Financial Analysis & Decision Making

Category: Collaborative Objective Test & Team Performance (Role Play)
Type: Individual or Team


Two (2) parts: an objective test and interactive role play or presentation. A 60-minute objective test will be administered onsite at the NLC. Team competitors will take one (1) objective test collaboratively.

Objective Test Competencies: Business Finance/Corporate Finance; Capital Management; Financial Institutions and Markets; Financial Management/Managerial Finance; Investments

Case: An interactive role play situation that may include investments, financial management, financial institutes, etc.

Skills: This event recognizes PBL members who possess knowledge across the core curriculum in the area of finance.


Collaborative Objective Test & Team Performance (Role Play)

Performance Guidelines—Final Round

  • Two (2) 4"x6" note cards will be provided to each competitor and may be used during event preparation and performance. Information may be written on both sides of the note cards. Note cards will be collected following the presentation.
  • No additional reference materials allowed.
  • Turn off all electronic devices.
  • Individuals/teams should introduce themselves, describe the situation, make their recommendations, and summarize their cases.
  • If participating as a team, all team members are expected to actively participate in the performance.
  • All questions raised in the case must be addressed during the presentation.
  • Objective test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Financial calculators may be used for accounting, finance, and analysis & decision making events; calculators will be provided for all other events.
  • Final performances are not open to conference attendees.

Penalty Points Deducted by Judges

  • Five (5) points are deducted if competitors do not follow the dress code.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for not following guidelines.
General Performance/Demonstration

Performance Guidelines

Fifteen (15) competitors/teams—or an equal number from each section in the preliminary round—will advance to the final round. When there are more than five preliminary sections for an event, two competitors/ teams from each section will advance to the final round.

In the case of team events, all team competitors are expected to actively participate in the performance/demonstration.

Competitors cannot be replaced or substituted after the name change deadline of 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June.

All competitors must comply with the FBLA‑PBL dress code.

Prejudged materials and résumés will not be returned.

Technology Guidelines

  • Internet access will be provided for:
    • Computer Animation
    • Forensic Accounting
    • Global Analysis & Decision Making
    • Network Design
    • Social Media Challenge
    • Website Design
  • Internet access may not be WiFi, so competitors should plan appropriately when selecting laptops/tablets on which to present.
  • All competitors in accounting, finance, and analysis & decision making events may bring and use financial calculators.

Performance Competencies

  • Demonstrate excellent verbal communication.
  • Display effective decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Express self-confidence and poise.
  • Work well as a team when applicable.
  • Exhibit logic and systematic understanding.
  • Conduct a professional business presentation.
  • Answer questions effectively (when applicable).

Penalty Points Deducted by Judges

  • Five (5) points are deducted if competitors do not follow the dress code.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for presentations over the allotted time.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for not following guidelines.


  • Preliminary and final performances/demonstrations are not open to conference attendees.
  • Recording performances/demonstrations is prohibited.
  • All electronic devices must be turned off.
  • All attendees must follow the dress code and wear their name badges; however, the badge may be removed when presenting.
  • All attendees are requested to remain quiet while in competitive event areas.

The general event guidelines below are applicable to all national competitive events. Please review and follow these guidelines when competing at the national level. When competing at the state level, check the state guidelines since they may differ.


  • Dues: Competitors must have paid PBL national and state dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 15 of the current school year.
  • NLC Registration: Participants must be registered for the NLC and pay the national conference registration fee in order to participate in competitive events.
  • Deadlines: The state chair, or designee, must register each state competitor on the official online entry forms by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • Each state may submit three (3) individuals in all events requiring only objective tests and two (2) individuals or teams for all events that require a pre-judged or performance component.
  • Each competitor can compete in two (2) events.
  • Each competitor must compete in all parts of an event for award eligibility.
  • A team shall consist of two or three members. Exceptions are Parliamentary Procedure which must be a team of four or five members, and LifeSmarts which must be a team of two members.

Repeat Competitors

Competitors are not permitted to compete in an event more than once at the national level unless one of the following circumstances applies:

  • Modified Events: A competitor may compete in the same event when the event is modified. Note, if the only modification is a name change, competitors may not compete in the renamed event.
  • Team Events: One (1) competitor of the team may have competed in the same event at one (1) previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice in the event at the national level.
  • Chapter Events: Competitors may compete in a chapter event more than once (Community Service Project).
  • Individual Entry: A competitor who competed as an individual entry in a team event at the national level may compete in the same event a second time as part of a team, but not a second time as an individual.
  • Parliamentary Procedure: Two (2) competitors of the team may have competed in this event at a previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice at the national level.
  • Pilot Event: Competition in a pilot event does not disqualify a competitor from competing in the same event if it becomes an official competitive event. The participant may compete in another event as well as a pilot event.

Breaking Ties

  • Objective Tests: Ties are broken by comparing the correct number of answers to the last 10 questions on the exam. If a tie remains, the competitor who completed the test in a shorter amount of time will place higher. If this does not break the tie, answers to the last 20 questions will be reviewed and determine the winner.
  • Objective and Production Tests: The production test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Objective Tests and Performances: The objective test score will be used to break a tie based on the tie-breaking criteria of objective tests.
  • Reports/Projects and Performances: The report/project scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Performances: Judges must break ties and all judges’ decisions are final.

National Deadlines

  • State chair/adviser must register all competitors for NLC competitive events online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All prejudged components (report PDFs, resume/letter of application PDFs, and project URLs) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All URLs and PDFs for prejudged projects and reports will be submitted by the state adviser via the competitive events registration form.
  • All production tests must be received at FBLA-PBL by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May.
  • Desktop Publishing—the finished product must be uploaded in PDF format by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May. Label all documents with the event title, competitor’s name, state, and school.
  • All production tests must be uploaded online.
  • State chair/adviser may make name changes only (no additional entries) by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June. Competitor drops are the only changes allowed after this date and onsite.

National Awards

The number of competitors will determine the number of winners. The maximum number of winners for each competitive event is 10. Only one (1) award is given to the schools competing in chapter events (Community Service Project and Local Chapter Annual Business Report).

Additional Materials

  • Financial calculators may be brought to objective testing and used for any accounting, finance, or analysis & decision making events.
  • Certain events may allow the use of additional materials. Please refer to event guidelines.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

FBLA‑PBL meets the criteria specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act for all participants who submit a special needs form.

Recording of Presentations

No unauthorized audio or video recording devices will be allowed in any competitive event. Participants in the performance events should be aware the national association reserves the right to record any performance for use in study or training materials.

Graduate Students

Graduate students may compete in all PBL events.


General Competitive Events Tips
Event Tips
Sample Practice Materials

Rating Sheet

Format Guide

Website Resources
Business Finance/Corporate Finance
1. Evaluate the concepts and principles behind long-term debt and equity financing
2. Characterize markets for long-term business funds.
3. Explain the following concepts: money has time value, efficient capital markets, agency problem, diversification, cash flow and taxes, and their implications for financial managers.
4. Describe the purpose of balance sheets and income statements.
5. Analyze cash flow statements and utilize them in financial decision making
6. Perform financial statement analysis using financial ratios, DuPont system, and company performance measures.
7. Develop forecasts and make financial plans.
8. . Explain the difference between net cash flow and net income.
9. Analyze the ways to both assess a firm’s financial health and determine alternatives for continued success or improvement in a variety of business settings.
10. Analyze sources available for business organization financing.
11. Appreciate the difference between venture capital, private equity, early stage, and traditional financing sources.
12. Differentiate between mergers and acquisitions.
13. Explain the uses and benefits of a holding company
14. Describe fundamental financial concepts involved in the management of corporate finances such as the nature of depreciation
15. Discuss the financial planning process.
16. Describe short-term (operating) financial plans and long-term (strategic) financial plans
17. Explain hostile takeovers.
18. Discuss restructuring an organization
19. Discuss external forces affecting a company’s value.
20. Explain how value is created for a company.
21. Determine business liquidity
22. Calculate business ratios (e.g., corporate activity, corporate debt, and market) to evaluate company performance.
Capital Management
1. Explain the concepts and principles behind financial planning and working capital management.
2. Evaluate short-term and long-term sources of business financing.
3. Assess the concept of the time value of money.
4. Apply capital management strategies: financing working capital and optimal plan, term structure of interest rates, float, inventory management and EOQ, collection policy and discounts, and sources of ST financing..
5. Conduct project analysis: capital budgeting, methods of selecting capital projects, capital rationing, and impact of risk on capital budgeting
6. Define inflation and its relationship with interest rates.
7. Discuss the theories of interest rates.
8. List the factors that determine the cost of capital.
9. Compute cost of debt, preferred and common stock capital, and develop the overall cost of capital for the firm.
10. Determine the role of tax laws in computing cost of capital.
11. Define capital structure.
12. Discuss how a firm identifies its optimum capital structure.
13. Name some of the key theoretical developments in the field of capital structure and how they relate to the real world.
14. Describe the tools for capital structure management.
15. Discuss the implications of tax laws, agency costs, and bankruptcy costs in determining capital structure for firms.
16. Describe the benefits of cash management..
17. Demonstrate the uses of various cash management models.
18. Manage accounts receivables.
19. Determine operating cash inflows.
20. Discuss the best financing options for a company.
21. Prepare and evaluate a cash budget.
Financial Institutions and Markets
1. Explain the structure of the securities market
2. Explain the role of efficient capital markets in corporate finance.
3. Discuss weaknesses and strengths of efficient capital markets.
4. Explain types of financial markets (e.g.,, money markets, securities markets, property market, and market for risk transfer).
5. Discuss the purpose of financial markets and the key components of the financial market system.
6. Explain the different types of customers in each market and the types of securities in each market
7. Describe how the NYSE and other stock exchanges work.
8. Consider corporate and strategic venture funds.
9. Explain inflation, deflation, recession, depression, and their impact on the banking industry.
10. Discuss the relationship between inflation and interest rates.
11. Distinguish between different types of financial institutions.
12. Describe how financial institutions manage their liquidity by participating in money markets.
13. Identify the organizational structures in banking and other financial institutions..
14. Define the determinants of market interest rates and their term structures.
15. Describe the role of financial institutions.
16. Explain the role of investment bankers.
17. Evaluate the effect of credit markets on a company’s ability to finance its operations.
Financial Management/Managerial Finance
1. Describe business financial management functions.
2. Identify the forms of financial business and discuss their goals
3. Explain a manager’s responsibility for corporate social responsibility and financial ethics.
4. Discuss financial management concepts and principles.
5. Identify the key aspects of financial decision making and explain the role of financial managers in the decision making process.
6. Describe the financial manager’s role and responsibilities in domestic and international business conditions.
7. Discuss the goals and functions of the financial manager to make sound business and personal decisions.
8. Develop a conceptual framework upon which to base decisions of financial management.
9. Use techniques for analyzing financial data for purposes of managerial decision-making.
10. Demonstrate an understanding of the effect of currency fluctuations as they impact a company’s finances and investment rating.
11. Describe short-term financial management and discuss the link between short-term and long-term financing.
12. Discuss the role of project valuation in capital allocation decisions.
13. Discuss methods for valuing flexibility.
14. Explain the concept of management and managerial ethics.
15. Implement an inventory management system
16. lize planning tools to guide finance organization’s activities (e.g., goals, mission, SWOT, and business plan).
1. Differentiate mutual funds and corporate and government bonds as they relate to investing
2. Describe the differences between initial public offerings and secondary market trading.
3. Identify factors that affect stock prices and methods to value stocks.
4. Describe the regulatory framework that surrounds stock transactions.
5. Describe stock transactions and how the market works.
6. Define and differentiate a mutual fund from a fund management company.
7. Identify the difference between open end and closed end funds.
8. Explain load and no load funds
9. Describe the various features of mutual funds, such as diversification, contributions and redemption, professional management, etc.
10. Describe the various features of mutual funds, such as diversification, contributions and redemption, professional management, etc.
11. Describe the various features of mutual funds, such as diversification, contributions and redemption, professional management, etc.
12. Describe the following about stock markets: types of securities, rights of common stockholders, and rights offerings.
13. Define and explain hedge funds.
14. Evaluate the effect of commodity prices on a company’s operations and utilize this information in investment decision making.
15. Demonstrate an understanding of the calculation of the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and integrate the results in the valuation of a company’s stock.
16. Describe the different kinds of bonds in the market.
17. Describe the basic characteristics of stocks.
18. Calculate expected and required rate of return for stocks.
19. Define and give examples of marketable securities.
20. Distinguish between cash dividends and stock dividends.
21. Define stock splits.
22. Discuss various dividend policies.
23. Differentiate between public versus private placement of securities.
24. Explain the benefits and risks associated with common stock.
25. Describe and implement a process for margin trading.
26. Utilize short selling in a down trend market.
27. Define and give examples of convertible securities.
28. Explain the uses of stock warrants.


PBL Program of Study
Accounting & Finance


States may submit up to 2 entries.
Competitors must be registered for NLC and pay registration fee.
Competitors must pay dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on April 15.


The top fifteen (15) scoring individuals/teams advance to the final round.


Test: 1 hour
Prep: 20 min
Equipment Setup: N/A
Performance: 7 min
Warning: 6 min
Time Up: 7 min
Penalty Over Time: N/A
Q & A: N/A