Finance Fundamentals for Executives

This online course is 8 weeks long. It's long enough for you to apply to your own working context what you learn and to build solid foundations in finance.


Over the 8 weeks of courses, here's what you will learn:

Week 1: Acquire

Acquire an overview of the three main financial statements – the balance sheet, the income statement and the cash flow statement – and key financial and accounting concepts. Use real examples to see how these theories are applied to financial statements.

Week 2: Learn

Learn how to use ratios to compare company performance to its own history or to other companies. Calculate and interpret key ratios for your own business and identify managerial implications, for example when dealing with customers and suppliers.

Week 3: Examine

Examine the relationship between risk and return using concepts such as the capital asset pricing model, risk free rates, credit spreads, market risk premium and company beta. Learn how to assess the risk versus return for debt and equity assets, and to calculate the WACC for your company or unit.

Week 4: Understand

Understand ROIC’s role in value creation and the links between different drivers available to management to improve operational performance: profitability, efficiency, working capital and leverage. Compute your firm’s ROIC and identify areas where you can help to improve it.

Week 5: Reflect

Reflect on the time value of money and discover tools and practical applications where it can be implemented, such as with bond valuations, loans, leasing and mortgages. Compute parameters such as interest rate, payment and borrowing amount for a bank loan, given a set of constraints.

Week 6: Discover

Discover project valuation criteria such as net present value, internal rate of return, payback and the profitability index. Learn how to: choose between investment projects; allocate capital to projects that add value; decide between capital expenditure or cost reduction projects; and evaluate brands.

Week 7: Study

Study how to forecast cash flows in real projects and to model them in Excel. Work on a case study with a “go or no go” decision. Discuss sensitivity analysis and risk thinking.

Week 8: Observe

Observe managerial decisions and the commercial implications of NPV regarding investment project valuation. Understand how to structure projects and how to assess and mitigate their risks. Learn how financial tools can be used for day-to-day decisions such as pricing, bidding or supplier negotiation.