Corporate Finance Institute (CFI) Review – Is It Worth It?

Through this review, I will help you decide if the CFI platform is worth it in 2024 and whether it is meant for you.

I have taken the Corporate Finance Institute courses and read thousands of reviews, so you do not have to do the same.

Read this detailed review and gain insight into CFI through my experience and research. Let me start by giving you a shorter answer.

Corporate Finance Institute Review- TL;DR

CFI provides accredited certificates and credits to its learners. The online courses are mainly designed for individuals and training larger organization teams. It offers online programs specifically for – 

  • Financial planning and analysis
  • Financial modeling
  • Investment banking
  • Credit analysis
  • Capital markets
  • Data analytics
  • Fintech

Is Corporate Finance Institute Legit- Certificates And Other Recognitions

CFI is associated with and recognized by 20 bodies related to finance globally, some of which are government-associated. When a government body or a national association trusts a platform like the Corporate Training Institute (CFI), it speaks volumes about its legitimacy and recognition.

A few other things and noteworthy associations that make CFI legit are-

1. Recognized by The CPA institute

The Certified Public Accountants (CPA) Institute requires accountants to earn credits to qualify. You can earn these CPE credits on CFI. CFI is accredited with CPA Institutions.

2. CPE Credits For CPA Members In America

Learners can earn CPE Credits per Course when they complete particular courses on CFI. The CFI’s CPE Program can help you earn 254.5 CPE credits. The complete list of programs and breakdown of the credits can be found here

3. CPD Credits For CPA Members In Canada, The UK, And Australia

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the requirement of CPA for accountants in Canada, the UK, and Australia. These credits can be earned on CFI. Find out how to calculate them here.

4. NASBA’s Association With CFI

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy( NASBA), which has a presence in 50 states, receives training from CFI for the Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™.

5. BBB Association With CFI

CFI is accredited by the Better Business Bureau® (BBB) to maintain training standards. Better Business Bureau® (BBB) also trusts the Corporate Training Institute to train its employees with the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program.

Corporate Finance Institute Review- Pros & Cons

Now that you know how well-recognized and legit the CFI platform is and are considering signing up, you must learn its pros and cons.


  • Bite-sized lessons 
  • Structured course plan 
  • Practical exercises
  • Intuitive platform and course design
  • Life-long access to learning material
  • Improves essential Excel and PowerPoint skills


  • The final exam is more difficult than the practice exam
  •  It can be expensive for students
  • Meant for self-motivated learners
  • No mobile app

How Reliable Is Corporate Finance Institute?- My experience With CFI

CFI is highly reliable regarding the quality of the course and knowledgeable tutors. CFI is trusted due to its accreditation from-

I will share my experience using the Corporate Finance Institutes learning platform on various factors. Use this review of factors to understand precisely what the CFI platform is like and whether you want a paid subscription.

Courses By Corporate Finance Institute

214 courses are available on the Corporate Finance Institute (CFI) platform(discussed in detail in the review later). The courses on CFI can be differentiated into two types: 

  1. Certifications
  2. Specializations.
Courses By Corporate Finance Institute
Source: Corporate Finance Institue

The difficulty of the courses is given in levels, and courses on the platform range from level 1 (for novices) to level 5 (for experts)

On average, courses on CFI took me 4 to 5 months to complete. The issue with such a comprehensive course is that you must be self-motivated to revise what you learned earlier. Otherwise, you will easily forget what you learned in the course in the first few months.

Instructors By Corporate Finance Institute

CFI takes pride in its association with top industry experts from various industries and fields who design each course for learners like you and me. One of these experts typically introduces a particular course on CFI.

Instructors By Corporate Finance Institute

CFI instructors appear in courses in a pre-recorded video only at the beginning of the class. The courses are then further taught using animated graphics and recorded instructions as shown in the image below.

Animated Graphics And Recorded Instructions

The instructor’s voice is easy on the ears, and if you can not understand their accent, you also have the option to slow the speed of the video or turn on the closed captions.

Peer Community & Networking On Corporate Finance Institute

Once you pay for a CFI membership, you will get access to the exclusive members-only LinkedIn group. This group provides insider news about industry-related events and beneficial tips and knowledge.

Networking On Corporate Finance Institute

In my opinion, the exclusive group is the real star because it helps you solve your doubts, meet like-minded people, and network with people in your industry from around the world.

Opportunities are abundant for you to interact directly with your course makers in the group, and everything is replied to promptly. I resolved most of my course problems and queries in this group, as the members were incredibly active and helpful

User Interface And User Experience Of Corporate Finance Institute

Using CFI’s learning platform is intuitive and easy. The course flow is well structured, going from lesson to quiz to lesson to assessment and so on as and when needed, so you do not have to spend time figuring out what to do next.

User Experience Of Corporate Finance Institute

You can also change the mode or theme on CFI. Since I took the course mainly in the evening after work, I preferred the dark theme, which was not too bright for my eyes. If you are a fan of light-colored themes, you can press the crescent moon sign pointed out in the image above to change them.

Another thing worth mentioning about CFI is how interactive the courses have been. My experience as a user of CFI has been great, so I give their design, UI, and UX team a big thumbs up! 

Exams And Assessments On Corporate Finance Institute

The exam and study material are only available with a subscription to CFI. The certification exams on CIF are difficult to pass as the passing criteria are 70% – 80%. 

The certification courses have a final exam, but this is not the case with the specializations in CFI. The specialization courses on CFI do not have a big final exam like the certification courses; learners simply get a course completion certificate upon completing a specialization.

Assessments On Corporate Finance Institute

I recommend you take the quizzes and assessments given to you in the middle or end of each chapter seriously. Since the courses are long, I recommend you revise them for the final exam, as it is not as easy as the preliminary quizzes.

The good news is that you can retake exams on CFI’s platform as often as you have a platform subscription. You will only have to wait 30 days to lapse between attempts.

Scholarship And Financial Aid On Corporate Finance Institute Review

The CFI scholarship program is inactive and has not been opened for this year. CFI usually gives a $500 scholarship to needy students with promising talent. 

Check the list of students who have received the scholarship here.

Scholarship On Corporate Finance Institute

As I type this, financial aid is also currently unavailable on CFI. But if it becomes available soon, let me share some essential pointers from my experience that will benefit you. 

Eligibility criteria for financial aid on CFI:

  1. Complete all the free courses related to the topic for which you want financial aid.
  1. Then, fill out and submit the financial aid form. If selected, you will receive the acceptance letter via email.
  1. Financial aid cannot be used to rebate a program you already bought.
  1. Only the “Self-Study” Subscription is given in financial aid.

Pricing- Corporate Finance Institute 

A CFI subscription is available for individual and team training. The table below shows the cost of a Corporate Financial Insitute (CFI) subscription and what is included in each plan for an individual.

If you wish to purchase the course subscription for your team at work, refer to this link.

Factors You Should KnowBasic/ Individual CourseSelf Study Full Immersion
Price$297.00 to $497.00$597$847
Free Trial
Quizzes, Assessments, and Case StudiesLimited Access
No. of Courses1 course200+ courses200+ courses
Courses that offer Credits
No. of certificate1 certificate per courseUnlimitedUnlimited
Accredited Certifications
Community Access
One-on-one service
Type of AccessLimited AccessAll AccessPremium Access

Refund Policy Of Corporate Finance Institute (CFI)

No refund is available on CFI, so be aware of this when you buy the subscription. Ensure you unsubscribe when you get your certificates since not canceling your membership can lead to auto-renewal, where you will be charged for 1 year, and you won’t have a refund option.

However, the refund is available only for citizens of the European Union, as per the rules and regulations practiced by European nations. 

CFI Discounts

The Corporate Finance Institute (CFI) is offering a 40% discount on its ” Self-Study” and “Full immersion” plans. Here are the details in a tabular format.

PlansOriginal PricePrice after DiscountSavings
Full immersion$847$508.20$338.8

Famous Courses On Corporate Finance Institute (CFI)

CFI is known for its certification courses and specializations. The platform offers 28 free courses and learning paths for specific careers apart from its famous offering.

Famous Courses On Corporate Finance Institute

The primary courses offered by CFI are as follows-

1. Corporate Finance Institute (CFI)- Certificate Courses

Six certificate courses on CFI are in demand by individual learners and private and government-affiliated organizations. Let me help you with their details by reviewing each one.

CFI- Certificate Courses

These certificate courses start from $497/ year on CFI; learners can choose or skip the introductory chapters, which is an excellent option for professionals who are well-versed in the basic terminologies related to that field.

However, the “Core course” is compulsory, followed by an “Elective course” where learners can choose a few electives to master more advanced topics.

1. Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® 

The FMVA course is a detailed course for anyone wanting to enhance their finance knowledge. This course truly is bridging the gap between work and higher education. Let us see how.

FMVA® Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐(4.9 out of 5)
Introductory Optional Chapters9
Core Courses14
Electives3 or more
Careers in FMVAEquity Research, Corporate Development, Private Equity, Financial Planning & Analysis, Investment Banking
Learning ObjectivesAccounting, Excel, Finance, Financial Modeling, Valuation, Budgeting & Forecasting, Presentation & Visuals, Strategy
Course LinkClick Here

To earn a certificate, you must take a final exam by the end of this series. The passing grade for the FMVA exam is 70%. You will receive a blockchain digital certificate with your new credentials if you successfully pass.

Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)®
Source: Corporate Finance Institue

2. Business Intelligence & Data Analyst (BIDA®) Certification

This course is highly recommended for anyone starting or upgrading their knowledge in data science. You will learn relevant business intelligence tools and programming languages step by step. 

The best part about BIDA certifications is that you can earn certificates for each tool you learn in this course separately.

BIDA® Rating⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐(4.9 out of 5)
Introductory Optional Chapters3
Core Courses14
Electives3 or more
Careers in BIDAData Analyst, Business Analyst, Quantitative Analyst / Data Scientist, BI Developer, Data Visualization Analyst
Learning ObjectivesData Transformation & Automation, Data Visualization, Data Modeling, Coding, Predictive Analysis, Statistics
Course LinkClick Here

If you pass with 70% in each course assessment, you will take the final BIDA exam focused on BI and data analysis and earn the program certification.

Business Intelligence & Data Analyst (BIDA®)
Source: Corporate Finance Institue

3. Financial Planning & Wealth Management (FPWM™) Certification

FPWM™ focuses on theory and soft skills to bring you the knowledge you need to deal with your clients. This course is great even if are not looking forward to making a career as a finance advisor/ planner.

Note– I will cherish the FPWM™ course, which helped me better plan my finances.

FPWM™ Rating⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐(4.9 out of 5)
Introductory Optional Chapters8
Core Courses12
Careers in FPWMInvestment Advisor, Private Banker, Financial Planner, Portfolio Manager, Retail
Learning ObjectivesFinancial Planning, Practice Management, Business Development, Relationship Management, Investment Management
Course LinkClick Here

You will receive the certificate after completing all the course material, assessments, and quizzes and passing the final exam with 70% or more.

Financial Planning & Wealth Management (FPWM™)
Source: Corporate Finance Institue

4. Commercial Banking & Credit Analyst (CBCA®) Certification

Commercial Banking & Credit Analyst (CBCA®) is meant for learners who want in-depth knowledge of Credit analysis or an understanding of finance. Here are its  details- 

CBCA® Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐(4.9 out of 5)
Introductory Optional Chapters12
Core Courses16
Electives3 or more
Careers in CBCARisk Manager & Credit Adjudicator, Commercial Loan Broker, Private Lender, Credit Analyst, Commercial Loan Officer
Learning ObjectivesFinancial Analysis, Credit Structure & Documentation, Management & Business Analysis, Risk Management, Industry Analysis
Course LinkClick Here

The passing criteria, like all the above certificate courses, is the same (70%) for CBCA®. 

This course has an optional case study challenge, which I recommend learners take. This case study will help you learn real-life tools that will come in handy in day-to-day life, be it at work or home.

Commercial Banking & Credit Analyst (CBCA)
Source: Corporate Finance Institue

5. Capital Markets & Securities Analyst (CMSA®) Certification

This course will teach you standard management and business concepts, along with the essential knowledge needed to have successful careers in capital markets, both on the buy-side and sell-side

CMSA® Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐(4.9 out of 5)
Introductory Chapters7
Core Courses8
Careers in CMSAAsset Management, Wealth Management, Risk Management, Origination, Research, Treasury, Sales and Trading
Learning ObjectivesDerivatives, Fixed Income, Analytical Methodologies, Foreign Exchange, Commodities, Equity
Course LinkClick Here

The CMSA® also consists of case study challenges, which help you apply your knowledge and skills by solving real-world problems. The final exam is the standard 70% passing criteria exam, which earns you the CMSA® program certificate.

Capital Markets & Securities Analyst (CMSA®)
Source: Corporate Finance Institue

6. FinTech Industry Professional (FTIP™) Certification

The fintech industry is booming. Take this newly added course on CFI and join this novel field by learning skills and knowledge in InsurTech, WealthTech, digital banking, cryptocurrencies, payment technology, RegTech, data science, and financial analysis

FTIP™ Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐(4.9 out of 5)
Introductory Optional Chapters5
Core Courses11
Careers in FTIPData Analyst, FinTech Strategist/Consultant, Analyst/Specialist, Software Developer
Learning ObjectivesFinancial Technology Fundamentals, Data Science and Machine Learning, Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain
Course LinkClick Here

There are 23 total courses in the FTIP™ program, of which you will have to complete the 14 required ones to qualify to take the exam. This program also has an option for case study challenges, and the passing grade to earn the certificate remains the same as the rest of the certificate programs(70%).

FinTech Industry Professional (FTIP™)
Source: Corporate Finance Institue

2. Corporate Finance Institute (CFI)- Specialization

CFI has 9 specializations, as shown in the image below. These specialization courses differ from certificate courses because they do not have a final exam. The courses also have fewer chapters than the certified programs on the platform.

CFI- Specialization

Specialization courses are good for imbibing knowledge and skills that are incredibly narrow niches. I recommend specialization courses for professionals or advanced-level learning, as some prior knowledge about the topic is necessary to build on it. 

A few highly rated Specialization in Corporate Finance Institue are- 

1. ESG Certificate Program

This course will polish your knowledge of finance, reporting, investing, and business strategy. In the lab session, you will also practice conducting a materiality assessment, developing ESG policies, and developing an ESG governance structure.

Total Courses13
Required Courses10
Practice Lab Courses3
Time Taken30 to 35 hours
Useful for Asset Management, Management Consulting, Business Analyst, Credit Analyst, Corporate Development, Senior Leadership
Course LinkClick Here

2. Macabacus Specialist

Learn the Microsoft add-on Macabacus to use automation techniques to create error-free and more professional financial models and presentations effortlessly. 

Total Courses5
Required Courses5
Practice Lab Courses
Time Taken10 to 12 hours
Useful for Investment Banking, Private Equity, Valuation, Financial Planning & Analysis, Equity Research
Course LinkClick Here

3. Commercial Real Estate Finance Specialist Program

This course will teach you about the differences in sale and construction timelines, maximum land loans, and waterfall equity appraisals, as well as financial models and mortgages. It has 10 chapters, each followed by a mortgage case study, to give you practical knowledge.

Total Courses10
Required Courses10
Practice Lab Courses
Time Taken40 to 50 hours
Useful for Commercial Relationship Managers, Credit Analysts, Risk Managers & Credit Adjudicator, Commercial Mortgage Brokers, Private Real Estate Lenders, Real Estate Investors, and Advisors
Course LinkClick Here

3. Corporate Finance Institute (CFI)- Free Courses

You can take all the available free CFI courses by signing up on the platform.  The best thing is that you can get CPE credits and a free digital blockchain certificate upon completing a free course. Along with the free courses, CFI also offers free downloadable templates for you to use in your personal and work life.

A few free courses offered by CFI are as follows-

1. Fundamentals Of Credit

The Fundamentals of Credit is a beginner-friendly course that uses easy-to-understand language to explain basic credit-related concepts.

CPE credits2
Part ofCBCA®
Learning ObjectivesBasics of credit, credit structure, and framework, types of interest payments, and loan
Course LinkBasics of credit, credit structure and framework, types of interest payments, and loan

2. Introduction To Banking

This course taught me the most important thing we should have been taught in school- banking. It is an excellent course that will teach you the inner workings of a bank and how a bank makes money.

CPE credits2
Part ofCBCA®
Learning ObjectivesLearn different types/structures of financial services firms and banking services
Course LinkClick Here

3. Data Science & Machine Learning Fundamentals

The course will start by defining the skills, tools, and roles behind data science and gradually move into the finer details of machine learning. By the end of the course, you will have a fundamental understanding of how to use data science outputs in business.

CPE credits3.5
Part ofFTIP™
Learning ObjectivesQualified assessment, data science basics, regression, classification, data preparation, other types of analysis
Course LinkClick Here

4. Famous Corporate Finance Institute (CFI)- Learning Paths

Learning paths are tailored courses and practical exercises for learners to build a career in a specific job. CFI offers more than 20 roles of learning paths. The learning paths are available in the following career areas-

  • Sell-Side Banks
  • Buy-Side Institutions
  • Financial Planning & Analysis
  • Wealth Management

Alternatives To Corporate Finance Institute (CFI)

If you are looking for similar but less expensive options or that offer a different teaching style, here are a few other options worth your consideration.

ParameterCFIWall Street PrepLuna CourseFinancial Edge
Starting Price$297$199$9$549
Rating4.4 out of 53.0 out of 54.1 out of 54.3 out of 5
Free Trial
Accredited Certificates
CPE Credits
No. of Courses2144635453,000+
Best ForDifficult topics in finance and accountingFinancial modeling, investment banking, and related fieldsAffordable, Group BuyingCourses from financial modeling to valuation.

1. Wall Street Prep

Wall Street Prep has one of the best financial modeling certifications. Wall Street Journal courses are popular in organizations like investment banks, private equity firms, and business school programs to train analysts and associates. 

Wall Street Prep
Source: Wall Street Prep

Like CFI, they offer self-study courses designed by industry experts. Individual learners can also opt for boot camps and 1:1 instructor classes at an additional cost. They also provide guidance and review for interview preparation.

This is an excellent alternative to CFI meant for professionals and students to learn Excel, financial statement modeling, valuation, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and leveraged buyouts (LBO)modeling, among other things.

2. Luna Course

Luna Course is the most affordable alternative to CFI, with courses starting as low as $9. Luna Course offers various courses on topics such as Business and marketing, Forex and trading, NLP and hypnosis, Health and fitness, and Love and seduction.

Luna Course
Source: Luna Course

If budget concerns you, using Luna Courses makes a sensible option, as this site works on a group buying model. For example, if a course costs $1,000, it will be bought through “Group Buying,” and each group member will pay $100 (10% of the $1,000). 

Luna Course offers different courses from various famous course authors. Learners buy a course bundle, pay for it, and wait for the course material to be emailed to them. This, by default, helps learners make a one-time purchase of a course and have lifetime access to it.

3. Financial Edge

Financial Edge offers training programs to well-known organizations like J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Barclays on topics like investment banking fundamentals to specialized PE and asset management.

Financial Edge
Source: Financial Edge

They have  9 full-time instructors whose collective experience totals 157 years in the banking and finance industry. Financial Edge has created a dedicated online learning product called Felix’, a toolkit for finance enthusiasts.

Felix’ on the Financial Edge online learning platform offers Micro-degrees and online courses, exclusive live webinars, live expert support, company tearsheets, and filings

market and industry data and sector and transaction models.

User Testimonial And Ratings – Corporate Finance Institute Review

While researching the Corporate Finance Institute I stumbled upon a few testimonials I related with. Here they are for your reference- 

Is The Corporate Finance Institute (CFI) Worth It?

Corporate Finance Institute is worth your time and money because it is widely used by learners worldwide to earn accredited certificates that will help them excel in their professional lives.

The certificates you earn on CFI show that you are dedicated, motivated, and have been trained to perform job-ready skills, making you a preferred candidate when it comes to getting hired or promoted. 

Related Read:

Final Verdict- Corporate Finance Institute Is A Great Way To Earn Accredited Certificates!

Even though the CFI subscription is expensive, it is still my preferred choice for earning accredited certifications and CPE or CPD credits. You, too, should make this investment and use these credentials to ask for that raise or the next promotion

Another noteworthy quality of CFI is that it has been recognized by CPA accreditation not just in the USA but also in Canada, the UK, and Australia.

If you sign up for the platform, use their exclusive members-only group, which is the best way to network and stay updated in finance and banking.

Also, Hurry up! If you have not subscribed to CFI’s learning platform, now is the time. Use the information in this article to get a big discount on CFI today!


Is CFI a credible source?

CFI is trusted by 2 Million+ Professionals and Leading Organizations for training purposes. It is also accredited by the Certified Public Accountants (CPA), BBB (Better Business Bureau®), and NASBA making it a credible source.

Is CFI or WSP better?

CFI (Corporate Finance Institute) is slightly more expensive than WSP (Wall Street Prep). WSP’s financial modeling certification is the best, whereas CFI’s best course is its Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)®  certification course.

Is CFI recognized in the USA?

CFI is recognized in the USA by government agencies like the Certified Public Accountants (CPA) Institute and other organizations like BBB (Better Business Bureau®).

Is FMVA better than CFA?

FMVA and CFA courses are good for different reasons. FMVA is a course that teaches financial modeling and valuation. CFA is a sort of prestigious title that is highly regarded in the finance industry, and it will help you move forward in your career and organization.

What is the difference between CFA and Corporate Finance Institute?

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a professional designation the CFA Institute gives. Corporate Finance Institute is a learning platform on which industry experts offer learners courses and certificates that may earn learners some CPE/CPD credits.

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