Finance for the Non-Financial Manager
33.5 Instructional Hours

Finance for the Non-Financial Manager

Develop your financial acumen

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Finance for the Non-Financial Manager

About the program

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.

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.

This program is designated an approved recertification program by the HRPA.

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You might also be interested in: Accounting for Non-Financial Managers

CCDI Partnership


Smith School of Business is an Employer Partner of the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion.

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:

Interpreting Financial Reports

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

Using Financial Tools To Make Better Business Decisions

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

Analyzing Business Investments

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

Financial Strategy

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

In-Person Learning

Learn alongside fellow participants from across the country, discovering best practices that span industries and sectors.

Our in-person programs include classroom learning sessions led by award-winning Smith School of Business professors and industry experts. Practice new skills in breakout sessions, projects and simulations, and apply your learning toward real-world case studies.

Session Leaders

Session leaders include senior professors from Smith School of Business and knowledgeable experts from industry. These outstanding teachers are constantly in touch with today's business world through real-world business experience, Board memberships and their own consulting practices.

Session leaders include senior professors from Smith School of Business and knowledgeable experts from industry. These outstanding teachers are constantly in touch with today's business world through real-world business experience, Board memberships and their own consulting practices.

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. Gagnon's research is published in leading academic journals including the Journal of Financial Economics and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis.

Dr. Gagnon is a seasoned practitioner who oversaw the bank's global interest rate derivatives exposures and developed risk-management methodologies and policies during his stint in senior management at the Royal Bank of Canada. He consults for a number of organizations in the finance and the non-finance sectors and is actively involved in executive development both in Canada and abroad. Professor Gagnon has been quoted extensively in the Globe and Mail, National Post and Toronto Star and featured on national television and radio programs including BNN, CBC' The National, CBC' Newsworld, CTV's Canada AM, CBC's Ontario Morning, TVO's The Agenda, TFO, RDI, CBC's National Radio Syndication, and CBC Radio-Canada. His recent editorial in the National Post, "Fees and Leverage", explains the origins of the credit crisis and provides a five-point plan to reform the financial system.

John Moore is an experienced and award-winning executive educator who is highly regarded in the accounting profession. He has conducted executive development seminars on financial tools for senior managers at Alcan, BMW, DuPont, Canon, Mitel, Shoppers Drug Mart, New Brunswick Power Corporation, Mountain Equipment Co-op, and Canada Post. He also works with members of senior management teams to integrate financial accounting concepts into strategic planning.  He is a 17-time winner of the MBA Teaching Excellence Award from Smith School of Business; a recipient of the Silver Medal from CMA Canada; Fellow of the Society of Management Accountants of Canada; and the author of five accounting textbooks, including a study guide for students preparing for the CA designation.

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 and strategic controls in capital investment systems and on developing the financial analytical skills of managers.

He is Dean of Executive Education at the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University. From 2004 to 2012, he was a faculty member at the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, where he held the position of Associate Dean for Executive Education. Prior to that, he was an Associate Professor with Smith School of Business and the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University.

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