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Finance, Accounts and Budgets for Non-Financial Managers Short Course

Unit Standard

117156 (4 credits) in the Business Administration Level 4 Qualification


2 days


Classroom or Online


In many organisations, operationally responsible managers have been made accountable for the financial performance of their divisions and need a basic level of financial skills to perform their role.

This means that managers need to have a firm grip on using a wide range of financial reports and information – understanding finance, accounts and budgets is extremely important for them.

This 2-day Practical, Finance, Accounts and Budgets for Non-Financial Managers course include many practical sessions, case studies and exercises that have the aim of making non-financial managers comfortable while using the information provided by their accounting departments to make the correct management decisions.

This course will ensure that you fully understand both the reports and what these are saying about your division’s underlying financial performance.


  • Comprehensive introduction to financial terms, accounting methods and the jargon and language of accounting
  • Understanding balance sheets, income and other financial statements and learning to draw conclusions, identify trends and highlight problems
  • Becoming familiar with the make-up of costs and costing, allowing a better level of control over them
  • Analysing the effect of pricing on profitability and looking into the effects of pricing strategies
  • Reading and understanding cash flow statements, and the importance of working capital on the success of a business
  • Discovering how to prepare, manage and monitor accurate budgets and forecasts
  • Applying an increased financial knowledge to improve the quality of financial decisions


Regional Managers, Divisional Managers,  HR Managers, Department Heads, Marketing Managers, IT Staff, Production Managers, Administration Managers, Engineers, Operations Managers, Senior Sales Managers, Procurement /Contracts Managers, 
Project Managers, Factory Managers, Purchasing Staff, Credit Controllers. 


Accounting and the Organisation

A brief overview of how this department works, and how it can add value to an organisation’s profitability:

  • Importance of the Accounting division to the aim of making a profit for the business
  • Weekly, Monthly and Annual Statements
  • The function and responsibilities of Auditors

Accounting Jargon and Terminology

Understanding the language of accountancy and identifying the way in which accounts are structured:

  • Why accountants group things into Assets, Liabilities, Costs and Revenues
  • The meaning and use of terms such as accruals, provisions, depreciation etc.
  • Methods of depreciating assets, and providing for bad debts explained

Understanding and Analysing the Income Statement

Understanding how the Income Statement can help to plan profits and isolate any negative trends before it’s too late:

  • Identifying different elements in the Profit and Loss Statement
  • Spotting problem areas and trends
  • Variable vs. Fixed Costs and how these influence decisions

Working with the Balance Sheet

Correctly interpreted, the Balance Sheet can provide an accurate snapshot of the business. Correct interpretation can lead to spotting opportunities for improving profitability:

  • Identifying the different elements in the Balance Sheet
  • Understanding the meaning of Provisions, Accruals and Prepaid Accounts
  • Spotting problem areas and trends

Investigating Cash Flow and Working Capital

Cash flow problems are still the single biggest reason for business failure. This section explains why cash flow forecasting is essential, even to established corporates:

  • The importance of Cash flow
  • Working with Cash flow statements
  • Methods of influencing Cash flow

The Costing Process

Understanding how costs are made up will enable you to exercise better control over them:

  • The accounting method of measuring and attributing costs
  • Methods of costing Services vs. Products
  • Differentiating between Direct and Indirect Costs

The Role and Importance of Pricing

Knowing the effects of pricing and some options in the pricing strategy will allow you to make informed pricing decisions:

  • The effect sales volume and discounting have on profitability
  • The effect of Different Sector pricing / Marginal pricing / Bulk discounting
  • Contract pricing Dangers and opportunities

Preparing Accurate and Realistic Budgets

Understand how effective budgeting processes can save time, money and ensure correct results:

  • Setting the objectives for a budget exercise
  • Options for budget preparation
  • The budgeting process outlined
  • Linking Budgets to goals
  • Working with Budget Variance reports to ensure budgets are achieved

Practical use for Financial Information

Methods are discussed for applying the knowledge of financial information into business management:

  • Assessment of the direction the business is moving
  • Highlighting problems before they become too large
  • Determining Key Performance Indicators to watch
  • Practical use of some core Business Ratios