Finance for the Non Financial Manager

About the Course

If you are not confident working with financial concepts and language, you are not alone!  More and more, managers are expected to make financially based decisions without the assurance of a formal financial background.

 Finance for the Non Financial Manager is an in-depth and practical two-day course that demystifies financial concepts and provides tools for enhancing your effectiveness as a manager.

 By the conclusion of the course you will have more clarity, be able to connect the facts with figures and communicate easily in financial terms.  You will be able to comprehend the content of financial statements, analyse and interpret financial information, understand the importance of cash flow, match your budgets to realistic targets and accurately appraise investments.

FREE - Simply Finance By Susan Hansen

Simply Finance: An Essential Guide to Finance for Non Financial Managers

All delegates will receive a copy of the fantastic take-home resource. 

This book is written for those who don’t have a background in finance and accounting but who need to know how money works. Well-written and easy to follow, Simply Finance demystifies financial concepts and jargons to help improve your decision-making and add value to your business.


10 Great reasons why you should attend this course

  1. Understand the "big picture" of accounting and finance and how this relates to business decision-making
  2. Effectively analyse the impact of your financial decisions on your business
  3. Draw accurate conclusions on a company's competitive positioning
  4. Recognise the importance of, and gain the skills necessary to produce realistic and useful budgets
  5. Appreciate the factors, which affect the reliability of accounting information
  6. Appreciate the fundamental dynamics of the pricing arena and seek long-term tactical solutions to strategic pricing issues
  7. Understand the power of discounted cash flow in management decision-making
  8. Discover how to "read" and analyse a set of company accounts
  9. Confidently communicate with accountants in their own language
  10. Make better investment decisions by learning better evaluation and appraisal techniques

Who should attend?

Everyone who would benefit from obtaining the above skills.


Past attendee testimonials

“Susan kept us all engaged by delivering content in an interesting way. Content was related to each individual’s company with lots of interesting examples”

Ali McHugh, Department Head Sample Logistics, Watercare


We recommend the following course as the next step in your professional development

Business Valuation Masterclass

Course Outline

The Accounting Process - from Transactions to Financial Information

  1. Develop an understanding of the sources of financial information
  2. Gain an insight into accounting systems, terminology and concepts
  3. Examine why the timing of a transaction is so important to the finance function
    • The accounting records: general or nominal ledger & trial balance
    • Debits and credits demystified
    • Income vs. expenditure, assets vs. liabilities, capital vs. revenue expenditure
    • P&L account vs. balance sheet: categorisations and their inter-relationships
    • Accounting concepts and the accounting rule book: accruals, prudence, substance over form, true & fair, materiality

The Driving Forces Behind Financial Information

  1. Overview of the accountant's role and the content of the annual report
  2. Understand the role of the finance function and how the information you provide is used
  3. Know where to find useful information
  4. An introduction to the Balanced Scorecard
    • The users of financial information and meeting their different needs: the finance function, types of accountants, financial vs. management accounting and the treasury function
    • Annual financial statements: why they are produced, contents, what you should look for and what is not revealed

Exercise: Applying the accounting concepts

Analysing and Interpreting Financial Information

  1. Discover the language of finance
  2. Learn what a set of accounts reveals about a company's current situation, profitability and future prospects
  3. Discover how to effectively use all the available information
  4. Understand why and how figures can be manipulated
  5. Understand working capital management
    • Learning the jargon and recognising what is revealed in the financial press
    • How does the international dimension to accounting relate to you?
    • Analytical review and ratio analysis:
      • Profitability (return on capital employed, profit margin and non-standard performance measures)
      • Efficiency (asset / stock turnover, debtor / creditor days)
      • Investment (interest / dividend cover, earnings per share, dividend yield)
      • Gearing
      • Liquidity (current ratios, working capital, cash cycles)

Exercise: Analysing and interpreting a listed company's annual report
Exercise: Analysing the financial statements of two companies in order to evaluate their relative strengths and weaknesses

Cash Flow and Cash Management

  1. Understand why and how cash is king
  2. Focus on ways a business manages this most important resource
  3. Highlight the importance of cash flows in analysis and forecasting
    • Cash vs. profit: why profit does not tell the full story and the importance of cash
    • Examining how cash flow statements indicate the stability, adaptability and long term potential of a company
    • Cash flow forecasts as a planning tool
    • How the treasury manages cash

Exercise: Identifying cash movements to predict future cash flows


Planning and Budgetary Control

  1. Breaking down barriers between the management accounting and operations departments
  2. Determining why budgets play a key role and are not simply an annual chore
  3. Integrating budgets with strategy - the Balanced Scorecard in practice
  • Purposes of budgets: the link between the strategic plan and the company culture
  • Budgets as motivators
  • Tailoring your priorities to match your company's wider strategic objectives
  • Setting realistic goals you can apply to your areas of responsibility
  • How your role relates to the budget cycle
  • Key budgeting techniques
  • When, why and how you should use zero / priority based budgets
  • Post-budgeting review: variance analysis - how and why it is performed
  • Understanding the difference between budgets and cash flows and how they relate to one another

Exercise: "Budgeting - The Big Picture": How you can make budgeting more efficient and improve on existing practices

Costing - Essential Tools for Effective Management

  1. Demystifying management accounting
  2. Introduction to key costing techniques
  3. Evaluate the real usefulness of costing techniques for accurately calculating and ensuring profitability
    • Overview of costing principles
    • Understanding the differences between direct and indirect costs
    • Overheads: allocation, apportionment and absorption
    • Activity Based Costing
    • Break-even analysis: ensuring fixed costs are covered
    • Costing for control: standard costing

Exercise: Determining accurate cost per unit for effective decision making

Pricing for Profit - Practical Pricing Theory

  1. Obtain a clear understanding of the models, myths and mistakes in pricing strategy
  2. Create confidence when applying these ideas in practice
    • The 10 key fallacies of pricing and determining appropriate responses
    • How to price effectively for profit
    • Evaluating pricing methods: which should you use and when?
      • Cost based pricing: a value-added approach
      • Customers: an "outside in" pricing
      • Competitors: predict their price

Exercise: "Beating the Competition"

Project Appraisal - the Investment Decision

  1. Fundamental tools of investment appraisal
  2. Apply and work with these tools to maximum effect in the workplace
  3. Cost of capital and WACC - how these are determined
    • Return on capital employed: why it is used, what it tells us and its limitations
    • Payback period: the problems of a short-term view in investment appraisal
    • Discounted cash flow techniques: the vital importance of net present value
    • Sensitivity analysis: how sensitive are key decisions to potential changes in circumstances?

Exercise: Evaluating the investment decision


Susan Hansen

Susan has worked in Financial Services since 1980.  She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and South Africa and has an MBA from the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business.

She worked for a ‘Big Four’ firm from 1980 to 1985 in Cape Town and London.  She then spent five years with Salomon Brothers, the Wall Street Investment Bank.

Since 1990 she has facilitated seminars on Financial Management and Accounting to Executives and University Students in New Zealand, Australia, South East Asia and South Africa.

In 1995 Susan moved to Auckland and as Strategy Consultant to the Auckland Regional Services Trust was the Project Manager on the feasibility study of the America’s Cup Infrastructure.  Following this she was Chief Executive of Viaduct Harbour Holdings Limited. 

Susan is currently Principal of a Financial Training Organisation.  She facilitates both public courses and in-house courses in New Zealand, Australia, China, South East Asia and Dubai.

Susan is currently a non-executive Director of Utilico Limited, listed in Bermuda. 

Susan is consistently rated as excellent in her delivery and content for presentations.

In-house Training

Do you have a number of staff who would benefit from this course? Find out more about running Finance for the Non Financial Manager, in-house at your organisation or ask us about our team training discounts:

Contact the Training Team on 09 912 3616 or email or fill in the form below.
Visit to learn more about our in-house training options & training packages.

2+ delegates $500 Off applies to this event:

DatesLocationEarly bird priceLast minute price
2 - 3 Nov, 2016WellingtonPrice no longer available$2295 + GST   

   Please note that a 2.5% surcharge applies to credit card payments on top of your total amount.