Financial Acumen for Managers

Financial acumen has developed into a core competency for success in today's increasingly sophisticated business world. This course is designed to quickly provide managing directors, division managers, operations managers and nonfinancial professionals with the financial skills they need to gain competitive advantage. Participants will learn how to analyze financial information to quickly spot strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improving financial performance.

The course begins with an overview of accounting and financial reporting, transitions into marginal revenue & marginal cost analysis, and concludes with strategies for enhancing profitability and shareholder value.

This course provides an excellent opportunity to share experiences and discover best practices in finance. Teaching methods employed include group discussions of financial issues currently in the news, short examples, and detailed case problems for analysis and decision making.

Target Audience

Managing directors, division managers, operations managers, senior advisors, consultants, human resources managers, technology managers, and others responsible for managing corporate financial resources.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Understand key accounting & financial concepts
  • Read & evaluate a company's financial statements
  • Assess a company's financial performance
  • Communicate more effectively with finance professionals
  • Identify the key cost drivers that affect your business
  • Analyze cost behavior to make better business decisions
  • Prepare more accurate operational budgets
  • Identify the underlying cause of budget variances
  • Prepare more accurate capital budgets
  • Make better capital budgeting decisions
  • Develop strategies to mazimize shareholder value
  • Develop a personal action plan for financial goals

Course Syllabus


Day One

Day Two

Module 1 - Understanding Financial Statements

  • Accounting & reporting concepts
  • Balance sheets
  • Income statements
  • Cash flow statements
  • Notes to financial statements
  • Case Problem: Preparing a set of financial statements

Module 2 - Analyzing Financial Statements

  • Liquidity & cash flow
  • Solvency & credit risk analysis
  • Profitability & return on investment analysis
  • Assessing financial performance using DuPont analysis
  • Case Problem: Evaluating a company's financial performance

Module 3 - Understanding Cost Behavior

  • Types of costs
  • Fixed & variable costs
  • Mixed & step costs
  • Cost estimation methods
  • Cost allocation methods
  • Case problem: Cost analysis & allocation

Module 4 - Cost Analysis & Decision Making

  • Cost-volume-profit analysis
  • Marginal cost analysis
  • ''Relevant'' cost analysis
  • Pricing & outsourcing decisions
  • Case problem: Special pricing & outsourcing decision

Module 5 - Budget Preparation & Analysis

  • Operational budgeting
  • Preparing ''flexible'' budgets
  • Analyzing budget variances
  • Using budgets for forecasting & planning
  • Communicating with the finance department
  • Case problem: Analyzing budget variances

Day 3


Module 6 - Capital Budgeting & Decision Making

  • Capital projects vs. non-capital projects
  • Cost of capital & hurdle rates
  • Time value of money concepts
  • Rate of return measures for capital projects
  • Case problem: Selecting the most attractive capital projects

Module 7 - Maximizing Shareholder Value

  • Economic value concepts
  • Economic value vs. accounting value
  • Impact of acquisitions & goodwill
  • Why stock prices rise & fall
  • Case problem: Shareholder value analysis

Module 8 - Summary & Conclusion

  • Financial reporting issues
  • Cost reporting issues
  • Budget reporting issues
  • Shareholder value issues
  • Personal action plans


No sessions currently available. Contact client services to get the next available date.


Professional Credits:
CPE Credits 21
$2,899 USD
Duration 3 Days
Advance Preparation
No advance preparation required.
This course has no prerequisites.
Instructional Method