Smeal College of Business

Finance for Strategic Decision Making

Available dates

Dec 11—13, 2019
3 days
University Park, Pennsylvania, United States
USD 4150
USD 1383 per day
May 4—6, 2020
3 days
State College, Pennsylvania, United States
USD 4150
USD 1383 per day


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About the course

Build your own "financial toolbox" with essential financial analysis tools, sources of financial data, and evaluative processes that can be applied to your specific needs. Learn how your financial decisions affect the performance of your unit and profitability of your organization.

Program Benefits

Improve your ability to effectively:

  • Understand financial statements
  • Communicate comfortably using financial terms
  • Use financial forecasting techniques
  • Evaluate performance through financial modeling using spreadsheets
  • Understand variables that affect financial decisions
  • Optimize organizational performance

Program Content

Explore and apply a variety of financial models and tools that can help you make better strategic decisions in your unit or organization. Our experienced faculty mentors will guide you to think like a CFO no matter what position you hold.

Financial Statements and Analysis

  • Income statements, balance sheets, and statements of cash flow
  • Performing ratio analysis to gauge performance and growth

Financial Evaluation

  • Understanding key financial concepts such as margins, turnover, and growth rate measures
  • How to apply the above concepts to evaluate your firm, your competitors, and suppliers
  • Internet-based sources of information to perform financial analysis

Financial Concepts

  • Using asset pricing models to evaluate risk and return trade-offs
  • Alternative measures of performance and how to use them to evaluate investments
  • How to compute and use the cost of capital

Understanding Key Strategic Financial Management Decisions

  • Capital budgeting
  • Capital structure
  • Working capital management

Valuation Principles

  • Applying valuation principles to capital investment decisions
  • Understanding alternative approaches to valuing investments and evaluating risk
  • Evaluation methods for mergers and acquisitions

Capital Markets

  • Hands-on experience in the Rogers Family Trading Room to gain an appreciation for markets

Global Financial Models

  • Foreign exchange exposure
  • International capital budgeting

Value For You and Your Organization

If you are in a leadership position, chances are that you are also responsible for financial reporting and understanding. You will gain a better understanding of finance and accounting concepts for improved decision making that contributes to your organization's growth and success.

Who should attend

This program benefits those in a senior management or executive role responsible for creating or implementing strategy. Prior knowledge of finance is not necessary. Titles of participants have included:

  • Director, Engineering & Operations
  • Vice President, Transportation
  • Senior Network Engineer
  • Director, Strategic Marketing
  • Manager - Business Intelligence
  • Controller

Trust the experts

Chris Muscarella

Chris J. Muscarella is Professor of Finance and the L. W. 'Roy' and Mary Lois Clark Teaching Fellow at the Smeal College of Business Administration of The Pennsylvania State University. His teaching interests center on corporate finance and he has won twenty teaching awards from the Master of Bus...


David Haushalter

Associate Professor of Finance, Academic Director of Rogers Family Trading Room, Smeal College of Business, Penn State His teaching interests focus on corporate finance, risk management, and financial trading strategies, and his research interests are in empirical corporate finance. Prior to com...


Kenneth Pasch

Ken's financial background brought him to the accounting faculty but it is his love of organizational relationships that drives his efforts. Traces of his understanding of human nature and the resultant motivations is quite evident in the recently completed revision to the introductory accounting...


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