course:

1. Pricing Data

2. Aggregation

3. Lookups

4. Dates and Returns


  • Very succinct content. 
  • Follows a comprehensive approach and goes into finer details.
  • Focus on functions and formulae that are most important in finance.
  • Flexibility in learning so that you learn at your own pace.


  • The course’s 104 videos may feel monotonous.
  • Course is very short.

Who should take this course?

1. Perfect for beginner, intermediate, and advanced financial professional Excel users.

2. Financial analysts.

The course begins with the fundamentals and swiftly progresses, so even experienced users learn something new and get a fantastic refresher.

CFI User Testimonial

“Great Course For Advancing Excel Skill.

This is a great course for advancing Excel knowledge or seeing ways to utilize existing knowledge in new ways!”

Brendan Schoen

Source: CFI Excel Fundamental Course Website

3. Introduction To Business Intelligence

InstructorSebastian Taylor
Course Inclusion15 lessons, videos, quizzes and assessment, and certificate
Length1+ hour
CPE Credits1.5

Quick fact: The Business Intelligence software market is on track for $17.6 billion by 2024. (Finances Online)

Sounds like something worth investing in, right? This course offers an overview of business intelligence. 

Introduction To Business Intelligence
Source: CFI

The Business Intelligence introductory course begins with some fundamental concepts about business intelligence and later explains how business intelligence differs from data science. 

Ultimately, it explains the significant roles and procedures in acquiring business intelligence.

What you’ll learn in this course:

1. Data Analysis

2. Data Visualization

3. Data Engineering


  • Compact course with crisp content. 
  • Beginner-friendly teaching practices follow a comprehensive approach.
  • Flexibility in learning so that you learn at your own pace.
  • Simple interfaces help enhance learning experience.


  • Free videos are also available on YouTube.
  • No detailed academic information.

Who should take this course?

1. Professionals working with data.

2. Asset managers, Data analysts, Quantitative analysts, and Financial analysts who want to review concepts.

CFI User Testimonial

“Highly Educative program.

This course content will help you understand the foundation of business intelligence and set you on the path to becoming a business leader.”

Edward Abrokwah

Source: CFI Business Intelligence Course Website

4. Reading Financial Statement

InstructorLisa Dorian
Course Inclusion61 lessons, videos, assessments, and certificate
Length1.5+ hours
CPE Credits1

Financial statements are used by market analysts, investors, and creditors to evaluate a company’s financial health and earning potential. 

Reading Financial Statement
Source: CFI

In this Reading Financial Statement course, Lisa Dorian will teach you how to analyze financial statements and their basic concepts.

What you’ll learn in this course:

1. Understanding the Balance Sheet

2. Understanding the Income Statement and the Cash Flow Statement


  • Highly interactive with different applied exercises and case studies.
  • Flexible learning.
  • Pop quiz to test what you’ve learned. 


  • It is a short duration with no depth in content.

Who should take this course?

1. Professionals working in finance.

2. Company management persons.

3. Financial analysts.

5. Introduction To ESG

InstructorNoah Miller
Course Inclusion15 lessons, videos, tests, and certificate
Length1.5+ hours
CPE Credits1.5

A Bloomberg study estimated that ESG assets under management are projected to become $140.5 trillion by 2025. This shows potential growth and demand related to ESG 

Introduction To ESG
Source: CFI

This ESG course is designed to give you the knowledge to answer environmental, social, and governance (ESG) queries and use that information to conduct more effective due diligence and make sound investment decisions. 

What you’ll learn in this course:

1. What is environmental social governance (ESG)?

2. How is information utilized to determine risk, reward, and management effectiveness?

3. How do stakeholder expectations impact business actions?

4. What are the primary considerations for firms and investors?


  • This ESG course is a part of Environmental Social, and Governance Specialization Certification. Therefore you can go for additional Specialization courses to increase your mastery over the subject.
  • Multiple Case Studies are present for better understanding.
  • The assessment is not at all difficult.


  • Very brief content with superficial knowledge.

Who should take this course?

Analysts who want to know how a company manages the risks and possibilities that changing market and non-market situations bring in today’s world.

6. Corporate Finance Fundamentals

InstructorTim Vipond
Course Inclusion56 lessons, videos, assessment, and certificate 
Length2.5+ hours
CPE Credits2.5

The next free CFI course is for learners aiming for a career in corporate finance. This introductory corporate finance course will teach you significant concepts required for a career in investment banking, equities research, and analysis.

Corporate Finance Fundamentals
Source: CFI

What you’ll learn in this course:

1. Different players in capital markets.

2. Funding lifecycles.

3. Business valuation methods.

4. Merger and acquisition(M&A) process.

5. Equity capital raising.

6. Debt capital raising.

7. Corporate finance career paths.


  • Simple introductory content, thus easy to understand.
  • The course provides Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst certification. 
  • Offers a good amount of credit points.


  • More case studies should have been presented.

Who should take this course?

Anyone currently employed or interested in a career in investment banking, equities research, private equity, business development, finance, or accounting.

This training is a wonderful starting point for beginners and an excellent refresher for experienced practitioners. This makes this course one of the best CFI courses for beginners.

7. Fundamentals Of Data Analysis In Excel 

InstructorJoseph Yeates
Course Inclusion64 lessons, videos, quizzes, assessments, and certificate
Length8+ hours
CPE Credits4.5

This free CFI course will teach you how to use Excel’s built-in functions and options to organize your data into spreadsheets and tables. 

Fundamentals Of Data Analysis In Excel 
Source: CFI

What you’ll learn in this course:

1. Data Analysis

2. Data Transformation

3. Excel Tables

4. Dynamic Arrays

5. Pivot Tables

6. Data Visualization


  • Detailed and well structured content.
  • Self paced and flexible learning.
  • User friendly interfaces enhance user experience.


  • Content sometimes feels lengthy.
  • Many technical terms used are confusing.

Who should take this course?

1. Professionals working in finance.

2. Students who want to pursue Business Administration.

8. Statistics Fundamentals

InstructorJoseph Yeates
Course Inclusion50 lessons, videos, assessments, and certificate
Length3+ hours
CPE Credits3.5

This statistics course covers the basic principles required for statistical tests. You’ll get to know about the various hypothesis building and predictions.

Statistics Fundamentals
Source: CFI

This course is part of the Business Intelligence and Data Analyst Certification, which includes about 25 courses. So you can go for the rest of the courses to earn Certification.

What you’ll learn in this course:

1. The Statistical Landscape

2. Descriptive Statistics

3. Inferential Statistics

4. Hypothesis Testing


  • Detailed, simple, and easy to understand course material.
  • Bite-sized lessons and well-structured lesson plans.


  • Number of assessments should have been more to evaluate the learnings.

Who should take this course?

  • Analysts, BI Specialists, and Business leaders
  • Data scientists

9. Data Science & Machine Learning Fundamentals

InstructorSebastian Taylor and Lester Leong
Course Inclusion82 lessons, videos, end-of-course quiz, and certificate
Length4+ hours
CPE Credits3.5

Next is a course summarizing the data science cycles involved in creating machine learning models. In this Data Science course, you learn about the fields of data science and machine learning and see examples of practical applications. It will give you all the information you need about data science.

Data Science & Machine Learning Fundamentals
Source: CFI

What you’ll learn in this course:

1. Data Science Basics

2. Regression

3. Classification

4. Data Science Leadership

5. Data Preparation

6. Other Types of Analysis


  • Accurate and thorough content.
  • Beginner-friendly teaching practices follow an extensive approach.
  • Self-paced learning.


  • More content and information needed to understand nuances of the concepts.

Who should take this course?

  • Business leaders 
  • Aspiring analysts

10. Graph Database Fundamentals

InstructorSebastian Taylor
Course Inclusion67 lessons, videos, assessments, and certificate
Length6.5+ hours
CPE Credits4

In this Graph Database course, you will learn about the fundamental building components of a graph database.

Graph Database Fundamentals
Source: CFI

You’ll also master the fundamental knowledge of Cypher queries, which you’ll apply to query a graph and answer questions. In addition, you’ll learn how to build a visual database from scratch.

What you’ll learn in this course:

1. Graph Basics

2. CQL- exploring the graph and intermediate queries.

3. Case Study- Movie Recommendations.

4. Navigating Graphs.

5. Case Study- Bitcoin Lightning Network.


  • Case studies are incorporated for comprehensive understanding of learners.
  • This course is best for people with no prior knowledge.
  • Every concept and step is explained clearly in non-technical language.
  • The course offers huge CPE credits thus helpful in academic and career advancement.


  • Course Duration may feel lengthy.
  • All 67 video lessons are monotonous.

Who should take this course?

This course is perfect for those with zero experience with SQL or graph databases or those who want a refresher on the fundamentals and best practices.

11. M&A Accounting & Purchase Price Allocation

InstructorScott Powell
Course Inclusion42 lessons, videos, assessment, and certificate
Length3+ hours
CPE Credits2.5

This course covers the M&A accounting process, including fair value adjustment and expenses. Upon completion, you will master Merger and Acquisition accounting.

M&A Accounting & Purchase Price Allocation
Source: CFI

What you’ll learn in this course:

1. Creating Pro Forma Balance Sheets

2. Purchase Price Allocation

3. Structuring the Deal

4. Debt Fees and M&A Expenses

5. Putting It All Together


  • Thorough content.
  • Flexible and self-paced learning.


  • Recommend prior knowledge of Accounting Fundamentals and Accounting Principles & Standards.

Who should take this course?

This class is designed for analysts better to understand the underlying accounting rules for an acquisition.

Related Read:

My Verdict On – Best Free CFI Courses Depends On Your Career Paths 

These courses are the result of thorough and intense research. I have selected them so you can learn critical financial concepts free of cost in the comfort of your home.

The CFI has a catalog of 28 free online courses, of which I have selected the top 11.

These are my top recommendations.:

  • Accounting Fundamentals
  • Excel Fundamentals- Formulas for Finance
  • Introduction to Business Intelligence

However, These top selections may alter depending on your budget, level of knowledge, and business objectives.

What are you waiting for? Go and grab these best CFI courses today!


Which is the best CFI free course with a certificate?

The Accounting Fundamentals course is regarded as the best CFIfree course with a certificate. This is because of the expertise of instructors and the results the students have received. 

Which is the best CFI free course for beginners?

The Accounting Fundamentals and Corporate Finance Fundamentals are the top free courses for beginners.

Are CFI courses worth it?

Undoubtedly, CFI courses equip you with industry-related knowledge and skills. So, it is worth it.

Are CFI certificates legit?

Yes, the Corporate Finance Institute is considered one of the best finance training institutes. Thus, its courses are recognized by apex companies and top institutes globally. 

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