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Finance & Accounting for Non-Financial Managers

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Today’s managers need to be adept not only in their specific area of expertise, but also in being able to communicate effectively using the terminology of finance and accounting, especially in international contexts.

Moreover, job descriptions for senior positions invariably include specific reference to the requirement of performance monitoring using financial metrics, and annual employee reviews will in most cases include some or many references to decisions in the previous year within this framework. 

A good grasp of key finance and accounting concepts is also often seen by employers as essential for career progression, as this enables team members to better assess risks and benefits and thus make better quality decisions that contribute to their organisation’s overall success. 

Using lectures, worked examples and class discussions with frequent reference to delegates’ own business experiences, this programme demystifies the language of finance and accounting for managers with very little or no prior knowledge of the subjects.

Topics covered include:

  • Interpreting company accounts and financial disclosures
  • Use accounting for management decisions
  • Activity-based costing, cost allocation
  • Performance measures
  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Perform project and investment appraisals using discounted cash-flows, internal rate of return (IRR) and net present value (NPV) techniques
  • Capital structure: understanding financial strategies to achieve the optimal financing mix
  • Foundations of business valuation
  • Sustainable growth versus acquisitions-based growth
  • Executive compensation, corporate governance and value creation
  • Value based management

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Senior management? Don’t understand finance? Don’t panic, there is an answer.

Cambridge Judge's Finance & Accounting Programme for Non-Financial Managers aims to demystify the dark arts of accounting.

Read the article


As a top 10 global centre of teaching excellence, delegates on Cambridge Judge Business School open programmes benefit from some of the world’s most experienced and knowledgeable teaching faculty.

Finance and Accounting for Non-Financial Managers will give you the ability to better operate in your specific business environment as well as within other parts of your organisation.

On completion of the programme you will be able to:

  • Communicate more effectively with colleagues, senior management and other stakeholders using finance and accounting terms
  • Understand how annual reports and financial information are used to make better business decisions
  • Interpret a company's profitability, solvency and liquidity
  • Comprehend the economics of corporate investment decisions
  • Understand how various metrics are used to assess performance and decision making
  • Explore alternative business valuation principles and how you can impact the value drivers of your firm

This programme counts towards the Cambridge Judge Business School General Management Certificate of Achievement. On completing the GMCA you will be eligible to become an associate member of Cambridge Judge Business School's global network of graduates and business-focused University of Cambridge alumni, faculty and staff.

Who should attend

Finance & Accounting for Non-Financial Managers is designed for professionals and emerging managers, who have experienced both success and promotion in their careers and need to better understand the language of finance and accounting in order to carry out their duties and progress further. The programme specifically helps people currently in managerial positions with P&L responsibilities.

The programme is designed to give participants a thorough, fundamental overview of finance and financial accounting which they need to manage and discuss budgets, financial reports and different performance indicators. Potential applicants may be moving into a financial management role, and feel the need for more breadth and knowledge before they take on the new duties, or they may wish to refresh and go back to the fundamentals on their already acquired financial acumen. Please note this programme is not suited for experts in finance or accounting, or seasoned practitioners in these fields.

The programme will be of particular appeal to individuals who enjoy learning using practical examples that they can immediately relate to their own business experience.

This focus on real-life situations involving finance and accounting for non-financial managers is one of the main features of the programme.

Faculty & speakers

Jenny Chu

Jenny Chu

University Lecturer in Accounting

PhD (University of California, Berkeley)

View profile

Dates & fees

Dates Duration Fees *
4-6 December 2019 3 days £2,995 + VAT
4-6 March 2020 3 days £2,995 + VAT
10-12 June 2020 3 days £2,995 + VAT
2-4 December 2020 3 days £2,995 + VAT

VAT is charged at the prevailing rate, which is currently 20%; e.g. £2,995 + 20% = £3,594.

* Fees include instruction, materials, lunch and breaks. Preferential rates may be available for groups, University of Cambridge alumni and members of the School's Alumni Association. Please note prices pre-registration are subject to change.

For information regarding payment terms, cancellation rights, transfer policies and fees, please see our terms & conditions documents:

Terms & Conditions for Self-funded Applicants (pdf, 233KB) (updated 31 January 2018)
Terms & Conditions for Organisation-funded Applicants (pdf, 250KB) (updated 31 January 2018)

Registration closes at midday two working days before the programme start date.

Participants are expected to attend the full programme.

* Data taken from the last four cohorts.

Excellent, engaging teacher, with a clear sense of purpose and a real understanding of how managers work and think. The programme introduced me to new concepts, helped identify solutions to challenges, and boosted my confidence in the finance arena.
Adrian Mills, General Manager, BBC North
Dr Chu is a clear and energetic professor. She is extremely knowledgeable about the material and imparts it in an engaging and up-to-date way. She was fantastic.
Rachel Yeates, Attorney, Moye White LLP
I thoroughly enjoyed this course. It was insightful and entertaining in equal measure. Dr Chu (Academic Programme Director) was extremely engaging and the topics covered were thought-provoking for everyone involved. We were regularly challenged and the full cohort bought into the programme - ensuring that there was a genuine energy and pace to the discussions. Participants came from a variety of sectors and travelled from all around the world to be involved (from throughout Europe and Africa and even Australia and the USA) which also added additional elements to the debate.
Ben Sedgemore, Head of Commercial, MM Flowers
Ben Sedgemore
I found the programme extremely useful – interesting, challenging and thought-provoking. I will scrutinise Cognizant's financials with a new level of insight from now on!
Simon Drury, Head of Marketing, Cognizant Worldwide
Simon Drury
"It has been a while since I've attended a proper university-type course and attending this programme in Cambridge brought some memories from back then. I thought both lecturers were excellent and I picked up some useful information and got myself re-engaged with this type of material.
Geoff Langham, COO, Europe, FXCM
Just wanted to say thanks for a fantastic two-day session last week. I found it challenging but extremely rewarding.
Peter Hills-Jones, Institute of Fundraising
This course demystified the common terms and concepts regularly used in today's business environment, and laid the foundation for a proper understanding of more complex financial issues.


How should I prepare for the Finance & Accounting for Non-Financial Managers programme?
We recommend that delegates give some time to consider what aspects of finance and accounting they feel they need to know about in order to for them to carry out their work duties effectively. Being able to apply key concepts of the programme to actual working situations is the main objective of the programme.

Does the programme involve any pre-programme tasks?
Programme delegates will be sent pre-reading materials prior to the session. It is expected that they would have read the materials and thought about the case studies prior to the start of the programme.

What are the programme hours and is hotel accommodation locally recommended?
Programme hours are 09:00-17:00 with 15-minute coffee breaks in the morning and afternoon and a 60-minute break for lunch. In order to get the most out of the programme, we recommend that participants arrange hotel accommodation nearby. Please contact the admin team for information about recommended hotels.

How many delegates are normally on the programme?
Attendee numbers are capped at 25. Experience shows that these delegate numbers make for optimum learning outcomes.

Does the programme involve any group work?
Delegates are strongly encouraged to be fully engaged in all aspects of the programme, which will include group activities. The Academic Programme Director will ensure that all delegates have the opportunity to fully explore and discuss the programme content together.

Is there a requirement to prepare any type of presentation during the programme?
No pre-programme preparation is required. However, there will be opportunities for informal study-group presentations as a result of class-room discussions. 

Will there be any reading to do at the end of each day?
No – all pre-reading materials will be sent before the start of the programme.

Will I be awarded any type of certificate on completion of the programme?
At the end of the three day programme, delegates receive a Certificate of Attendance that can be used for CV purposes. 

After the programme if I have some questions about applying what I learned, can I contact the Academic Programme Director?
Our Academic Programme Director is available to answer any questions participants may have after the programme.

If you have any questions or would like to have a chat about this programme and how it could benefit you or your organisation, please get in touch with the programme advisor:

Jasmin Abdel-Moneim

Sales & Business Development Manager
Tel: +44 (0)1223 768071

Jasmin Abdel-Moneim

Version 4 (15 May 2018)

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When you register for this programme, please let us know if your organisation is paying for your placement or if you are applying as an individual.


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