Straightforward and no-nonsense, this course enables you to get straight to the heart of financial issues, demystifies financial information and gives you confidence and control when making financial decisions.

This two-day overview course has won praise for the straightforward way in which it untangles the web of mystery that surrounds financial and management accounting in the eyes of many non-financial managers. By so doing it enables them to understand and manage the impact of their decisions on business results, interact more productively with their finance-based colleagues and exert greater influence on decision making in their organization.

Suitable for managers who want to gain a clear understanding of the fundamentals of business finance and the financial implications of decisions they make.


By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Understand how your day-to-day decisions impact profit and cashflow.
  • Demystify the rules of capital expenditure vs operational expenditure helping you to justify investments to your senior managers and finance team
  • Review financial information relating to:
    • your business (helping you to set targets for improvement)
    • your subsidiaries (helping you to manage and set targets for your team)
    • existing customers (are they still viable?) and potential customers (are they a credit risk?)
    • competitors (what can we learn from benchmarking their results?)
  • Manage the budgeting process to:
    • ensure business strategy is implemented
    • negotiate funding for improvement or efficiency initiatives
    • win in the negotiation over funds allocated to your budget, ensuring it’s achievable
    • manage financial performance, understanding variances and taking action to achieve your budget and objectives
  • Simply assess the viability of entering new markets or developing new products

The Nature and Purpose of Accounting

  • A simple model of an organization’s accounting framework
  • Who uses the accounts and what do they use them for?
  • Where can I find out about my organisation’s/my competitors’ financial position

Profit and Loss Accounts, Balance Sheets and Cash Flow Statements

  • Their structure and terminology, what they tell us and why they need to be reviewed together to gain a full understanding of business performance
  • Using financial information as a management tool
  • Understanding how operational income and costs are accounted for and the implications for how you manage costs in your department

Managing Finance

  • Understanding working capital: What it is? How can we manage it?
  • Why too much working capital is bad for you and too little may be disastrous
  • Optimizing working capital for your organization and the implications for negotiating with customers and suppliers
  • The distinction between profit and cash flow
  • Considering sources of funding

Understanding Management Accounting Including Budgeting

  • Putting together a robust budget
  • Negotiating budget funding
  • Assessing variances and reforecasting the budget
  • Evaluating feasibility of operational projects via break-even analysis
  • The effects of depreciation

Personal Development

  • Formulating an action plan