Opus College of Business

Finance for Non-Financial Managers

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About the course

Whether you are currently involved in financial strategy or want to be, the St. Thomas Finance for Non-Financial Managers program will improve your ability to make sound financial decisions at work.

When terms like ROI, P&L or net present value come up in meetings, do you feel out of your depth? We can help. In the St. Thomas Finance for Non-Financial Managers program, learn financial terminology and practical skills from instructors with decades of professional experience. You’ll practice using financial concepts through in-class business cases. These hands-on scenarios build confidence and prepare you to participate in financial decision-making and discussions back at work.

Small class sizes create a collaborative learning environment and help you build your network of fellow business leaders. Sessions are held on our convenient downtown Minneapolis campus, and parking is available within one block. There are no prerequisites for this program.

Benefits of This Program

After completing Finance for Non-Financial Managers, you’ll do your Monday smarter with:

  • A solid understanding of finance and accounting terminology
  • Insight into how your company creates value
  • A big-picture financial perspective, critical for planning and budgeting
  • The ability to build a strong argument for the financial resources to fund your projects
  • A new network of professional peers, which you can turn to for support long after the program ends


Module 1: Understand and Interpret Financial Statements

Gain the knowledge and skills you need to weigh in on financial matters, and understand how your decisions impact the bottom line. In this session, you will become familiar with and practice using real-world examples of:

  • Basic financial statements including income statements, balance sheets, and statement of cash flows
  • How companies create value
  • Ratio Analysis and key performance metrics
  • Free cash flows
  • Planning and budgeting

Module 2: Evaluate Investments

Whether you are deciding on launching a new product, updating machines to improve production speed or making a case for hiring a new employee, these decisions can affect your company’s cash flow and ultimately its overall financial performance. You’ll need a solid understanding of how to evaluate these types of decisions, understand their impact on the shareholder value and create a strong argument for these investments. During this session you will work through activities and gain insight into:

  • What is finance?
  • The relationship between risk and return
  • The time value of money and why it is important
  • Understanding and computing cost of capital
  • Analysis around net present value and capital budgeting
  • Decision tools: incremental analysis and hurdle rates for project acceptance or rejection
  • Ways to finance: debt vs. equity
  • Corporate valuation: measures of value

Module 3: Practice with Business Cases

Knowing the basic concepts is a solid foundation for making good financial decisions. However, you need to know how to apply this information strategically in your position. Using real-world examples you will:

  • Put the concepts from the program into practice
  • Make strategic decisions and understand the outcomes of these decisions
  • Experiment without putting the fate of your actual project or position in jeopardy

Who should attend

his program is ideal for business managers without a finance background. If you want to contribute to financial discussions and decision-making at work, but wish you had a better financial foundation, this program is for you.

Common program participant job titles include:

  • Entrepreneurs and business owners
  • Business Analyst Management Analyst
  • Operations Manager
  • Office Manager
  • General Manager
  • Sales Manager
  • Marketing Director
  • Marketing Manager
  • Brand Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Business Consultant

Trust the experts

Brian Reagan

Brian Reagan has held numerous corporate leadership positions over the course of his nearly 30-year career, including executive vice president of BioScrip Inc., a leading health care services organization, and managing director of Dain Bosworth Inc., a full-service investment banking and brokerag...


Jim Shovein

Jim Shovein (CPA, MBA) is a Clinical Faculty member in the Finance department at the University of St. Thomas. He has been the recipient of the Opus College of Business Teaching Award. Jim has almost twenty years of industry experience, most recently as Vice President of Finance at Best Buy and p...


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Finance for Non-Financial Managers