Course in The Essentials of Finance and Accounting for Non-Financial Managers


Program Description

Understanding the Numbers

This three-day program will provide you with a better understanding of the numbers side of your business.

The first day of the program begins at the most fundamental level and introduces basic accounting terminology and concepts. The three primary financial statements - the Balance Sheet, Income Statement, and Statement of Cash Flows - are described in detail. Differences between cash and accrual-based accounting are highlighted. Then, participants together construct and interpret a set of financial statements.

Day two of the course builds on these fundamental principles, demonstrating how to use financial statement data to evaluate financial performance and how to forecast future resource needs. The day ends with an introduction to capital budgeting and project decision-making techniques.

The final day moves into the realm of Managerial Accounting. Here, the focus will be on using relevant cost and financial data to make better business decisions. The course concludes with a discussion of performance metrics and management control systems.

Who Should Attend

- Managers at all levels who work in non-financial areas
- Technical managers with profit-loss and/or budget responsibilities
- Individuals targeted for promotion
- Anyone needing an introductory look at financial basics and financial statements

Key Topics

* Fundamental Accounting and Finance Concepts

- Learning the basic terms and concepts necessary to grasp the numbers side of your business
- Understanding the accounting process, its role in the organization and its role in the overall economy
- How accounting and finance procedures impact business decisions

* An Introduction to Financial Statements

- The three primary financial statements: the Balance Sheet, the Income Statement, and the Statement of Cash Flows
- The uses and importance of these statements and how they interact
- Understanding "Generally Accepted Accounting Principles" (GAAP) and how they are applied

* Using Accounting and Financial Data to Evaluate Performance

- Defining and using key financial ratios to assess firm performance
- How those outside your firm use accounting and other financial data to measure the health and performance of your company
- Finding and using benchmark industry and firm data for performance comparison

* Using Accounting and Financial Data to Plan for the Future

- Using forecasting techniques to develop "pro forma" financial statements
- Using forecasting to predict cash and resource needs and to address critical planning issues

* Using Financial Analysis to Pick Projects and Investments

- Understanding commonly used investment analysis techniques: payback, NPV, IRR, etc.
- Using capital budgeting as a project evaluation tool

* Accounting Data Used for Managerial Decision Making

- Understanding cost/volume/profit relationships
- Identifying fixed and variable costs and determining break-even levels
- Using relevant cost analysis to improve managerial decision making

* Management Control Systems

- Performance metrics and how they offer a measurement-based approach to strategy implementation and performance evaluation

Key Benefits

- Gain a solid understanding of fundamental concepts and terms in the fields of finance and accounting
- Follow a step-by-step approach to grasping how the three primary financial statements interact and the role of each
- Learn how to use accounting and financial data to evaluate your firm's performance against the competition and to make better business decisions
- Learn the basic principles of finance used to evaluate investments and projects
- Gain an understanding of cost behavior: fixed costs, variable costs, break-even analysis, contribution margin, etc.
- Enhance your ability to make business decisions


May 22 - 24, 2006 or
November 1 - 3, 2006

Last updated Dec 2017

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About the School

Founded in 1920, the SMU Cox School of Business equips students with the skills, knowledge, and experiences they need to succeed in business. Major publications, including BusinessWeek, The Economist, ... Read More

Founded in 1920, the SMU Cox School of Business equips students with the skills, knowledge, and experiences they need to succeed in business. Major publications, including BusinessWeek, The Economist, Financial Times, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report and The Wall Street Journal rank SMU Cox among the top business schools in the nation and around the world. Read less