professional development courses

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A to Z of Finance: From Assets to Zero-Based Budgeting

Managers often fall behind when it comes to finance. More often than not this is due to a lack of understanding, jargon, fear of finance and figures, and an inability to see the importance of a financial strategy and how it will impact on their behaviour and decision making. At some level most managers need to make an input into initially setting and subsequently controlling budgets. To achieve this, a manager needs to fully appreciate the business planning process in developing a budget. Furthermore it is essential to understand how the budget is structured and where the ‘levers’ are in ensuring an organisation remains on track. Managers who are comfortable and competent in understanding and managing the financial aspects of their day-to-day business benefit from improved business skills and performance, internal respect from colleagues and senior management, enhanced external relations, better cash flow management and ultimately improved career prospects.

Turning 'Theory' into 'Practice'?

For those with little or no formal training in finance, this highly interactive five-day programme concentrates on the principles, tools and techniques of financial management. Supported by analysis, practical exercises, and a computer based business simulation this course will give you the understanding and ability to discuss, present and manage the financial aspects of your business and positively influence the financial factors under your control.

Who should attend?

Managers wanting to gain a clearer understanding of the fundamentals of business finance and how finance impacts on the decisions they make on a day-to-day basis either at a departmental or company-wide level, and a better understanding of business planning, developing budgets and budgetary control

Key areas to be covered in the programme and documentation

The Need for Financial Information
• Why do we need financial information?

• What are the differences between management accounts and statutory accounts?
• Understanding the language of finance, company accounts and annual reports

The Importance of Return on Capital Employed
• Why ROCE is so important
• How to affect ROCEAccounting Principles
• What are the main accounting principles?
• Why and how are they important?Profit and Loss Account
• The structure of the P & l accoun
t• The difference between expenditure and capital expense

Balance Sheets and Interpretation
• Content and layout of balance sheets
• Working capital• Interpretation: fact vs. judgement

Depreciation of Fixed Assets
• Why fixed assets are depreciated
• The different types of depreciation

Cash Flow
• The difference between profit and cash
• Cash flow forecasting
• Cash flow statements

Business Health Check
• Why carry out a business health check?
• Taking a structured approach to carrying out a business health check

Marginal Performance Improvement
• The importance of marginal performance improvements
• The link between cost of sales, selling price, volume and expenses

Cost, Volume, Price and Breakeven
• How to calculate breakeven
• How to determine a selling price

Debt and Equity
• How to calculate the debt to equity ratio
• Getting the balance right

Capital Project Appraisal
• Why capital projects should be appraised
• Different appraisal methods

Funding Growth
• How can growth be funded
• What type of funding should be used

Managing Key Financial Ratios
• Short term indicators
• Long term indicators
• Overall Business Performance indicators

Corporate Valuation
• The indicators used in corporate valuation

Interpreting Company Accounts
• Analysing several sets of accounts
• What are the accounts telling you?• What actions need to be taken?

Introduction to Financial Planning
• Why plan?
• What is a budget?
• What should we measure?
• The business planning process

Strategic Analysis
• Examining the external environment
• Competitive management and performance
• External environment – Pest analysis
• The market and its demands
• Forecasting techniques and assessing the forecast
• Know your market and competition

Developing Business Objectives
• Potential areas of failure
• SWOT analysis
• Key central corporate objectives
• Identifying and overcoming performance barriers

Creating the Financial Budget
• Zero based or incremental budgeting – which is best?
• A structured approach to developing a budget
• Content of a financial budget

Monitoring & Controlling
• The need to monitor and control
• Continuous improvement loop

Pulling it all Together (Computer Based Business Simulation)
• Working as part of a team you will be give the latest financial reports for a hypothetical business
• You will compete with the other teams in the same market
• Further financial reports will be issued based upon your decisions, and those of the other teams
• The simulation will examine your skills in the following areas:
- Financial analysis
- Controlling Working Capital
- Financial decision Making
- Financial Planning and Forecasting
- Cost Control
• Will you end up with the most profitable business? and if not, why not?
• This simulation will illustrate how both good and bad decision making can affect the financial position of an organisation

Benefits to you

• Understanding the basic principles and terminology of finance and interpreting key financial information
• Communicating and presenting your financial position and budgets more credibly to your colleagues and board
• Differentiating turnover, profit and cash and understanding the methodologies and language of the finance function
• Reading and understanding annual reports and company accounts
• Calculating profitability, liquidity and management of working capital
• Understanding shareholder value and the stock market
• Evaluating projects from a financial perspective
• Recognise the importance of developing a business plan before creating a financial budget
• Identifying a structured process for business planning
• Recognising the need to analyse the business environment
• Examining both macro and micro market
• Develop a sWOt analysis to assist in the creation of business objectives
• Recognise the many different strategies a business can adopt to meet an objective
• Identify how to recognise and overcome internal performance barriers
• Identify the requirements and structure of a financial budget
• Recognise the importance of continuously monitoring progress towards objectives

Companies already benefiting include:

Duration of Course

5 Day Course

Course details

This course is currently only available as an in-house option. For more information, and a quote, contact our team on +44 (0)20 3002 3057, or by email at

Looking to train larger teams in this subject?

dzingim@marcusevansuk.comTailored in-house/in-company training courses and bespoke strategy workshops designed and delivered on-site throughout Europe according to your specific requirements.

All management, personal development and project management public courses featured in our Course Directory are also delivered on an In-Company basis.

Click Here for information on how this course can be delivered for you as an In-Company Training Solution


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Further information

UK Enquiries: +44 (0) 203 002 3057

Non-UK Enquiries: +420 (0)2 5570 7246

North American Enquiries: +1 312 540 3000 X6714 or - Marketing Manager EMEA - Professional Training

UK Enquiries: +44 (0)20 7647 2383 :
European Enquiries: +420 (0)2 5570 7246 :


"This course will allow my company to develop its existing strategies to a much greater and hopefully profitable level."

Managing Director, Tarmac