Finance for Non-Financial Managers

Understand the numbers. Increase your finance skills in two days.

Program flyer
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Next available date: 9 March

Whether you are managing a division, a team or yourself, it is crucial to have a good understanding of finance in your business.  This short, two-day program provides you with the essentials that you need.

How you will benefit

  • Understand what drives some of the most common errors in business and how to avoid them
  • Break through the language of finance
  • Understand the basic accounting model and its limitations
  • Analyze and interpret financial statements within the context of industry analysis and macroeconomic fundamentals
  • Identify risk and understand the options available to manage risk
  • Apply management accounting tools to business problems
  • Understand the budget process and forecasting techniques
  • Link financial objectives to strategy
  • Identify key value drivers to help manage the value of a business
  • Understand different valuation techniques and respective benchmarks
  • Understand the essential tools and techniques in presenting a business case

2 days

Day 1 09:00 – 17:00
Day 2 09:00 – 17:00

Analyzing and Interpreting Financial Accounting Statements

While every organization has to subscribe to a Financial Accounting model, it is rarely if ever a good model from which to make business decisions from. Simply, the information comes too late and it is limited by certain concepts that will be highlighted during this program. However, as this is the model that is so often used to evaluate business performance it will be discussed in detail so that we can understand how to overcome the limitations.

  • Understanding the accounting process
  • Applying the fundamental accounting concepts
  • Tools used to identify ‘value’
  • Why ‘Cash is King’
  • Common ratios to assess the financial risk of the organization
  • Understanding commonly used words and acronyms, e.g. EBITDA, ROCE, CFROI, etc.
  • Learning the limitations of the traditional accounting model and how to overcome them

An Introduction to Discounted Cash Flow Analysis and the Time Value of Money

By the end of the session participants will have a framework where you can analyze and interpret any company’s financial statements

Understanding Finance and Performance

We will cover the real link of accounting and finance to the performance of organizations. It is essential that managers are able to understand and apply the following, in order to deliver value to their organizations.

  • Linking accounting to strategy
  • How risk management drives value
  • How value drivers are identified and what benefits they deliver
  • The most commonly applied valuation tools

Management Accounting and Performance

While Financial Accounting is compulsory, Management Accounting is not. However, organizations with excellent Management Information Systems have a significant competitive advantage. When an organization is under pressure to lift profits, a reflex reaction is often to slash costs. This will inevitably erode the intangible value of the organization. We need a more creative approach to identify ways of improving performance.

  • Understanding what drives a company’s ‘bottom line’
  • Analyzing it from a customer perspective
  • Customer profitability analysis
  • Putting a measurement system in place to include both financial and non-financial metrics
  • Managing risk and building certainty to add value
  • Analyzing break-even and contribution analysis
  • Identifying incremental cash flows

Making Investment Decisions

Current developments in the field of behavioral finance help us to understand better ways to forecast and warn us of common pitfalls in decision making, and we discuss how to understand and use these as a manager. Following from this, there are several financial decision tools used to make decisions. We assess these in terms of how and when these different methodologies are applied, including

  • Discounted Cash Flow analysis (DCF)
  • Net Present Value (NPV) of an investment
  • Forecasting cash flows
  • Measuring the required rate of return – Cost of capital, WACC, IRR

While valuations most often rely on discounting future cash flows, this is not always the case. Other valuation methods that managers will encounter – and their pitfalls – will also be discussed.

A Wrap-Up session at the end of the program allows managers to assess their most important learnings for their specific positions

Finance for Non-Financial Managers is aimed at all professionals.  It is not trying to make people into accountants; rather it aims to give business people the tools to understand the numbers in order to help them make better business decisions.


Susan Hansen

Susan has worked in financial services since 1980. She is a Chartered Accountant (Australia and South Africa) and teaches several short courses for The University of Auckland Business School. She has worked for a ‘Big Four’ Accounting firm for eight years in Cape Town and London, and spent five years with a Wall Street Investment Bank. Before establishing a…

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  • 2 days
  • € 2750
  • Essentials of Finance
  • English
  • 4.7 / 5

Available dates

Need help?

Find your program here or contact us directly for personal advice:
Call us at +31 20 246 7140 or email us at [email protected].

Program flyer

For a more detailed program description and information regarding faculty please download the program document.


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