GIBS Business School

Finance for Non-Financial Managers

Available dates

Feb 10—13, 2020
4 days
Johannesburg, South Africa
ZAR 19900 ≈USD 1413
ZAR 4975 per day
Mar 24—27, 2020
4 days
Durban, South Africa
ZAR 18900 ≈USD 1342
ZAR 4725 per day


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About the course

Improve your understanding of financial management and how to use financial statements to improve your decision making. Decisions employees make daily in business often have a notable impact on the organisation's financial standing.

However, many people do not understand the importance of assessing how their decisions impact the organisation's bottom-line. Not being able to interpret financial statements fuels this lack of understanding.

This four day programme is for those who want to improve their understanding of the financial ramifications of their decisions – whether these relate to an impact on the income statement, balance sheet or cash-flow statement. Through a mixture of classroom lectures, practical exercises and interpretation of financial statements, this course will help delegates to ‘lift the veil’ surrounding financial data

How you will benefit

At the end of this programme, you should be able to:

  • Plan more effectively as to take the financial impact of your decisions into consideration;
  • Identify what causes and drives costs;
  • Gain insight into working capital management;
  • Apply key ratios and performance measures;
  • Understand growth, cash-flow and profitability considerations;
  • Implement the concept of contribution and marginal costing;
  • Calculate discounted cash-flow and capital costs; and
  • Comprehend the principles of valuation and value creation from an economic perspective.​​

Key Focus Areas:​

Day 1:​​​

  • Introduction to annual financial statements
  • ​Judgmental issues / notes and policies
  • ​Case studies

Day 2:

  • Recap of day 1 and introduction to costing
  • Absorption costing / cost allocations
  • Marginal costing
  • Break-even analysis ​

    Day 3:

  • Measuring performance

  • ​Working capital management

  • ​Financial planning ​​and growth

  • ​Discounted cash flows

Day 4:

  • Case study
  • Capital costs
  • Valuation principles
  • ​Creating value​​

Who should attend

This programme is designed to provide managers in non-financial positions with a practical understanding of finance and accounting. It is assumed that delegates will have no formal accounting or finance knowledge prior to attending this programme.​

Trust the experts

John Ford

Profile John qualified as a CA (SA) with Arthur Young & Co (now Ernst & Young) where he worked for some 12 years. His final position there was that of partner responsible for Computer Audit Education. In 1983 he joined the Wits Business School (WBS) where he attained the position of asso...


Mike Ward

Mike Ward holds the Chair of Finance at GIBS, where he teaches on the MBA, DBA and Executive Education programmes. He is the author (together with Allan Price) of “Turning Vision into Value”, a best-selling book which explains strategic value-creation concepts to operating executives. Mike has re...


Course reviews

Manager from South Africa 2019

Course quality: excellent
Instructors: excellent
Other (e.g. materials, infrastructure): excellent

John D, Manager from South Africa 2019

Course quality: excellent
Instructors: excellent
Other (e.g. materials, infrastructure): excellent
Primary takeaway: Refresher. Back to basics.
Things to improve: Change nothing. It's perfect as it is

Manager from South Africa 2017

Course quality: good
Instructors: very good
Other (e.g. materials, infrastructure): good
Primary takeaway: The course was insightful. Gave a great understanding of financial documents, budgeting, investing.
Things to improve: At the time of taking the course there was no option for written exams. I would have liked the means to measure my knowledge from the training.
Industry:information technology

R&D Professional from South Africa 2018

Course quality: excellent
Instructors: excellent
Other (e.g. materials, infrastructure): excellent
Primary takeaway: Leaning the split between Corporate Finance and Accounting, and actually learning how to read a balance sheet, income statement, and all the terminology.
Things to improve: Nothing that I can think of. it's one of the best courses I've ever been on.

General Manager from South Africa 2018

Course quality: excellent
Instructors: excellent
Other (e.g. materials, infrastructure): very good
Primary takeaway: A greater general understanding of a world that I needed to know more about
Things to improve: Try group the students into similar levels / backgrounds.

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