Finance

Essentials of Finance & Accounting

Develop an understanding of finance and accounting with our Essentials program. This eight week online 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.

This program will include one-year of access to abilitie's Fluent in Finance program, an online-only, 6-8 hour introductory-level course in business finance that combines the convenience and best practices of online delivery with rich, interactive media and business simulations. 

Registration Now Open
  • Dates

    10/13/2020 6:00:00 PM - 12/1/2020 7:30:00 PM

  • Format

    A new online-only format, with live sessions running every Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Location

    Online

    CPE Hours: 12

  • Price

    $3,495; Group discounts available when multiple attendees from the same organization register together. Register 30 days before the program starts for a $200 early registration discount.

    Upon successful completion of the program, participants receive a certificate.

    To learn more about the program, contact us at 214.768.3335 or exed@smu.edu

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  • Topics

    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.

     

  • 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
  • Schedule

    October 13: Module 1 - Manager’s Guide to Financial Statements 
    Hemang Desai
    In this module, you will:

    • Understand the role and importance of accounting or financial reporting in capital markets
    • Understand the core principles underlying financial reporting, as well as why these principles are important and how they affect information conveyed in financial statements
    • Learn about key financial statements: the balance sheet, the income statement, and the statement of cash flow statement, as well as what insights managers can learn from each
    • Perform "hands-on" analysis of how business transactions are recorded and then build financial statements from ground-up
    • Discuss limitations of financial statements and some techniques for overcoming them

    October 20: Module 2 - Strategic Analysis of Financial Statements
    Hemang Desai
    In this module, you will:                

    • Understand the link between strategy and financial statements
    • Develop a framework of strategic financial statement analysis
    • See an illustration of a wide range of ratios that allow us to assess operating, investing and financing decisions made by the management
    • Learn how to separate the impact of operating/investment decisions from financing decisions

    October 27: Module 3 - Financial Analysis and Financial Planning
    Jim Linck
    In this module, you will:

    • Be able to differentiate between earnings and cash flow, and understand why that is an important distinction
    • Link the various operational areas (collections, inventory management, growth, supplier relations) into an overall assessment of cash needs

    November 3: Module 4 - Time Value of Money and Capital Budgeting
    Jim Linck
    In this module, you will:

    • Understand the mechanics of compounding and discounting
    • Be able to solve a wide variety of Time Value of Money (TVM) problems, such as lump sums, annuities, and perpetuities
    • Be able to illustrate where value comes from and how to quantify the value implications of decisions
    • Compare and contrast different capital expenditure decision rules including NPV, IRR and payback period
    • Understand how to use the NPV rule to make value-maximizing decisions and avoid poor decisions brought about by common misuses of alternative decision rules

    November 10: Module 5 - Nature of Costs, Cost Volume Profit Analysis and Relevant Cost Analysis
    Gauri Bhat 
    In this module, you will:

    • Review a quick review of basic cost concepts, including the differences between manufacturing and non-manufacturing; as well as average, marginal and total costs
    • Understand the different cost classifications, including fixed vs. variable; direct vs. indirect; and relevant costs, opportunity costs, and sunk costs
    • Analyze of cost behavior and cost-volume-profit relationships
    • Understand and calculate break-even point
    • Determine the importance of contribution margins in decision making
    • Understand operating leverage and its link to risk
    • Apply relevant costing principles to decisions involving special orders, add/drop a product or service, and product mix given constrained resources

    November 17: Module 6 - Cost Allocation and Activity Based Costing 
    Gauri Bhat 
    In this module, you will:

    • Discuss cost allocation theory and practice
    • Determine the implications of choosing a cost driver
    • Understand how traditional unit-level allocation bases to divide common costs can produce misleading product costs
    • Be able to articulate the concept of death spiral and its implication; as well as introduce the solution, Activity Based Costing (ABC)
    • Describe how a sophisticated costing model (ABC) influences decision-making

    November 24: Module 7 - Fundamental Analysis of Financials Statement to Assess Risk and Earnings Quality
    Hemang Desai
    In this module, you will:

    • Learn how to conduct fundamental analysis of a company to assess its risk, growth prospects, quality of earnings etc.
    • Learn how might flexibility in accounting and managerial incentives influence information in financial statements
    • Learn how analysts and other capital market intermediaries unravel this biased reporting to assess earnings quality

    December 1: Module 8 - Value Based Management
    Jim Linck
    In this module, you will:

    • Understand the source of value and the interplay between a firm and the capital markets
    • Begin to familiarize yourself with core finance concepts including value maximization, cash flow, and the importance of market prices
    • Be able to broadly recognize the difference between earnings, cash flow and economic profit, and value
    • Begin to understand how margins and asset utilization impact performance, and the tradeoffs between the two

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Next Steps

Questions? Not sure which program fits your needs? Reach out to our team.