Chicago Booth Approach to Finance—Online

In this eight-week online program taught by Chicago Booth Professor Haresh Sapra, you'll acquire the tools and frameworks to interpret financial statements to better understand the financial performance and health of an organization.

This program is in partnership with Global Alumni.

Today’s unpredictable and fast-changing business world requires executives from every level to have a solid understanding of core finance and accounting principles to make impactful business decisions. Practical financial decision-making is critical to an organization’s ability to combat competition, make strategic growth decisions, and create shareholder value.

You’ll discover key concepts such as interpreting balance and income statements, cash flow principles, asset and liability analysis, and risk and forecasting tools - all to make more impactful financial decisions. You’ll acquire the tools to quantitatively evaluate choices and how these choices affect your institution’s incentives and resources. This program offers a practical guide to using financial instruments when making allocation decisions, and are immediately applicable to you and your organization.

By attending this program, you will:

  • Build up your financial decision-making by learning core finance and accounting principles.
  • Learn how to evaluate and identify red flags in financial statements and balance sheets.
  • Discover how the relationship between profit and cash flow is crucial to the health of an organization.
  • Learn how to gain insight into an organization’s efficiency and profitability by using tools such as ratios and liability analysis.
  • Acquire the tools to financially forecast for proper business planning.
  • Strengthen your finance and accounting terminology to better communicate across your organization.


This program is designed for mid- senior managers from across an organization, within a wide-range of industries, who do not have formal training in finance and accounting and wish to develop or update their knowledge of core finance and accounting principles.

This program will also benefit those in professions such as consultants, scientists, engineers, healthcare, small- medium size business owners, and other professionals who want to increase their financial acumen to make better business decisions.

Haresh Sapra

Charles T. Horngren Professor of Accounting

Haresh Sapra studies the real effects of accounting measurement policies, disclosure regulation, and corporate governance. His current research deals with issues of disclosure, transparency and financial reporting for financial institutions. For example, how do accounting measurement rules impact the optimal design of prudential regulation for financial institutions? To what extent should accounting and prudential regulation be linked? What is the impact of loan loss provisioning models on banks’ risk-taking behaviour? His research has been published in journals such as The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting Research, Games and Economic Behavior and the Journal of Accounting and Economics. He teaches financial accounting to Executive students and a PhD course on the economic modeling of accounting issues. He has previously taught an MBA elective on Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Restructuring Issues to full time and part time students.

Sapra has won numerous teaching awards in all the programs at Booth. Sapra has been named one of the top-ranked professors in BusinessWeek's Guide to the Top Business Schools. Sapra has also the Ernest R. Wish Accounting Research Award for his paper "Do Mandatory Hedge Disclosures Discourage or Encourage Excessive Speculation?"

Sapra earned a PhD in Business Administration in 2000 from the University of Minnesota and then joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 2000.

Sapra is an accomplished runner who has competed in over thirty marathons with a personal best time of 2:53:06.

Introduction to Accounting and the Accounting Process

  • Become familiar with accounting, the language of business
  • Prepare basic financial statements
  • Understand how to apply the formula for the Statement of Cash Flows

The Profit & Loss Statement

  • Understand the five concrete steps involved in applying the revenue recognition principle
  • Become familiar with inventory accounting and the key issues related to accounting
  • Be able to record discontinued operations under both U.S. GAAP and IFRS standards, and to understand corporate taxes

Asset Analysis

  • Distinguish between tangible and intangible assets
  • Understand the concepts of depreciation and amortization
  • Become familiar with the general rules for asset impairment.

The Liability Analysis

  • Understand and distinguish among the main categories of liabilities
  • Recognize the principal components of noncurrent and current liabilities
  • Grasp the concepts of off-balance-sheet accounting and contingent liabilities

Analyzing Financial Statements

  • Learn how to perform financial statement analysis through the use of ratios
  • Understand how to examine a company’s cost structure
  • Perform liquidity and solvency analysis

Introduction to Valuation

  • Understand the concepts of Net Present Value (NPV) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR)
  • Calculate the Free Cash Flow (FCF), the Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC), and the Appropriate Discount Rate
  • Articulate on other valuation methods, such as Market Multiples and Comparable Transactions

It is always a good feeling to get to the finish line! I had a great time and definitely learned a lot. I first took this course mainly because, coming from an Engineering background, I had never had an academic perspective on accounting and finance. I felt this was an appropriate moment to explore that -- and the idea of an online Chicago Booth Finance Course just fit me like a glove!...From the comfort of my home, I was able to learn and practice a lot, and also validated several ideas and concepts learned "on the street" over the years.

—Ricardo Wilke

I thoroughly enjoyed this course and know that I learned a TON…I like how the course focused around information that is publicly made available through financial statements in annual reports. The exercises we all went through are easily applicable to any company I might work with in the future to better understand the state of their business at the highest levels.

—Vince Ippolito

First, this course was fantastic. It was challenging and frankly difficult for me. I do not have a formal background in Accounting and Finance, but these are a big part of what I do each day and I need to be better as I progress through my career. Additionally, I wanted to challenge myself by taking a course like this from a top tier business school. In fact, that was of utmost importance to me - GO with the best and challenge yourself…I feel WAY more confident going forward now that I've gone through these last 6 weeks.

—Evan Laskaris

I really enjoyed this class, and found that it challenged me to think in new ways about my company and the way we account for various aspects of our business.

—Devin Mogler

The reason for me to take this course was my future possible participation on our Board. I have wanted to learn more about accounting and how to interpret financial reporting for some time now…Without a doubt, I feel like the course has better prepared me to review and analyze our company’s financials and make recommendations for future acquisitions or strategy to enhance our financial performance.

—Terry Trofholz

Upcoming Courses

◦ February 15–April 11, 2022
◦ September–November 2022 (dates TBD)

Fee: $2,800