Essentials of Finance & Accounting for Non-Financial Managers

Essentials of Finance & Accounting

March 6 - 8, 2018Online Registration

Develop an understanding of finance and accounting with our three day Essentials program. This three-day program will arm you with a basic understanding of the accounting and finance concepts you need to assess your performance—and the performance of your competitors.

You’ll learn how to read, interpret and analyze financial statements. You’ll also learn forecasting and financial-planning approaches to help you with the budgeting process. You’ll get the basics of net present value (NPV) and capital budgeting techniques to apply when evaluating projects. You’ll gain an understanding of the role of costs in corporate decision making, including cost-volume-profit relationships, the role of costs relevant for different decision scenarios, and the incentive effects of cost allocations and their interplay. You’ll also review performance evaluation techniques and their relationship to incentives. Ultimately, you’ll learn to use financial information to make better strategic business and investment decisions.


  • Fundamental accounting and finance concepts
  • Introduction to balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements 
  • Defining and using key financial ratios to assess the company’s performance 
  • Using accounting and financial data to plan for the future 
  • Time value of money and capital-budgeting basics 
  • Understanding commonly used investment analysis techniques 
  • Understanding cost/volume/profit relationships
  • Performance metrics and measurement-based strategy 
  • Implementation and performance evaluation

Program Format: 

Three days, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

March 6 - 8, 2018
CPE Hours: 24

James M. Collins Executive Education Center | SMU Campus, Dallas, TX


$3,595; Group discounts available when multiple attendees from the same organization attend together.

To learn more about group discounts or if you have other questions, contact John Skinner at 214.768.7676 or

For SMU Faculty and Staff discount, please contact us at 214.768.3335

Who should attend
  • Anyone seeking a better understanding of basic finance and accounting
  • Managers at all levels who work in non-financial area
  • Leaders in line for positions with more financial responsibility
  • Technical managers with profit/loss or budget responsibility
The topics presented during the course will help you understand the fundamentals of finance and accounting, read and interpret balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements, use accounting and financial information to evaluate the performance of your company and your competitors, make better business decisions, assess and select projects and investments using basic principles of finance, understand fixed costs, variable costs, break-even analysis and contribution margin, make a valuable contribution to your company’s financial decisions and much more.

Program topics include:

  • Fundamental accounting and finance concepts 
  • An introduction to financial statements 
  • Using accounting and financial data to evaluate performance
    The methods those outside your company measure the health and performance of your company. The use of benchmark industry and company information to compare performance of your company with the performance of competitors. 
  • Using accounting and financial data to plan for the future
    The use of forecasting techniques to develop “pro forma” financial statements. Methods to predict cash and resource needs and to address critical planning issues. 
  • Using financial analysis to select projects and investments
    Commonly used investment analysis techniques. Capital budgeting as a project evaluation tool. 
  • Accounting data used for managerial decision making
    Cost/volume/profit relationships. Fixed and variable costs and break-even levels. 
  • The use of relevant cost analysis to improve decision making 
  • Management control systems
    Performance metrics and how they offer a measurement based approach to strategy implementation and performance evaluation.

Hemang Desai, Ph.D., Academic Director, is the Robert B. Cullum Professor of Accounting. He teaches intermediate accounting to undergraduates and mergers and acquisitions to graduate business students. His teaching has been recognized with multiple awards in the undergraduate, graduate and executive education programs. He is also the recipient of SMU’s Golden Mustang Outstanding Faculty Award, which honors faculty members for excellence in both scholarship and teaching. Desai’s recent research examines issues related to quality of earnings and the behavior of short sellers. His past research has examined the performance of money managers and analysts, as well as spin-offs and mergers and other corporate restructuring transactions. His articles have been published in top academic and practitioner journals, including the “Journal of Finance,” the “Journal of Financial Economics,” “The Accounting Review,” the “Journal of Business,” and “Financial Analysts Journal.” His writings have also been the subject of columns in a range of leading publications, including “The Wall Street Journal,” “Barron’s,” and the “New York Times.” Desai holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of New Orleans and a doctor of philosophy from Tulane University.

Gauri Bhat is an assistant professor of accounting in the Cox School of Business. Before entering academia, she worked as an auditor with KPMG and held a management position in the Corporate Banking Risk Administration Group at Citibank. She has taught financial statement analysis for banks, financial accounting, and management accounting courses at the MBA and undergraduate levels. Her research has been published in accounting journals and focuses on financial reporting by financial institutions, risk management disclosures, and the role of accounting in credit default swap markets. She earned her PhD from the University of Toronto. She holds professional designations as a chartered accountant and a cost accountant, and is a CFA charter holder. Most recently, she served as a faculty member at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St Louis.

Dr. James S. Linck (Jim) is the Distinguished Chair in Finance at the Cox School of Business at SMU. He received his MBA from the University of Michigan and his PhD from Arizona State University. Prior to joining the Cox faculty, he was the BB&T Scholar at the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business, and taught at the University of Rochester's Simon Graduate School of Business and at the WP Carey School of Business School at Arizona State University. Between his academic years, he held various corporate finance and accounting positions at Intel, NCR/AT&T, and Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young). Professor Linck has taught courses in financial management, research methods, international finance, corporate finance, corporate control, valuation, financial statement analysis and financial accounting at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels. He has also taught numerous modules on financial statements, corporate finance, valuation and investments in executive development seminars, as well as many executive and professional MBA courses incorporating web-enhanced online learning tools. He is well-known for his use of innovative approaches to teaching across a variety of programs, and received numerous teaching awards including the C. Jackson Grayson, Jr. Endowed Faculty Innovation Award, Terry College's Teacher of the Year, the Executive MBA Outstanding Professor, the Professional MBA Outstanding Instructor, the Hugh O. Nourse MBA Teacher of the Year and the Finance Professor of the Year, among others. His research interests include corporate finance, organizations, governance and corporate control. His research has been published in the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Review of Financial Studies, and The Accounting Review, among other outlets, and has been widely cited in academic literature and the popular press. Professor Linck holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certifications.