Finance and Accounting for Non-Finance Executives

Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Leonard N. Stern School of Business


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Who should attend

Although there are no formal education or background requirements, this course is designed for executives who meet the criteria below. While we strongly encourage global participation, please note that all courses are taught in English. Proficiency in written and spoken English is required.

  • Years of Experience - This course is designed for professionals with 5+ years of work experience
  • Job Functions - Professionals who make business decisions that affect the firm’s financial results, or are impacted by financial models
  • Prerequisites - This course is designed for individuals who interact regularly with the finance area of their firms

About the course

This program equips executives with a general understanding of accounting and financial principles as they relate to organizations' operations and decision-making processes. It also prepares financial analysts and investors with a general understanding of the valuation content and limitations of financial statement information.

Starting with a review of financial data in a company's annual report and accounting statements, participants will gain a well-rounded understanding of how basic accounting information may be used in communicating with financial managers, as well as to assess a firm's future prospects and value. The remaining time will be spent covering finance principles relevant to leaders whose primary job responsibilities are outside of the finance function with implications for project decisions, corporate structure and performance measurement. This will involve examining how project choice maps to various financial metrics and highlighting common pitfalls in this process, such as recent psychological biases described in the field of Behavioral Finance.

Program Takeaways

  • Financial Report Analysis – Analyze a firm's annual reports and statements to interpret the data for use in the organization and to assess a firm's future prospects and value
  • Improved Decision Making – Evaluate concerns related to the acquisition/investment decisions of the organization and their funding
  • Valuation Techniques - Practice valuation techniques of Discounted Cash Flow and NPV in the form of discussion, exercise and real case analysis


Day 1

Session 1: Introduction to Accounting

  • What do financial accountants do?
  • The annual report

Session 2: The Balance Sheet

  • Presentation of assets on the balance sheet
  • Valuation of assets
  • Presentation and valuation of liabilities

Session 3: The Balance Sheet (continued)

  • Off balance sheet financing
  • "Cookie jar" reserves
  • Fundamental analysis based on balance sheet information assessing a firm's riskiness

Day 2

Session 4: Introduction to Corporate Finance and Value-based Principles

  • Description of areas of Corporate Finance: Valuation, Financial Structure, and Acquisitions
  • Observe how business decisions map to financial performance measures, such as profit/loss
  • Measure performance through a host of metrics including: return on investment, value-added and share price

Session 5: Value-based Principles for Generating and Measuring Performance

  • Value a project strategy and its impact on operational decision making
  • Observe how business decisions map to financial performance measures
  • Measure performance through various metrics including: return on investment, NPV and share price

Day 3

Session 6: The Income Statement

  • Presentation of the income statement
  • Revenue and expense recognition
  • Accrual accounting
  • Capitalization versus expensing
  • Fundamental analysis based on income statement information assessing the integrity of financial statement information and firm's performance

Session 7: Case Study: America Online

  • Small group discussion and analysis

Day 4

Session 8: Case Discussion to Apply Valuation for a Corporate Investment

  • Financial Measurement and Incentive Issues in a Corporation
  • Determine project value and attractive investment decisions
  • Case Analysis: Gulf Oil
  • Group discussion

Session 9: Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Evaluate synergies in strategic acquisitions
  • Negotiate the form, financing and structure of a merger
  • Address the concerns of the bidding process
  • Understand and navigate through the intricacies of an acquisition

Day 5

Session 10: AOL Case Discussion

  • America Online: Case Analysis and Class Discussion

Session 11: The Cash Flow Statement; AOL Case

  • Preparation of the cash flow statement
  • Understand the differences between the cash flow statement and income
  • Fundamental analysis based on cash flow information

Day 6

Session 12: Case Discussion of Comprehensive Merger Deal

  • Perform rigorous synergy analysis of an proposed acquisition
  • Value a target to the acquirer
  • Propose a bid structure for a deal
  • Follow the bidding process in a competitive bidding environment
  • Case Analysis: Paramount
  • Group Discussion

Session 13: Financial Structure and Behavioral Finance

  • Use finance to enable more effective operational management decisions
  • Understand the pros and cons of various financing choices
  • Appreciate and incorporate the information embedded in market prices
  • Become aware of the significant impact of human psychology and its common implications for market bias


Eli Bartov

Eli Bartov is a Professor of Accounting at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He served as the Director of the Accounting Doctoral Program from 2001 to 2010. Professor Bartov received his Ph.D. degree at the University of California, Berkeley in 1989 and his C.P.A. certifi...

Anthony Marciano

Anthony Marciano joined New York University Stern School of Business as a Clinical Professor of Finance in August 2007. Professor Marciano teaches corporate finance courses to M.B.A. students, undergraduates and executives. He has also overseen the Michael Price Student Investment Fund, a student...

Videos and materials

Finance and Accounting for Non-Finance Executives at Leonard N. Stern School of Business

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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