Canadian Securities Institute, Moody's Analytics Training & Certification Services
Mobile Menu

At CSI, the well-being of our valued learners and staff is our highest priority. Learn more about our response to COVID-19 and changes to our exam delivery format.

Chief Financial Officer Qualifying Examination (CFO)


Tools For Success

The CFO provides comprehensive coverage of financial reporting standards, dealer member regulations, corporate governance practices and risk management procedures. You'll learn to effectively manage a firm's capital and demonstrate professional competence.

What will you learn by taking the CFO?

  • The CIPF minimum standards, capital formulas, audit requirements
  • Inventory, insurance and segregation
  • Introducing and carrying arrangements, related companies and cross-guarantees
  • Customer accounts and registered account plans
  • Risk Management
  • International Financial Reporting Standards
  • Financing
  • Custody, settlement and stock record balancing
  • Securities
  • Foreign exchange
  • Underwriting capital rules
  • Provider of capital concentration

How will you learn?

CSI offers several options to help you learn at your own pace in the style that suits you best. You can access the course materials through your computer, laptop, tablet, or phone. For those who prefer the printed page, they are also available in textbook form.

What are the benefits of learning online?

CSI's online learning system helps you meet your study goals. You'll benefit from:

  • Textbook readings available in PDF and printed format
  • Review questions so that you can assess your progress
  • Learning objectives that keep you focused
  • Reflective questions to help guide your studies through each chapter
  • Annual course updates to ensure you're learning the most current and up-to-date practical material in your studies
  • Assistance from CSI's academic support specialists

What You'll Learn

  • Collapse All
  • |
  • Expand All

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • History

  • Authority

  • Funding

  • Protection Provided to Customers

  • General Account Coverage

  • Separate Account Coverage

  • CIPF Website

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Books and Records

  • Capital Formula

  • Internal Controls

  • Insurance Coverage Requirements

  • Client Documentation and Settlement

  • Financial Reporting and Examination

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Ensuring Liquidity

  • Additional Financial Risks

  • Insurance Against “Other Losses”

  • The Uniform Capital Formula

  • The Early Warning System

  • Parameters and Sanctions

  • Free Credit Segregation Limit (Statement D)

  • Capital Reporting Requirements

  • Failure to Maintain Adequate Risk Adjusted Capital

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Risk Management in the Securities Industry

  • IIROC Risk Trend Report (RTR)

  • IIROC Financial & Operations (FinOps) Compliance Risk Model

  • Maintaining an Effective Compliance Regime

  • Reporting of Changes to Business Models

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Summary of Accounting Departures from IFRS

  • Balance Sheet Implications

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Substantive Audit Approach

  • Amendments to Audit Instructions

  • Adoption of Canadian Auditing Standards (CAS)

  • Special compliance report on insurance, segregation and guarantee arrangements

  • Common Audit Deficiencies

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Non-Arms Length Transactions

  • Risk Considerations for Related Party Business Practices

  • Rule Amendments

  • Limited Guarantees

  • Consolidated Financial Reporting of Related Companies

  • Financial Assistance

  • Changes in Ownership or Share Capital of Dealer Members and Holding Companies

  • Diversification – Distribution of Insurance Products

  • Principal/Agent Relationships

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Indications That the Banking System Is Inadequate

  • Considerations in Assessing Possible Errors in the Risk Adjusted Capital Calculation

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Financing and Security Margin Rates

  • Debt And Equity Margin Rates

  • Short “Squeeze”

  • Equity Margin Offset Rules

  • Debt Margin Offsets

  • Bond Margin Surcharge

  • Reduced Margin for Listed Equities

  • Unlisted Securities Acceptable for Margin Purposes

  • Pricing and Valuations

  • Rule 2600 – Pricing of Securities

  • Pricing of Securities

  • Control Objectives

  • Minimum Required Firm Policies and Procedures

  • Indications That Internal Control is Not Adequate

  • Case Study - Internal Controls and the Rogue Trader

  • Regulatory Approach

  • Considerations in Assessing Inventory Margin Errors

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Insurance Formula

  • Full Re-instatement or Double Aggregate

  • Prescribed Minimum Insurance Clauses

  • Insurance Deficiency

  • Coverage on Amalgamation

  • Maximum Insurance

  • Global Policies

  • Excess CIPF Insurance

  • Rule 2600

  • FAQ - Insurance

  • Regulatory Approach

  • Indicators of Possible Errors in Insurance Calculation

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Introducing Broker/Carrying Broker Rules

  • Prescribed Contractual Agreements

  • Summary of Salient Features

  • Activity Matrix for Identifying Introducing/Carrying Broker Types

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Credit Risk Management

  • Margin Accounts

  • Cash Account Settlement Practices

  • Cash Account Rule Amendments

  • FAQ – Present Cash Account Rule

  • Illustration - Cash Account Example

  • Cash Account Rule

  • Counterparty Categorization and Related Margin Rules

  • Acceptable Institutions (AIs)

  • Extended Settlements

  • Transaction Types and Counterparty Margin Rule

  • Account Guarantees

  • Legal Relationship and Terms

  • Guarantee Margin Determination

  • Account Guarantee Coding

  • Recognition of Contingent Loss arising from Litigation

  • Regulatory Approach

  • Indications of Poor Credit Controls

  • Indications of Possible Errors in Customer Margin Requirements

  • Regulatory Approach

  • Indications of Poor Credit Controls

  • Indications of Possible Errors in Customer Margin Requirements

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Trust Arrangements

  • Proposed National Instrument 33-101

  • RRSP Segregation

  • RRSP Cash Accounts

  • Introducing Broker Arrangements

  • Regulatory Approach

  • Considerations in Assessing RRSP Systems

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Financing Costs

  • Cash and Securities Loans

  • Call Loans

  • Repos/Reverse Repos

  • Financing Case Examples

  • Illustration of Financing Activity and Accounting Records

  • Financing: Income Tax Considerations

  • Regulatory Approach

  • Considerations in Assessing Risk Adjusted Capital Errors for Financing

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Reconciliation of Books and Records

  • Back-Office Relationship to Financial Capital Rules

  • Stock Record Balancing

  • Unresolved Differences

  • Acceptable Securities Locations and Custody Agreements

  • Clearing Organizations and Settlements

  • Clearing House Deposits

  • Euroclear and Clearstream

  • Margin on Unsettled Clearing/Broker Trading Balances

  • Recording of CDS (Clearing) Trades

  • Back-Office Internal Controls

  • Outsourcing Arrangements

  • Regulatory Approach

  • Indicators of Weak Internal Controls

  • Indicators of Possible Errors in Financial Presentation

  • Indicators of Possible Errors in Broker Margin Requirements

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Registration of Securities

  • Securities Held in Safekeeping

  • Bulk Segregation

  • Illustration of Stock Record Accounts

  • Book-Based System

  • Bulk Segregation Calculation

  • Detailed Segregation Examples

  • Corrective Action for Segregation Deficiencies

  • IIROC Segregation Rule References

  • Priority for Segregation and Desegregation

  • Self-Directed Registered Savings Plan Accounts

  • Securities in Transfer

  • Implications in Using House Margin Rates

  • Implications for Short Sales

  • Internal Control Standards

  • Effect of New Bankruptcy Rules

  • Audit Requirements

  • Auditing Introducing/Carrying Broker Relationships

  • Regulatory Approach

  • Indicators of Possible Problems with the Segregation System

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Concentration Rule

  • Introducing/Carrying Broker Issues

  • Regulatory Approach

  • Indications of Possible Errors in Concentration Calculation

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Foreign Exchange Markets

  • Foreign Exchange Risks

  • Foreign Exchange Margin Rules

  • Currency Groups

  • Spot and Term Risks

  • Margin Surcharge Mechanism

  • Concentration

  • Client Margin

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Time Chart

  • Illustration of Securities Distribution Time Lines

  • Reduction in Normal New Issue Margin Rates

  • Expressions of Interest

  • Standard Form New Issue Letters (SFNIL)

  • Margin Reduction Permitted for Out Clauses in Underwriting Agreements

  • Applicability of Out Clauses

  • Summary Margin Requirements

  • Non-Lead Members of the Underwriting Syndicate

  • Definition of Underwriting Commitment

  • Formalization of Capital Rental Arrangements between Dealer Members

  • Mark-to-Market Provisions for Underwriting

  • Underwriting Commitment Concentration

  • Illustration of New Issue Concentration Test

  • Determining Unsold Position of an Underwriting

  • New Issue Holdbacks

  • Syndication Accounting

  • Definitions and Price Structure

  • Management Fee

  • Syndicate Profit

  • Allowable Syndicate Expenses

  • Payment of Underwriting Profits

  • Regulatory Approach

  • Illustration of Reporting Infrastructure for Underwriting Commitments

  • Indicators of Possible Errors in Underwriting Margin

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Dealer Members Affected

  • Purpose of the Concentration Test

  • Determination of Counterparties

  • Determination of Affiliates

  • Trade Date vs. Settlement Date

  • Transactions Reported

  • How to Minimize Exposure

  • Effect on Early Warning

What are the approximate hours of study?

Approximate Hours of Study**
Hours of Study 50 - 60 hours

** In order to provide some guidance to course participants as to the length of time it will take to be sufficiently prepared to write the final examination, CSI has prepared this estimate of the number of hours an average participant could possibly expect to spend studying for a course. Please note that these are only recommended hours of study developed based on research and our course content, however, this does not mean that some students with exceptional backgrounds would not take less time than recommended or that students with no background at all in finance or economics would not take longer than the maximum.

(weightings are approximate)
The Canadian Investor Protection Fund, Capital Formula and Audit Requirements 32%
Inventory, Segregation and Insurance 24%
Introducing, Carrying Arrangements and Related, Affiliated Companies and Cross-Guarantees 3%
Customer Accounts and Registered Account Plans 14%
Financing 7%
Custody, Settlement and Stock Record Balancing 7%
Securities Concentration 4%
Foreign Exchange 1%
Underwriting Capital Rules 5%
Provider of Capital Concentration 3%
Exams 1
Exam Format Proctored (remote or in person at a test centre)
Exam Duration 3 Hours
Question Format Multiple Choice
Questions Per Exam 100
Attempts Allowed Per Exam 3*
Passing Grade 60% (Per Exam)
Assignments None
Enrolment Period 1 year†

On successful completion of this course you will be able to download a Notice of Course Completion available through your student profile. This will remain on your profile as formal confirmation of course completion.

CSI will mail you a wall certificate within 4 - 6 weeks of course completion. Frames to display your certificate are available. Please ensure that your First and Last Name on your profile match your First and Last Name on your Government Issued Photo identification - this will ensure you receive an accurate certificate.

CSI will be pleased to issue an Honors Certificate to all student who obtain a final course mark of 85% or higher.

* The first attempt is included in the course enrolment fee. Further attempts incur fees.

†Please note: Access to your online materials will close 2 weeks after successful course completion or course expiry (whichever comes first). This course can be extended by 1 year provided you have not exceeded the attempts allowed  for each exam. You can view CSI extension fees here . Your enrolment period can only be extended one time.

Continuing Education (CE) Credits

Click the links below or the buttons at the top of the page on the right side to access CE accreditation information. To search for specific course information, press Ctrl + F and then enter the course name to search the document for the information you are interested in.

National/Provincial (Excluding Quebec)
Download CE Chart (PDF, 163 kb)

Quebec (IQPF/CSF)
Download IQPF/CSF Chart (PDF, 182 kb)

Please note: While CSI makes every effort to ensure that the information is up-to-date, we are unfortunately unable to fully guarantee its accuracy. The information listed in the charts above may be subject to change.

For details on the organizations and other information on CE Credits listed in the above charts, please click here.