Finance Essentials

Continuing studies

How long?

  • online
  • on demand

What are the topics?

Continuing studies

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About the course

This online certificate program introduces non-financial managers to the essentials of finance. The course will help you become conversant in critical financial terminology, and you'll learn how to calculate key financial management indicators.

You will learn how to assess your organization's financial health by reviewing balance sheets, income statements, and statements of cash flow, and you will discover how finance and accounting tools can be used to support informed decision making within organizations.

Each 3 to 5 hour, self-paced course offers an assortment of interactive exercises, videos, selected readings, case studies, and self-assessments that engage you and structure your learning about organizational finance.

Upon successful completion, you can download a printable certificate of completion for this online course suite. This certificate has no textbooks or prerequisites.

The Finance Essentials certificate consists of six courses for a total of 19 hours of online instruction. Students have approximately six months to complete all of the coursework.

  • Financial Planning and Control
  • How to Read a Financial Statement
  • Introduction to Business Statistics
  • Introduction to Finance
  • Time Value of Money and Risk
  • Understanding and Managing Budgets

After completing this entire certificate, students should be able to complete each of the following:

Financial Planning and Control:

  • Explain cost benefit analysis
  • Calculate return on investment and the payback period
  • Explain fixed and variable costs
  • Calculate break even and understand CVP (cost-volume-profit) analysis
  • Explain tracking and performance measures
  • Explain and calculate Balanced Scorecard measures

How to Read a Financial Statement:

  • Identify and describe the documents and financial statements included in an organization's financial report
  • Itemize and interpret the information in the income statement, balance sheet, statement of changes in shareholders' equity, and statement of cash flows
  • Correctly state the impact of specific business activities on cash flow
  • Define financial (ratio) analysis and explain its objectives and limitations
  • Identify the various types and categories of financial ratios
  • Perform calculations using financial ratios

Introduction to Business Statistics:

  • Differentiate between descriptive and inferential statistics
  • Distinguish between the 4 different scales of measurement: nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio
  • Identify the appropriate graphical or tabular method for presenting your data
  • Create frequency distributions
  • Create meaningful presentations and graphs including: frequency polygons, bar graphs, pie charts, line graphs, histograms
  • Calculate probability and explain its practical application
  • Compute the mode, median, and mean of a dataset
  • Calculate the variance and standard deviation of a dataset
  • Interpret sampling with and without replacement
  • Explain the significance of the area under a curve

Introduction to Finance:

  • Identify and differentiate the three most common types of business organizations and the structure of each
  • State the fundamental objectives of a corporation and the differences between wealth and profit maximization
  • Recognize the impact of social and ethical responsibility on business
  • Identify and describe the structure and functions of the finance department within an organization
  • Define the principal-agent relationship and strategies for overcoming conflicts of interest and motivating managers
  • List and define the five key principles that form the foundation of financial management
  • Recognize and define the five key financial markets
  • Identify the sources, rules, and life-cycle stages of corporate financing
  • Describe the function of the stock market and the three trading venues it utilizes
  • Recognize the factors related to interest rate determination and the impact of interest on an organization

Time Value of Money and Risk

  • Distinguish between points in time and periods of time as shown by a time line
  • Define compounding and discounting
  • Compute future value or present value for single payment amounts
  • Distinguish between single payments and streams of payments and between uneven streams and annuities
  • Solve for the interest rate or time period for simple present value and future value problems
  • Define risk
  • Describe how risk influences investment decisions
  • Calculate risk and rates of return
  • Describe how diversification can limit risk
  • Explain how diversifiable risk can be lowered using a portfolio approach

Understanding and Managing Budgets:

  • Recognize the uses and functions of budgeting
  • Recognize the key activities, considerations, and benefits of strategic organizational planning
  • Recognize the purpose and make-up of a master budget
  • Identify the components and calculations used to create a master budget and recognize uses for this information
  • Identify the components and purpose of an operating budget
  • Recognize how sales, production, and cost of goods sold budgets are created and perform related calculations
  • Recognize the purpose of cash budgets and how they are prepared
  • Identify ways the budget process can be managed for optimal results and recognize the benefits and limitations of the management-by-objective system

Each of these self-paced courses offers an assortment of interactive exercises, selected readings, quizzes and self-assessments. It is recommended that students complete the courses in sequential order, but students are able to access all six courses at any time. Upon completion, learners are given a summary of what they've learned for quick reference while at work.

Each course has an "Ask the Expert" feature, which submits your questions directly to an expert in the field you are studying. Questions are answered within 3 business days.

This certificate requires no textbooks or prerequisites. There are some downloadable materials which students can save during the program to access for further use.

Finance Essentials at Continuing studies

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Disclaimer

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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