Finance for the Non-Financial Manager

Smith School of Business

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Smith School of Business


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Who should attend

This program is designed for non-financial managers and executives who want to improve their ability to work with financial and accounting information and improve their decision-making skills.

About the course

This 5-day program will enable you to make better business decisions. Our experienced faculty will de-mystify financial statements and a variety of financial and accounting tools, giving you an increased understanding of how these concepts can be used in measurement, evaluation and decision-making.

Session leaders present these issues in a straightforward and engaging format making complex financial concepts easy to understand.

In this Program, you will learn to:

  • Interpret financial reports
  • Use financial tools to make better business decisions
  • Engage in more productive communication with financial managers
  • Understand the financial impact of business decisions

Practical and relevant content delivered by exceptional speakers, and a commitment to unrivaled customer service, have made Queen's Finance for the Non-Financial Manager the most popular Program of its kind in Canada.

Personal Benefits

Gain understanding of accounting and financial concepts, and the tools with which to make better business decisions. Enhance your management effectiveness and increase your value to the organization

  • Improve your decision-making skills by integrating financial management concepts into your thinking
  • Become conversant with financial statements to better understand how business decision outcomes are reflected in your organization’s financial reports
  • Improve your communication with financial managers within your organization and learn how to ask the right questions
  • Heighten your financial insights into many business issues such as investments, lease/buy options, investor relations, and financial risk management
  • Learn how to go beyond accounting figures to demonstrate your unit’s real economic performance and potential
  • Network with a group of experienced managers from a variety of industries and functions

Organizational benefits

Make a significant impact on your organization’s financial performance

  • Use proven financial management tools to improve operating performance
  • Improve the evaluation and justification process for capital spending proposals
  • Increase managerial collaboration on business planning and decision-making
  • Make more effective and profitable use of cash resources
  • Use financial management tools to make more informed decisions on product discontinuations, product launches, outsourcing, and organizational restructuring

Program content

Finance for the Non-Financial Manager will help you make better management decisions by improving your financial skills and providing proven financial tools for measurement and evaluation. Session leaders have broad experience in industry and years of executive development experience.

The program is built around four themes:


Deciphering key financial and accounting statements

  • Understanding the essentials of accrual accounting
  • Learning how to read financial statements such as balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, and statements of retained earnings
  • Understanding financial concepts such as depreciation, sunk costs, retained earnings, and goodwill
  • Interpreting cash flow patterns and recognizing trends in financial performance


Assessing your organization’s health and evaluating its future direction

  • Assessing working capital requirements
  • Using financial ratios to improve liquidity, profitability, capital structure and asset utilization
  • Applying the principles of Activity Based Costing and Target Costing to your operations
  • Employing sensitivity analysis, break-even analysis, keep/drop analysis, and scenario analysis to improve decision-making
  • Calculating the value of a business


Making more effective decisions on capital expenses, capital budgeting, and funding new initiatives

  • Deciding how to finance operations
  • Appraising investment opportunities and ranking capital investment alternatives
  • Using financial tools such as Net Present Value (NPV), Internal Rate of Return (IRR), nominal and discounted payback, and Return on Assets (ROA) to evaluate capital investment opportunities
  • Understanding how to use Discounted Cash Flow (DCF), Economic Value Added (EVA), and Cash Value Added (CVA) for operating decisions


Understanding the link between finance and business strategy

  • Understanding how financial analysis fits into the broader decision-making framework
  • Reviewing alternate sources and forms of financing
  • Creating competitive advantage through tax planning
  • Using financial instruments such as swaps, forwards, futures, options and derivatives
  • Assessing the financial health of competitors


Louis Gagnon

Professor & Distinguished Faculty Fellow of Finance Dr. Gagnon is an expert on capital markets and risk-management. He holds a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Toronto, a M.Sc. in Finance and a Bachelor''s degree in Business Administration from the Université de Sherbrooke. Dr. Gagn...

John Moore

Assistant Professor John Moore is an experienced executive educator who has written one of Canada''s most popular series of self-study accounting workbooks.  He is highly regarded in the accounting and finance professions, and has conducted executive development seminars on financial tools for...

Danny Szpiro

Danny Szpiro is an award-winning teacher and expert on financial management, including the areas of management accounting, capital budgeting, post-investment review, and the Balanced Scorecard. In his research and consulting, he has worked with organizations on the use of post-investment reviews ...

Videos and materials

Finance for the Non-Financial Manager at Smith School of Business

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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.

Read more about Finance

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