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Essential Financial Skills Certificate

September 7 @ 8:30 am - 12:00 pm CDT

Essential Financial Skills Certificate

This certificate program runs on four consecutive Wednesdays, September 7, 14, 21, and 28, from 8:30am – 12:00pm. Participants must attend all four sessions to complete the certificate. Sessions will be held live-online via Zoom. 

Accounting and Finance terminology can often seem like another language, but understanding the language of finance is an essential skill for leaders and managers throughout an organization. Becoming fluent enough to engage in financial conversations and decision-making is even more vital. Without a clear understanding of how your organization tracks and analyzes financials, you lack credibility with finance managers and business leaders.

The Essential Financial Skills Certificate consists of four courses that demystify financial terminology, giving you the tools you need to communicate fluently with finance managers and articulate key business strategies and opportunities to decision makers. Upon completion of the Essential Financial Skills program, you will have a solid foundation in finance that will serve you throughout your career.

Program Overview

In this workshop you will gain an understanding of the accounting process, from recording the dollar impact of business decisions to the preparation of the resulting financial reports.

You will come away with the ability to converse with the finance people intelligently and grasp the all-important numbers side of business.

Key Topics

The basic accounting principles

The accounting process: journals and ledgers

How various business transactions affect financial statements

Cash accounting versus accrual basis accounting

The difference between accounting profit and cash flow

The purpose of and terminology associated with the key financial statements:

  • Income or Profit and Loss Statement
  • Balance Sheet
  • Statement of Retained Earnings
  • Cash Flow Statement

This workshop covers the financial skills that are fundamental for any managerial position. You’ll learn how to think finance and get a firm grasp of the numbers side of business.

You will gain a greater confidence and a working knowledge of the key business financials statements.  Learn how to “think finance” and translate performance in financial terms.

Key Topics

The key Financial Statements and how they tie together

Key Finance Terms: Assets, Liabilities, Equity, Depreciation, Key Ratios

Develop working rules regarding your corporate financial statements

Use the balance sheet to examine assets, liabilities, and equity

Analyze the income statement to assess revenues and expenses

The statement of cash flow: sources and uses of funds

Importance of Cash Flow: where cash comes from and how it’s applied

Being responsible for the budgeting means you’re playing a vital role in your organization’s future. Your budget enables you to pinpoint critical variables that impact profit, so your company can successfully pursue business goals and create value.

You’ll practice evaluating and revising your budget to increase its chances of acceptance. This is your opportunity to gain the tools and insights to craft the budget your company needs to overcome obstacles and achieve success.

Key Topics

Overview of the planning and budgeting process

Accurately develop an operating budget based on forecasted sales, revenues, and costs

Define variances so you can quickly implement changes to meet your company’s financial objectives

Operating budget vs. capital budget

Perform a variance analysis and identify potential sources and causes

Know exactly which variances to address to plan for next year’s budget

Ideas that require firm resources also require evidence that benefits outweigh the costs. In this workshop, you will learn and apply best practices for making a business case for projects and strategies.

This workshop will utilize real-world cases to provide you with the opportunity to apply key communication strategies to move your ideas forward. This is an opportunity to develop your ability to interact with internal and external audiences with a focus on financial implications of strategic decisions.

Key Topics

Understand “CFO speak” including terminology and financial performance metrics related to:

  • Profitability
  • Growth
  • Impact of project financing
  • Risk
  • Cost and benefits
  • Creating shareholder or owner value

Convert functional area jargon into the language of finance

Using your business case to influence others

Presenting key decision points in concise manner


William Kay, MBA is the CEO and owner of W. Kay & Associates, LLC. He specializes in assisting businesses to improve performance in the areas of strategic planning, finance and accounting, budgeting, project management, marketing, and sales. For more than 20 years, Kay has been helping major Fortune 500 Companies and Universities with organizational development and training.

Nathan Mauck, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Finance at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at UMKC. He has received numerous teaching awards and published over 20 peer-reviewed academic publications which have been featured in popular press publications such as The Wall Street Journal.

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for both new managers of all backgrounds and established managers with non-finance backgrounds in every functional area of responsibility and across all industries. Anyone with budget responsibilities who is interested in developing or improving their budget planning skills, or those who seek to improve their engagement in financial performance and decision making conversations.



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