Understanding accounting and finance terminology is an essential skill for leaders and managers throughout an organization. Taught by UMKC faculty Dr. Nathan Mauck (above left) and business leader William Kay, the Essential Financial Skills Certificate consists of four live instructor-led courses that demystify financial terminology. Participants gain the tools needed to communicate fluently with finance managers and articulate key business strategies and opportunities to decision makers.
Dr. Nathan Mauck shares insight below about the value of essential financial skills. The courses run July 18 and 25, August 1 and 8. Learn more about the courses and certificate.
For aspiring managers, business owners, and working professionals with little to no finance or accounting background, how can acquiring these skills add value to a business?
Mauck (pictured right): Some knowledge of accounting and finance can go a long way toward helping leaders of all backgrounds make more intentional and productive allocation decisions. Which projects to pursue? What areas to prioritize? Part of the answer to these questions revolves around getting cash to right place at the right time and that process is the focus of finance.
How can budgets help fortify smart decision-making and effective business strategies, rather than relying on gut instincts or historical data/patterns that may not apply to current circumstances?
Mauck: Maybe the main goal of finance is getting money to where it is most productive. The ability of any organization to meet its goals depends in part on getting the right resources to the right areas. Budgeting makes the process of resource allocation more intentional, strategic, and rational and the result is hopefully more success. Taking the time to really think through where the money is coming from and where it is going to can help us avoid a lot of common pitfalls including decisions based entirely off instinct.
What do you enjoy most about teaching finance and accounting principles?
Mauck: I’ll talk finance all day and it is a real pleasure to work with folks who want to expand their finance toolbox. One of my favorite groups to work with is individuals with a limited background in finance and accounting. It is fun and rewarding to be able to help make some sense of finance jargon and decision making with a group that has a lot of talent and experience, but maybe not in finance.
Can this Essential Financial Skills Certificate serve as a solid foundation for younger professionals who may not have learned these skills on the job during the Great Recession to present day?
Mauck: One of the things I like about essential financial skills is that they are timeless and relevant regardless of career stage. The backbone of any organization is finance and accounting and any skills in this area can help improve decision making and produce better outcomes. The earlier in the career you get exposure to finance, the better in my opinion.
What else should participants know about these courses?
Mauck: These courses will demystify finance, the information will be really easy to digest, and we will have some fun while we are at it.