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Accounting and Finance Fundamentals
14 Instructional Hours

Accounting and Finance Fundamentals

Nurture essential skills in handling financial information

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Accounting and Finance Fundamentals

About the program

Accounting is everywhere in business management, functioning as both a decision support tool and also as the ultimate performance measurement framework. This program is aimed at non-accountants and is designed to provide a foundation for deeper engagement with financial management.

Leveraging many years of practical business experience, our faculty will focus on the way accounting is used to measure and create value in business. You’ll acquire the tools to make sense of financial reports, use accounting information to optimise decision making and see how financial performance influences business valuation.

The material and course delivery are together designed to be practical, pragmatic and accessible to all, regardless of prior learning and background.

In this program you will:

  • Learn how financial reports are constructed and how to interpret them
  • Employ techniques to optimise the financial consequences of business decisions
  • Gain an understanding of the elements of business valuation
  • Acquire knowledge, skills and language to facilitate the drive for the creation of financial value in business

Available via live, in-person delivery

Attend the program in an immersive, in-person environment at SmithToronto, located in the heart of Toronto's downtown financial district at 200 Front Street West.

Who should attend

This program is designed for managers and business professionals from non-accounting/non-finance backgrounds who want to become more financially literate, better understand budgets and financial statements, and improve their data-driven decision-making skills.

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

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Discounts Available

Registered Charities

Queen’s Executive Education is pleased to offer a limited number of discounted seats in every program to employees of Canadian registered charities. Check your eligibility to receive a registered charity discount

Volume Discounts

Queen’s Executive Education is pleased to offer a 15% discount for organizations that pre-pay for five or more seats on any of our programs within a 12-month period. Check your eligibility to receive a volume discount

Digital credential for Accounting and Finance Fundamentals

A Recognized Symbol of Excellence

Participants who complete the program earn the Accounting and Finance Fundamentals digital badge credential.

Personal Benefits

  • The opportunity to learn practical skills with unnecessary complexity stripped away
  • A toolkit of techniques to use in financial value measurement and creation
  • Increased confidence in dealing with accounting and finance specialists
  • A foundation for future skills and knowledge acquisition

Organizational Benefits

  • A short, focused program delivering essential accounting skills and knowledge to non-accounting team members
  • The facilitation of better financial decision making
  • Improved interaction between non-accounting team members and members of the accounting or finance function
  • The development of foundational competence for continued development of talent

Module 1

Measuring performance

  • Derivation of the basic accounting equation
  • Simple transaction accounting
  • Measurement basis of assets and liabilities
  • Accruals basis of accounting
  • Introduction of the balance sheet, income statement, statement of changes in equity and cash flow statement examining how they fit together
  • Consideration of the key financial statements for a selected public company

Deciphering performance

  • Ratio analysis and same-sizing for comparative purposes
  • Ratio analysis applied to selected public company financial statements to support a discussion of strengths and weaknesses and steps to improve
  • Discussion of some key non-GAAP measures used in Management Discussion & Analysis reports and in media releases
  • Discussion of limitations inherent in the measurement of value in financial statements

Module 2

Measuring value

  • Overview of different approaches to determining value
  • Introduction to the time value of money (compounding and discounting)
  • Use of project evaluation tools (such as payback, NPV, and IRR)
  • Estimating corporate valuation using observable multiples for selected public companies
  • Use of discounted Cash Flow techniques to arrive at a valuation (illustrated for a private company), including approaches to establishing Free Cash Flow and determining an appropriate discount rate

Enhancing value

  • Introduction to cost behaviour and the contribution statement
  • Application of Cost-Volume-Profit analysis, breakeven and target profit determination
  • Illustration of Economies of scale and operating leverage
  • Overview of approaches to costing and their use in decision making – job cost and process cost systems; absorption and variable costing; standard costing; activity based costing
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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.

Queen’s Health and Safety protocols for in-person programs are evolving and may change by the program date. View the Respiratory Illness Information (COVID-19) (opens in a new tab).

This program is available in an alternate format: View virtual program

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.

Graduating with an Arts degree, I trained as a chartered accountant with PwC in the UK, qualifying in 1982. After a couple of years working as a management accountant in the UK automotive industry, I moved with my wife to Canada where I rejoined public accounting with KPMG in 1985 and qualified as a Canadian chartered accountant in 1987.

Working as a licensed public accountant and audit partner, my professional interests were always broad and encompassed the provision of auditing, accounting and taxation services. I have frequently acted as an advisor on issues relating to governance, strategy development and mergers & acquisitions. Having worked in several KPMG offices, I served clients drawn from a range of industries including wholesale and retail, manufacturing and processing, distribution and transportation, tourism and hospitality, life sciences and software. In the Not-for-Profit sector, I worked with municipalities, public utilities, housing corporations, children’s aid societies and small charitable organizations in the social services field.

In addition to my client service responsibilities, I proudly served as chair of the firm’s KPMG Enterprise Learning Council, a group of KPMG partners tasked with the development and delivery of a learning program for the firm’s staff advising private company clients.

Having served as the Managing Partner of KPMG’s Kingston office, I retired from the firm in 2014. I now teach part-time at Queen’s (Smith School of Business FT MBA, Graduate Diploma in Business and Executive Education) and serve on the Board of Directors of a large private company. I also act as a consultant to a couple of private companies and serve on the investment committee of a private foundation.

Upcoming Sessions

Session Date Oct 23 to 24, 2024 View detailed schedule
Location Toronto , ON , Canada SmithToronto, 30th Floor
200 Front Street West
Program Fees $3,500 CAD (plus applicable taxes) What's included?
Session Date Jan 28 to 29, 2025 View detailed schedule
Location Toronto , ON , Canada SmithToronto, 30th Floor
200 Front Street West
Program Fees $3,500 CAD (plus applicable taxes) What's included?

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