Financial Understanding for the Senior Executive

Plan your profits, take control and protect your cash flow

4 days

Business benefit

Learn how your decisions and actions affect your company’s profitability and cash flow; how you can use financial and management accounting techniques to improve that profitability; how to get the best service from your accountants and your auditors.

Case studies, short input sessions, practical exercises, computer spreadsheets and a continuing competitive business project make it a stimulating and active workshop. Bring real-life financial reports and problems with you, as there will be opportunities to discuss them with our experienced accountants.

Target audience

Directors and senior managers from any function who want to improve or update their knowledge of finance and management accounting.  Senior managers of growing companies will find this course particularly valuable.


The workshop will be conducted through mini lectures, interspersed with case studies, discussions and practical exercises to reinforce the subject.

High spots

  • The structure of business
  • Basics of accounting
  • A business start-up case study
  • Company accounts
  • Interpretation of accounts
  • Group accounts
  • Raising capital
  • Corporation tax
  • Foreign exchange
  • Absorption costing
  • Marginal costing
  • The Menzies case study
  • FAXCOM project
  • Security services
  • management accounts
  • Stock valuation
  • Budget setting
  • Budgetary control
  • Pricing
  • Security Services case study
  • Capital investment appraisal
  • Acquisitions (or being acquired)
  • Company valuation
  • Business Turnaround case study
  • Business profitability reviews
  • Action Plans

Key learning points & outcomes

 You will leave the course able to:

  • Master the five objectives for financial success.
  • Understand what the figures really represent and how accruals and prepayments are dealt with.
  • Understand the importance of cash flows, profit and return on investment.
  • You’ll be able to read a report selectively and knowledgeably.
  • Know how to dig beneath the numbers and assess the health of the business.
  • Know what to look for in a complex set of accounts.
  • Be able to assess the balance between shareholder investment and borrowing and other sources of short, medium and long term finance.
  • Be able to follow the accountant’s computations and know the impact on taxation of investment decisions.
  • Be able to see the risks inherent in trading and holding assets and liabilities in currencies other than your company’s reporting currency.
  • Understand how overheads are apportioned to cost centres for reporting and unit costing purposes.
  • Understand the concept of unit contribution and how it may be used to make good business decisions.
  • Get financial feedback on your business decisions and compete with others who are trying to beat you!
  • Look at the profitability of your product mix and decide how to improve things for the future.
  • Understand the standard which says ‘the lower of cost and net market value’ and know what cost elements are included.
  • Know how to develop a budget using all the available knowledge and intelligence within the company.
  • Understand what a variance from budget means, how it may have arisen and be able to take strong and timely action to manage using the feedback from the management accounting system.
  • Understand the accountant’s perspective and that of the marketing department, the psychology of pricing and the bottom-line impact of getting it right or wrong!
  • Be able to make balanced decisions after considering payback, return on investment and discounted cash flow methods of assessment and the non-financial influences.
  • Understand what a company is worth, how successful acquisitions are made and why some fail.
  • Be able to review each profitability objective and seek for ways of improving your business.
  • Pick up tips from other delegates on how they are to use the information and tools gained on the course to make improvements.