Cox School of Business

Essentials of Finance & Accounting

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About the course

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.

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

Trust the experts

Gauri Bhat

Bio Gauri Bhat is an assistant professor of accounting.  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 has taught financial statemen...

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Hemang Desai

Bio Hemang Desai’s research is interdisciplinary and is broadly focused in the area of capital markets based research in accounting and finance.  His research has addressed a wide range of topics such as analyzing the role of short sellers in capital markets, reputational consequences to manager...

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James Linck

Bio Dr. James S. Linck (Jim) is the finance department chair, and also holds the distinguished chair in finance at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Cox School of Business.  Prior to joining the Cox faculty, he was the BB&T scholar in the finance department at the University of Georgia...

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