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Finance for the Non-Financial Manager Short Course

Key information

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Course Code:
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Booking Deadline:
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This Finance evening course is aimed at middle to senior managers from disciplines other than finance who wish to understand financial management principles and concepts and how they are put to use in businesses of all sizes.

Why choose this course?

Our Finance for the Non-Financial Manager short course is delivered over 10 weekly evenings and is ideal for anyone looking for maximum flexibility combined with expert tuition.

Emphasis on this Finance short course is placed on getting students you to use using the knowledge and skills gained in class immediately in their your work and personal life.

For successful completion of the course, business knowledge and experience are more important than the size of the organisation; owners of SMEs will find it equally suitable as senior managers of very large multinationals or consultants to large businesses.

Course overview

The Finance for the Non-Financial Manager short course explains the fundamentals of finance with the assumption of basic numeracy skills and provides a good understanding of standard financial statements and operational messages that can be derived from them.

The short evening course will examine financial and performance ratios, the applications of sales pricing, costing, interest and borrowings, taxation, investment, performance measurements, risk mitigation and hedge fund operations.

  • “ Very informative course, great level of knowledge and experience. ”

    Irina Aristarhova


What will I learn?

What will I learn?

  • Understand the basic principles, terminology and building blocks of financial control;
  • Understand the main financial statements, how they relate to one another and how they can be manipulated as useful management data;
  • Appreciate budgeting as a planning and control too;
  • Recognise different types of cost and how costs can be controlled;
  • Differentiate between cash flow, profit and net worth;
  • Appreciate the financial implications of plans and decisions.

Topics Covered:

Week 1 – Finance Function: What, Why and How

  • Control needs
  • Competitive Advantage needs
  • Performance & Outlook health check
  • Easyjet - (Home work).

Week 2 – Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow

  • The contents and what, why, how and when
  • How they link up (Trace example in classroom).

Week 3 – Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow

  • Understanding messages from figures
  • Influencing operations
  • Jeanette's Café (Exercise - Home work)
  • An Excel Model is given to participants to keep and use.

Week 4 – Sales, Costs and Types, Costing Systems, VAT

  • Pricing, quantity, margins and mix
  • Fixed and variable costs; Break even (Classroom Exercise)
  • Use of different costing systems ABC/ABM, Kanban/Kaizan/Six Sigma
  • What, why and how;
  • Fill in a return (Classroom Exercise).

Week 5 – Interest – APR/AER, Managing Capital and Gearing, Funding

  • What, why and how
  • Use of Excel Model (Classroom Exercise) and a model given to keep and use
  • Efficient capital management
  • Risk, inflation and reward factors
  • Sources of finance and Factors influencing cost of finance (WACC)

Week 6 – Investment Returns and Risk, Errors and Fraud

  • DCF/IRR/Payback/Risk (Classroom Exercise) and an Excel model given to keep and use
  • Types, prevention and detection
  • Internal control; Internal/external audit

Week 7 – Budgets and Plans, Personal Tax

  • The processes; Effectiveness
  • Perspectives
  • Target setting and rewarding
  • Calculate tax (Classroom Exercise)
  • Check your own tax (Home work)

Week 8 – Business Valuation and Project Evaluation

  • Basis of valuation
  • Use in buying and selling businesses
  • Due diligence
  • Aspects and use of a more complex Excel Model (Home work) and a model to keep and use

Week 9 – Performance Measurement and Personal Investment Portfolio

  • Financial and non-financial; Balancing scorecard
  • Ratios and their relative importance
  • Construction and risk balancing
  • Hedging and hedge fund operations.

Week 10 – Revision

  • Revise all topics covered before
  • How to keep knowledge warm and add to learning in future
  • Classroom discussion and feedback.



Prerequisite knowledge

Keenness to learn new concepts and how they are used in business is an essential requirement. The  knowledge of simple calculations such as percentages and ratios at a level not more than GCSE maths is needed. Knowledge of Microsoft Excel at a basic level is useful.

Classroom exercises require only simple calculations using a calculator.

Those with 10+ years working experience will already be exposed to many of the concepts and will find that they gain a lot of usable knowledge.

English requirements

Good written and spoken English.

Teaching & assessment

Teaching & assessment

As the short course is gradually built up from foundation knowledge in early sessions to applications in later classes students should ensure that they do not miss a class.

At least 70% attendance is needed as a minimum.

Classroom exercises and home work should be attempted as it reinforces learning when it is checked against answers provided later.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

  • Dyson, J.R. (2003) 6th Ed. Accounting for Non-Accounting Students, Pearson
  • Harrison, J. (1989) Finance for the Non-financial Manager, HarperCollins
  • Siciliano, G. (2002) Finance for the Non-financial Manager, McGraw Hill Education
  • Those who wish to learn or brush up on business maths may find the workbook: 'Understanding Business Maths', Kaplan Publishing, ISBN978-1-84710-706-0 a useful aid.