Finance is a lifeline for organizations, and Individuals with a background in finance have been extremely efficient at managing day-to-day financial operations of any organization. Finance for non-finance Managers or executives who manage or executive their organizational operations must have an understanding of various financial aspects, which would help them in making important decisions to attain their firms’ business objectives.
Executives should have a greater understanding of financial information, especially for managing any operating scenario requiring good decision making. The term ‘finance’ as such is generally related with the study of investments, and in nonprofessional terms, it is the science of money management.
The managers or executives working in an organization need to regularly interact with finance professionals of their organizations, and therefore they need to understand what these finance professionals are saying and their financial jargon in addition to understand how their actions (non-finance managers) would influence their numbers. The ability to interpret the financial information would help executives in understanding the resource acquisition and allocation for communicating more effectively with their firms’ finance managers.
Benefits of Acquiring Financial Knowledge for Non-Finance Executives
For non-finance executives, acquiring financial knowledge and being equipped with financial tools would help them in acquiring the following benefits:
- Analyzing financial statements
- Understanding costs and methods to reduce the them
- Taking decisions regarding the price of the products or services, or both
- Deciding the best product mix and opting for a viable option to meet the need
- In communicating more effectively with key sources of financing such as bankers, lenders, and investors of their organizations
- Utilizing the core terms, concepts, and techniques of finance and accounting for decision making
Learning financial fundamentals and concepts is quite beneficial for both junior- as well as middle-level executives working in sectors/divisions such as marketing, materials, human resource, and other non-financial domains. Companies prefer hiring those executives who have the basic knowledge of finance and accounting, because finance and accounting plays a prominent role in the existence of business entities.
Importance of Learning Financial Concepts for Non-Finance Executives
For non-financial executives, to learn the financial concepts is a great way to improve the skills and abilities of managing the financial aspects of a business entity in addition to helping them in understanding about the various financial reports for making important business decisions. There are educational institutions, universities, and training institutes that are helping non-finance executives in enrolling for various types of finance-related courses being offered by them on finance and accounting subjects.
Majority of training courses on finance being offered by the universities and institutions, both in terms of online and offline training, are in the form of workshops or day programmes, with much emphasis being laid on understanding the financial statements and analysis. The other area of learning involves knowing about financial tools for evaluating operating and strategic investments. The finance and accounting programmes would help non-finance executives in understanding the Key Performance Indication (KPI) of their organization.
The financial KPIs are the key indicators for top management, and executives with financial knowledge would be able to develop KPIs, which help in the growth of the business of their organisations across the globe. The key areas of financial topics that non-finance executives should learn or have a grip on include as follows:
- Financial Statement Analysis
- Cost Accounting and Management Accounting
- Evaluation of Projects
- Financing, Leverage, and Options
- Preparing and Presenting Financial Forecasts
- Financial Tools for Evaluating, Operating, and Strategic Investments
- Budgeting Processes and Audit
The changing landscape across organizations has resulted in non-finance executives to understand the financial aspects of their business organizations, and as such they must find a common ground to interact with the financial team of their organization without involving any conflict of interests. An amicable cooperation between finance and non-finance executives would lead towards working together for the same goal for attaining the business objectives of their organization.
Process of Conducting Finance Training Programme/Courses
Some institutes are offering practical training courses and workshops for participants, often non-finance executives without financial background, to understand and be able to apply their financial knowledge when performing their management role. These training sessions may be in the form of interactive presentations, group case studies, and discussion sessions through both online or offline mode.
Some of the key topics that are covered under the finance training programmes, or courses, include as follows:
- Topic on relationship between business management and financial management
- Reading and understanding of basic financial statements
- Reviewing periodic financial performance by interpreting key financial performance statements pertaining to profits and expenses
- Topics on cost accounting for effective cost control of business expenditure
The basic finance-training programmes, as mentioned above, helps non-finance executives in enhancing as well as applying their knowledge on finance for making business decisions.