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Course: Financial Management for Non-Financial Professionals

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Business professional need to understand the financial factors critical to business success. This interactive seminar will show how finance works in today’s fast-moving business environment. For any business the key elements of profitability, liquidity and financial structure are critical to continuing success and competitiveness. So these three elements are comprehensively explored and developed at all levels of business activity. You will learn about the accounting processes of recording and reporting business transactions and how these are summarised as periodic financial reports, in accordance with statutory requirements. You will also learn financial reports are analysed and by a variety of user groups

The seminar also has an inward focus, and will explain why management accounting is essential to business survival, and success. It will show how budgeting can control costs and improve profitability. It will also explain and develop tools and techniques for evaluating proposed new investment projects. The seminar will enable you to understand the business from both a financial and strategic perspective, and how business decisions will impact on corporate profitability.

Highlights of the seminar:

  • The strategic and operational role of the Finance Function
  • The principles of accounting and financial reporting
  • How to understand and analyse financial reports
  • How management accounting helps to maintain control and improve efficiency
  • How we can ensure that investment returns meet the stockholders expectations


Having completed this seminar you should be able to:

  • Explain the nature and role of financial statements and their interpretation
  • Use the language of accounting and finance to communicate effectively with financial professionals
  • Review the financial performance and financial position of an organisation using the appropriate financial ratio and break-even analysis techniques
  • Use budgetary control to compare actual against planned performance and to identify corrective actions
  • Evaluate investment projects using DCF and other appraisal methods
  • Appreciate the important role of strategic accounting in business performance improvement

Training Methodology

This interactive seminar will comprise a range of learning activities, including tutor presentations, with question and answer opportunities, demonstration and practice of analytical techniques, group exercises and discussions, using case studies and current company and market information sources. Whilst the theoretical background to financial management will be explained and justified, the main emphasis will be on putting these into a real world context by providing a practical ‘toolkit’ of financial techniques.

Organisational Impact

What will your organisation gain from sending employees to attend this seminar?

  • Greater awareness of the role of accounting and finance
  • Ability to understand the structure of accounting systems, and financial reports
  • Ability to make more effective and better informed contributions to financial discussions
  • Ability to use tools and techniques for financial control and financial management
  • Greater understanding of the key drivers which ensure sustainable growth and competitiveness
  • Awareness of how business risks can be identified, analysed, and managed

Personal Impact

Participants will be able to further develop their personal management skills by being:

  • More knowledgeable about accounting and finance systems, and the meaning of financial reports
  • Better informed financially, to enable improved management decision-making.
  • Better able to contribute to financial discussion, and communicate in financial language
  • Better able to contribute to the effective financial management of their organisation.
  • Able to evaluate alternative courses of action and identify the most effective choices with regard to the future improvement of their organisation.
  • Able to liaise more effectively with other departments on financial matters.


DAY 1: A Strategic View of the Business Environment

  • The business environment
  • The uses and purpose of accounting
  • Users of accounting and financial information
  • Accounting terminology
  • Cash versus profit
  • Profit and profitability
  • The structure of the balance sheet
  • The income statement – financial performance
  • What is profit?
  • The structure of the income statement
  • The links between the income statement and the balance sheet
  • Accounting conventions
  • The published annual report

DAY 2 : The Financial Statements and Financial Analysis

  • The cash flow statement
  • What is included in the cash flow statement?
  • Why is cash flow so important?
  • The structure of the cash flow statement
  • The links between the cash flow statement, profit and loss account and balance sheet
  • Interpreting the annual report
  • The key elements of published reports and accounts
  • Ratio analysis: profitability; efficiency; liquidity; investment; cash flow; the Dupont system
  • Cash versus profit as a measure of performance, EBITDA and
  • Predicting business failure – the Altman Z-score
  • Sources of financial information

DAY 3: Budgeting and Break-even Analysis

  • Management accounting
  • Cost behaviour
  • The overhead problem, traditional versus activity-based absorption
  • Cost/volume/profit (CVP)analysis
  • Break-even analysis
  • The impact of cost structure changes
  • Limitations of CVP analysis
  • Purposes of budgeting
  • The budget process, including activity based budgeting
  • Uncertainty and risk – worst and best outcomes
  • Motivation and the behavioural aspects of budgeting
  • Problems in budgeting

DAY 4 : Budgetary Control, DCF and Capital Investment Appraisal

  • Budgetary control
  • Standard costing
  • Flexed budgets and variance analysis
  • Types of variances and the reasons they occur
  • Planning and operational variances
  • Investment decisions
  • Time value of money
  • Appraisal techniques
  • The effect of inflation
  • Free cash flows
  • Capital rationing and control of capital investment projects
  • Risk and uncertainty and decision-making – sensitivity analysis

DAY 5 : Financing the Business and Strategic Accounting

  • Financing the business
  • Financing principles, including short-term versus long-term, and debt versus equity (gearing)
  • Sources and types of finance
  • The cost of capital, cost of equity (Ke), and cost of debt (Kd)
  • Weighted average cost of capital (WACC)
  • Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)
  • Strategic management accounting
  • The effect of competitive strategy, and how to gain competitive advantage
  • Competitor information and strategic positioning
  • Cost of debt and equity capital
  • The disadvantages of traditional cost analysis
  • The balanced scorecard and critical success factors
  • Economic value added
  • Benchmarking


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