Executive Education

Financial Analysis for Nonfinancial Managers

Gain a practical understanding of how to interpret and use internal and external financial reports to inform and influence the decision-making process. Once you know how to translate this financial information, you’ll be able to apply it to your business immediately.

As a leader in your organization, having a firm understanding of financial principles is crucial to achieving strategic growth. This seminar will increase your ability to interpret financial reports, better communicate with financial officers in your organization, evaluate your unit's financial performance, and make sound financial decisions.

After completing the program, you will be better able to communicate the financial goals and performances of your department within your organization as well as to outside sources.

By attending this program, you will:

  • Understand the fundamental terminologies and methodologies of financial and managerial accounting.
  • Evaluate financial performance.
  • Understand and analyze corporate financial statements.
  • Measure the cost and profitability of a product or service.
  • Learn how costing systems are linked to corporate strategy.
  • Measure opportunity and capacity costs.
  • Evaluate key business decisions, such as outsourcing.
  • Organize and evaluate the performance of corporate units.
  • Forecast financial performance and capital requirements.
  • Evaluate capital expenditure proposals.
  • Recognize deficient financial reporting.


Gleacher Center

450 N. Cityfront Plaza Dr.

Chicago, Illinois 60611 


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Philip G. Berger

Wallman Family Professor of Accounting; Deputy Dean for the Part-Time MBA Programs

Phil Berger is Deputy Dean for Part-Time MBA Programs and Wallman Family Professor of Accounting at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He previously served on the faculty of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (1991-2002) and also served as a visiting associate professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management (1998-99).

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Richard Leftwich

Fuji Bank and Heller Professor of Accounting and Finance

Richard Leftwich teaches MBA courses and executive MBA courses in financial statement analysis and financial management at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In 1994, he received the prestigious McKinsey Award for Excellence in Teaching.

This program provides excellent value for the time and money invested by the participants.  The content is concise and relevant, the case studies are contemporary and the faculty does an excellent job reflecting on the real life examples behind all the concepts taught in the class.

- Vivek Walimbe, Senior Manager, Medtronic    

Segment on EVA was new information to me and was very valuable. The “Why Finance Matters” pre-course material was extraordinary.  I have accounting/finance undergraduate degree and 10 years experience in finance, but have not come across something that communicates it in such a simple way. Great for non-financial managers.

- Carrie Kosac, AVP, 1st Source Bank

As I look back at the week, I realize how much knowledge I have gained.  While this course is for non-financial managers, it did give me increased confidence and macro context on issues of financial management.  The faculty were outstanding and engaging.  Thank you!

- Grace Hou, President, Woods Fund Chicago   

This course was superb.  Though I had limited financial analysis knowledge coming in, I learned an unbelievable amount in a week’s time.  Most importantly, I now have a basis by which I can think critically about financial issues affecting the workplace.  A bonus was the opportunity to interact with such intelligent and insightful classmates who represented such a wide range of industries.

- Timothy Van Natta, M.D., Los Angeles County Harbor – UCLA Medical Center   

The structure of the course fit the bill for me.  I look forward to using new skills when evaluating my firm and applying them to important decisions.

- Matthew Odum, President, Briljent, LLC

In my own way, I was sort of dreading this week.  Five days talking about accounting didn’t sound fun to me, but I found that it was interesting and engaging.  I now see an even bigger picture to the strategic direction of my company.  These five days were incredibly valuable to me!

- Vicky Wolfe, General Manager, College Division, Herff Jones

The case studies were fascinating, practical and very informative. I'll use these models in my current role to make a better, well rounded decision in my day-to-day and yearly budget planning.

- Erik Erickson, Director Transportation Services, Union Pacific Railroad

I thought my week here was well spent. The course content was relevant and well presented. Instructors did a very good job of simplifying the financial concepts and increasing my knowledge of the language and principles discussed. I would recommend this course to anyone of financial responsibilities/ownership in their business. Thank you for a productive week!

- Erik Christensen, General Manager, Premium Wood, Armstrong World Industries, Inc.

I was delightfully surprised to find the instructors to be more of seasoned business professionals and sharp economists than dry 'bean counters' presenting mere theory. The course was worth the investment and will yield returns in my new role with my firm.

- Scott Roehr, COO, TPD, Inc.

The professors did such a phenomenal job in explaining rather difficult, and to some, “dry” subjects in a fashion that made sense and was exciting, all the while utilizing real life examples to drive the point home. This really shows their level of ultimate competence as subject matter experts.

- Mike Adloo, Senior Director, Health & Wellness, Walmart

This program is useful for mid- to senior-level executives without formal training in finance and accounting. This course also attracts consultants, small business owners, scientists, engineers, healthcare professionals, and other professionals who want to increase their financial acumen to make better business decisions.

Titles include: C-suite, VP, president, owner, general manager, director, and chief counsel.

Those familiar with finance and accounting principles and interested in a more advanced program should refer to the Finance for Executives program.


Participants get access to a web-based, learner-driven program to help them build their financial acumen. Each module features self-tests, allowing them to tailor their learning and focus their time on the modules least familiar to them. This multi-media tool is used as a way to establish a baseline of knowledge to make the time in the classroom as productive as possible. 

Program Outline

Analyzing Historical Performance

  • Financial statements: balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows
  • Accounting rules and conventions: GAAP and IFRS, historical costs, matching
  • Financial analysis tools: ratio analysis, multiples and comparables, cash flow analysis
  • Special topics: goodwill and intangibles, deferred taxes, restructuring charges, segment reporting, earnings management

Forecasting Financial Performance

  • Projecting financial statements (pro formas)
  • Present values, capital budgeting, and project evaluation
  • Income taxes and investment decisions

Overview of Firms' Internal Information Systems

  • Objectives of cost accounting systems: introduction to product costing, integration of the costing system with the financial reporting system, use of cost data to support pricing decisions
  • Discussion of costing systems in non-manufacturing environments, especially in service industries
  • Limitations of traditional costing systems; signals of problems

Activity-based Costing and Activity-based Management Systems

  • How they work and their advantages and disadvantages

Using Cost Information to Understand Profitability and Corporate Strategy

  • Linking the costing system to corporate strategy
  • Applying costing methods to understand customer profitability
  • Cost behavior: fixed versus variable costs, break-even analysis, contribution margin analysis, sunk, incremental, and opportunity costs
  • Applications to outsourcing decisions and adding or dropping products

Planning, Control, and Evaluation Systems

  • Preparing and using master and flexible budgets
  • Analyzing budget variances
  • Measuring performance: financial and nonfinancial measures such as ROI, EVA®, and balanced scorecard
  • Designing incentives to motivate profit-maximizing behavior

Upcoming Courses

Date Fee  
August 6 - 10, 2018 $10,500 Register Now »
December 3 - 7, 2018 $10,500 Register Now »

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