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Finance and Accounting for Nonfinancial Managers

All too often, a manager’s performance is measured by how effectively they oversee departmental budgets. This course transforms financial and accounting concepts into decision-making tools you can use successfully. You learn to apply the fundamentals of finance to improve budget management, increase potential profits, and assess the financial performance of business activities.

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Learning Objectives

You Will Learn How To

  • Integrate financial concepts and policies into the management decision and budgeting process
  • Evaluate the financial performance of companies
  • Employ cash flow techniques to analyse business status
  • Calculate the cost of business activities
  • Control business operations through effective budget management

Course Content

Course Outline

Why Finance Matters

  • Demystifying financial jargon
  • Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
  • Public vs. private financial methodologies
  • Accountability and responsibility

The Key Building Blocks of Financial Control

Decoding the income statement

  • Differentiating income, operating and capital expense items
  • Putting the pieces together to measure profit and business success
  • When a sale becomes a sale: sales recognition

Analysing the balance sheet

  • Evaluating the worth of an established business
  • Distinguishing between fixed and current assets and liabilities
  • Defining depreciation and amortisation
  • Linking the income statement to the balance sheet
  • Shareholder equity

Cash Flow: The Lifeblood of Organisations

Making the key connection between business activity and cash flow

  • Differentiating between cash flow, profit and net worth
  • Connecting cash management to line management
  • Credit and cash flow
  • How much cash is enough?

The importance of depreciation and amortisation

  • How depreciation impacts your budget over time
  • Methods for calculating depreciation
  • Advantages and disadvantages of various key methods
  • Impacting the management budget

Managing a Profit or Cost Centre

Selecting the best costing method for your situation

  • Absorption, marginal, activity-based costing
  • Determining costs in service businesses
  • Avoiding costing traps

The unique features of project costing

  • Estimating project duration and future costs
  • Leveraging debt to your advantage
  • Anticipating problems using cost control
  • Making estimates based on incomplete information

Choosing projects that optimise shareholders' interests

  • Making the financial case using ROI
  • Advantages and disadvantages of ROI, payback, discounted cash flow (DCF) and NPV techniques
  • Selecting viable projects

A Manager's Guide to Budgeting

Recognising that budgets are more than numbers

  • Budgeting as sociology, not accounting
  • The politics of getting a budget approved
  • The relationship between a well-designed budget and how others measure your performance
  • Managing effectively within budgeting constraints

Comparing budget approaches

  • Top-down
  • Bottom-up

Types of budgets

  • Incremental
  • Zero-based
  • Rolling
  • Others
  • Developing the budget numbers

Budgeting as a planning and control tool

  • Using the budget to control the business
  • Limiting factors
  • Budget process and coordination
  • Forecasting sales revenues and expenses
  • Adjusting the budget to reality

Pulling It All Together

  • Applying financial tools and concepts in the real world
  • Evaluating a company's health through its annual report
  • Comparing public and private sector practices
  • Recognising potential traps in creative accounting

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