RENEW Strategies

The CFO 100 Program FAQs


Frequently asked questions and answers on the CFO 100 program.

General questions concerning the CFO 100 program:

What is the structure of the CFO 100 program?
The CFO 100 program is a one-year part-time program. The CFO 100 curriculum has twelve required courses. Students take classes Tuesday evening.

What is the size of the class?
Our goal is to enroll 20 students in the CFO 100 program each year.

What is the best way for me to learn about the CFO 100 program?
Besides looking carefully over the website, we recommend visiting RENEW’s or ACCA’s office. During your visit you can interact with a RENEW or ACCA’s representative and potentially attend a class.

How can I contact participants or alumni of CFO 100 to learn more about the program?
If you would like to speak with current participants, please email Teshager Demissie. We do not share private participant contact information. However, we do provide several opportunities for prospective applicants to meet both alumni and participants. If you are offered admission, you will have many opportunities to connect with current participants and alums.

What types of scholarships and financial aid are available?
All qualified applicants are eligible for scholarships from RENEW and ACCA:

  1. RENEW will sponsor 50% of the exam fees for four selected papers of ACCA for the participants in the CFO 100, if and when they pass their ACCA and RENEW’s exams.
  2. CFO 100 candidates will receive 75% discount on exempted papers and 50% discount on registration fee from ACCA.

ACCA could easily cost upward of 46,000 ETB (2016 estimate), if a candidate enrolls for early registration for all the papers. RENEW’s scholarship provides a monetary support of 5,000 ETB/candidate while ACCA’s support is about 6,500ETB. If a candidate qualifies for all the scholarship resources then she can receive about 25% of financial support of total ACCA’s exam costs.

Questions concerning the admissions criteria:

How many people apply to the CFO 100 program each year?
Since this is the first year of the program, we are expecting approximately 100 applications. We intend to admit people from a wide variety of industries. The number of people admitted from a certain industry, educational background, etc., will depend on the number of people who apply, and the strength of the applicant pool.

What are the application deadlines?
See the CFO 100 page for updates on deadlines.

Questions concerning eligibility and qualifications:

How can I determine if I am qualified for the program?
We are unable to evaluate a candidate's competitiveness or determine eligibility in advance of submitting a formal application. Each applicant's professional experience is reviewed along with academic aptitude and online examination results. Generally speaking, most of the CFO 100 participants have two or more years of full-time professional experience in finance/accounting following the completion of their undergraduate degree.

In the future, we will share information about our class profile that will serve as a good first point of evaluating your qualifications in relation to our current participants. The profile will include statistics related to test results, years of work experience, industry interests, etc. Our website outlines the Guidelines and Criteria for applying to the CFO 100 program. This outline will provide explanations of what the Admissions Committee is looking for in each applicant.

Questions concerning work experience:

How is work experience evaluated?
The quality of an executive education program is immeasurably enhanced by the real-world business experience that participants bring to the classroom. Most of our participants have two or more years of full-time professional work experience following the completion of their undergrad degree. When reviewing applications, we are particularly interested in the depth of your real-world experience in finance and accounting, as well as your supervisor's assessment of your value as an employee and potential as a leader.

What if I come from a non-finance background?
As the course is focused on developing leaders in finance, we prefer candidates with finance background. However, if a candidate has strong fundamentals in finance along with non-finance business experience then we would be willing to consider her profile.

Do you admit students with no previous work experience?
We have a strong focus on business experience therefore applicants without any substantial work experience would not be as competitive.

Questions concerning academic requirements:

What is your minimum requirement for CFO 100 online exam?
As the course is focused on applied finance, we are interested in your performance on the fundamentals of accounting and finance. We expect at least a 50% cut-off score on the overall exam as well as more than 50% on both, accounting and finance sections.

What is your minimum grade requirement for accounting, finance, and English courses?
A GPA of B (3.0) or better in accounting and finance courses is generally the standard for serious consideration.

I have multiple bachelor's or master's degrees. What minimum grade is considered?
The admission committee reviews your entire academic record; however, the committee focuses more heavily on your first bachelor's degree.

What if my school's grading system is not on a letter grade scale?
If your institution does not use a 4.0 grading scale, please do not calculate your GPA. You should check the box "Not on a 4.0 scale" on the online application and report your performance based on your school’s grading system.

How does the interview committee evaluate quantitative proficiency?
Quantitative proficiency of candidates is assessed by looking at your performance in accounting and finance courses along with calculus, statistics, and/or any upper-level math courses during your undergraduate education. The Admissions Committee will also look at your online exam score, and the quantitative nature of your work to determine your level of quantitative proficiency. All applicants should have completed, at a minimum, a college-level accounting, finance, mathematics or statistics course.

Questions concerning the application process:

Can I submit corrections or updates to my application after submitting it?
No. Once your application has been submitted, you may not make changes or adjustments to the content. The Admissions Committee asks that you do not send additional material other than what is requested as part of the application. However, you may provide an update if you have a change in your employment status or position, if you completed a quantitative course and are providing the grade, or if your contact information has changed. Please send an email to Berkessa Behailu (email available on “Meet the tutors” section of the website) with the updated information.

Should I call to confirm that my application materials have arrived?
No. Please refrain from contacting RENEW or ACCA Ethiopia to verify that we have received your application. You will receive an email once your application has been initially reviewed for completeness, approximately 3 - 4 weeks from the deadline for which you applied. If anything is missing, we will send you an email outlining the missing documents needed for review.

Questions regarding transcripts:

What are the transcript requirements for applying to the program?
You must provide scans of official transcript (or academic record) in its original language for each institution you have attended.

All applicants must provide transcripts with:

  1. The name of the degree and date of conferral.
  2. The name of every class you have taken toward the completion of the degree.
  3. The grade obtained for each course.
  4. For initial review, you may provide a scan of each official document. If you are invited to interview, you must bring the original academic documents issued by your institution.

    We prefer that you upload copies of official transcripts or degree certificates with your online application. If you are invited to interview, you will be required to bring hard copies of the official transcripts and degree certificates with you.

    See the application instructions for more information. PDFs/image files of academic records may be submitted with the application for each educational institution you list in the education section. Please optimize the scan settings for size reduction and ensure that the document will be legible and can print on an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper. Please scan BOTH sides of your transcripts. If your documents are not legible or there were any problems during the upload, we will contact you as we prepare and set up your file for review.

    Questions concerning the essay:

    How important is it to adhere to the word limit for the essay?
    The 250-word count limit for the essay is established so we can see how well you can express your thoughts, points, and ideas concisely and effectively. Please try to stay within the word limits as much as possible.

    I am having trouble formatting my essay, what should I do?
    You may format our essay in word document and then upload the file on the application form. You can also consider these best practices:

    1. Type directly. When possible, type a response directly into the application and format using the online tools.
    2. Review your answers. After you finalize and save your response, be sure to review your answers.
    3. No pictures or other media. Please do not paste pictures or other non-text media into your answers.

    Questions concerning the letter of recommendation:

    Who should write my letter of recommendation?
    We prefer that both letters come from a current employer and a academic supervisor from accounting/finance department. Select individuals with whom you have had considerable professional interaction such as your supervisor. What does matter is how closely your recommenders have worked with you and whether they can attest to your value as an employee, your professional accomplishments, and your financial acumen.

    All of my work experience has been with my family's company, and my parent has been my supervisor. Who should write my recommendation?
    It is up to you to determine who would be the best person to write your letter of recommendation. Select individuals who have had the opportunity to observe you in a supervisory capacity and who can attest to your professional qualities, leadership abilities and/or potential, and skills in a business context.

    Is it possible to submit a letter of recommendation after the application deadline?
    As long as you have submitted your application by the deadline, it is acceptable for your recommender to submit the letter of recommendation within a week after the deadline date. Please keep in mind that without two letters of recommendation, you application will be considered incomplete and cannot be reviewed until both letters have been received.

    What if my recommender doesn't speak English?
    It is acceptable to obtain the recommendation in Amharic.

    How can I change my recommender?
    If you have submitted your application then please email Berkessa Behailu (email available on “Meet the tutors” section of the website) and we will change your recommender information for you. Please note that we cannot delete a recommendation that has already been submitted.

    Questions concerning the interview:

    What is your interview process?
    Interviews are conducted solely at the invitation of the admissions committee, and only after the initial review of your application. Interviews are offered with the RENEW and ACCA teams in Addis Ababa only.

    When should I expect to receive an invitation to interview?
    Interview invitations are extended four weeks after the application deadline. You will be notified by email if you are invited to interview.

    Questions concerning admission decisions:

    How will I be notified of my admissions decision?
    You will receive an email from us about the status of your application.

    Can I appeal my admissions decision?
    All admission decisions are final, and there is no appeal process.

    Is it possible to defer enrollment after being admitted to the CFO 100 program?
    Deferrals are very uncommon for the CFO 100 program. In extreme circumstances, they may be granted on a case-by-case basis.


    ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is a global body for professional accountants. ACCA aims to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

    Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. Through a network of 91 offices and centers, ACCA support 188,000 members and 436,000 students in 180 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers.

    ACCA Ethiopia supports more than 2000 students and 415 members in the country. The national office provides different services including organizing events for students and members, avail approved study materials, facilitates payment and works with different stakeholders in the country to promote the value of professional accountants.

    ACCA’s local office helps caters to the specific needs of students and members in Ethiopia. As part of the CFO 100 program, ACCA will support students through orientations, general meetings, and student lead panel discussions throughout the year. If you have any queries about ACCA Ethiopia or the CFO 100 program, then please reach out RENEW or visit the ACCA's global website for more information.