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About the course
Emphasizing the importance of financial data on the decision-making process, Finance and Accounting for the Non-Financial Manager allows non-financial business executives to become better users of financial information so they can be more strategic contributors to their organization.
No matter what your functional background — strategy, marketing, engineering, or operations — you’ll learn concepts around accounting in a straightforward, easy-to-grasp manner, enabling you to use finance instruments to add value when your company makes growth and strategic allocation decisions. The program concludes with a Capstone Case Discussion where you apply what you’ve learned to assess your company’s performance following a financial crisis.
Program Highlights & Benefits
In Finance and Accounting for the Non-Financial Manager, you will:
- Learn financial terminology and general financial principles
- Interpret financial statements
- Make the distinction between income and cash flow
- Gain exposure to diverse financial approaches, including methods of valuation
- Become adept in financial decision-making
Experience & Impact
Having a solid understanding of income statements and balance sheets is no longer just the domain of the CFO or controller. All functional leaders, regardless of their area of focus, benefit from understanding these financial tools. Finance and Accounting for the Non-Financial Manager is designed to give you the foundational knowledge and the tools to be a more informed business leader who can weigh financial risks and costs when evaluating strategy and driving new initiatives.
Wharton faculty — led by Professor Richard Lambert, a leading authority on financial reporting as well as cost and management accounting, and author of the book Financial Literacy for Managers — help participants use and interpret actual financial statements, drawing conclusions about a business from the financial figures.
Emphasizing the importance of gaining a big-picture perspective by analyzing qualitative questions about a business, the program offers instructional case studies featuring real business scenarios and daily financial practice applications to enhance the learning experience. Throughout the finance and accounting program, participant interaction and discussion lead to a rich classroom experience. In sum, this program provides managers with a better grounding in finance-driven decision-making. The finance and accounting instruments allow participants to better evaluate their firms growth, profitability, investment for the future, and debt exposure.
Session topics include:
- Financial Statements
- Present Value Techniques and Applications
- Evaluating Projects
- Assessing Earnings Quality
- Cost Accounting and Managerial Accounting
- Financing, Leverage, and Options
- Strategy and Oversight
This program will show participants how to interpret financial statements, calculate the value of income and payments, and evaluate projects based on cost and revenue implications. Participants will gain a new understanding of the financial drivers in a business and how to make decisions in a financial context.
Guided Review Sessions
Your understanding and retention of classroom material is reinforced with guided review sessions. Led by Adjunct Professor of Accounting Peggy Bishop Lane, who also serves as vice dean of Wharton’s MBA Program for Executives, these sessions will be held in the evening during the first two days of the program, and are completely optional for participants to join. These review sessions will give you an opportunity to dive more deeply into the program material, get answers to your specific accounting questions, and get more practice in performing key calculations. For example, because the program includes calculating net present value, and value income and payments, Professor Lane will guide participants with additional practice in performing these calculations. These review sessions also help participants begin to apply what they are learning to their organizations.
Capstone Case Discussion
A highlight of the program is the capstone case discussion, which builds on all the concepts taught in the course. Participants will evaluate a firm’s financial statements and apply their knowledge to determine whether the firm can achieve a turnaround after undergoing a financial crisis.
Overall, you will:
- Learn the basics of income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements
- Analyze and draw conclusions from financial statements
- Determine how to forecast future revenues
- Account for expenses that can’t be assigned to specific items
- Apply cost accounting principles for financial reporting and product costing
- Understand the ways companies can reduce their exposure to a range of risks, focusing on financial instruments and derivatives
This program is also eligible to be part of the Wharton General Management Program. The General Management Program (GMP) is a unique opportunity for successful executives to accelerate their potential by infusing new knowledge and to prepare for new challenges ahead. With the help of our professional executive coaches, the program allows you to tailor your learning journey to your specific needs. The General Management Program consists of six open-enrollment programs, including two electives. GMP is designed to be completed over two years, but you may complete it in only two trips to Wharton's Philadelphia campus by enrolling in multiple programs. At the completion of your program, you will receive a certificate to acknowledge your distinguished accomplishment as well as Wharton alumni status.
Who should attend
Finance and Accounting for the Non-Financial Manager is designed for functional managers from across a company who do not have formal training in finance and accounting.
Participants in this program are managers from virtually every non-finance area. They work in multiple industries and geographies. Faculty tailor the program content to address these issues, so participants enjoy a learning experience that truly resonates with them and meets their learning needs.
Participants have ranged from managers with no experience with financial concepts and finance techniques to executives who wish to update their knowledge of basic finance and accounting functions. The program frequently attracts managers from creative, scientific, or technical fields.
Participants leave the program with an expanded peer network, plus financial tools they can use to be more strategic leaders.
Trust the experts
Richard Lambert teaches a wide range of courses in the areas of financial reporting, cost and management accounting, and compensation and performance measurement. He is a recipient of the Helen Kardon Moss Anvil Award for Teaching Excellence at Wharton. Professor Lambert’s research examines a var...
Professor Bushee’s research focuses on the impact of information intermediaries—such as institutional investors, sellside analysts, and the business press—on corporate disclosure decisions and on the stock market pricing of information. His articles have appeared in toptier academic journals such...
Professor Ittner’s research focuses on the design, implementation, and performance consequences of performance measurement, cost management, and enterprise risk management systems. His articles have been published in the Harvard Business Review and leading academic accounting, marketing, and oper...
Robert W. Holthausen is the Nomura Securities Company Professor of Accounting and Finance. Prior to coming to Wharton, he was a Professor of Accounting and Finance at the Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago. He earned his doctorate at the University of Rochester where he also...
Peggy Bishop Lane is Vice Dean of the Wharton MBA Program for Executives and Adjunct Professor of Accounting. Based in Philadelphia, Peggy oversees both the Philadelphia and San Francisco programs. Before joining the MBA Program for Executives, she directed the academic experience for the full-ti...
Wharton: Finance and Accounting for the Non-Financial Manager
Finance and Accounting for the Non-Financial Manager