Finance for Non-Financial Managers

Course Description

Finances are the lifeblood of any organization. Understanding income statements and balance sheets is no longer the sole responsibility of the controller, CFO, or business owner. All functional leaders, regardless of their area of focus, will inevitably face decisions that emphasize the importance of financial data. For example, how do you assess and execute on multiple project opportunities? How long will it take to recoup an investment in a new product or service enhancement? Will your choice be profitable and mitigate downside risk to the organization?

Thankfully, the answers to these questions are not based on emotion or opinion but can be solved using proven ways to measure and evaluate the value of projects with sound financial analysis. Finance for Non-Financial Managers is designed to give the foundational tools to be a more informed leader and strategic contributor who can weigh financial risks and costs when evaluating opportunities and driving new initiatives. We’ll show you how to read and analyze financial statements, estimate project cash flows, compare projects, and make sound financial decisions.

What You’ll Learn in the Program

  • Financial terminology
  • How to read, understand, and interpret financial statements
  • How to analyze opportunities and organizations using ratios and trends
  • How to calculate financial metrics such as NPV, IRR, and payback
  • The key steps to investment decision making
  • How to create forward looking financial statements for upcoming projects
  • How financial markets work and options available to raise capital

Who Should Attend?

No matter your functional background – marketing, operations, human resources, engineering, IT – you’ll learn financial concepts in an easy-to-grasp, straightforward manner. Current or prospective managers, hi-potential leaders, business owners, lawyers, medical professionals, and others across virtually any industry sector looking for ways to make more informed business decisions using financial metrics will benefit from attending. Participants include managers with no experience with financial concepts and finance techniques to executives who wish to update their knowledge of basic finance and accounting functions.

There are no prerequisites for the course and no prior finance knowledge is required. Interested participants are encouraged to attend individually or in teams from their organizations.

What You’ll Need for the Program

Participants must have a laptop or tablet computer with access to Microsoft Excel or similar spreadsheet software to access course materials.

Registration and Payment Form

This is an open enrollment program. Application is not required. Course registration is complete when payment is processed.

Registration for this program is now closed. If you have questions about participation please reach out to

Additional Program Information

This course will be delivered in half day sessions across five dates:

  • May 12 (8am -12pm)
  • May 13 (8am -12pm)
  • May 20 (8am -12pm)
  • May 21 (8am – 12pm)
  • May 24 (8am-12pm)

Day 1 Timeline:

8:00 – 8:15 Introductions and program overview
8:15 – 10:00 Session 1 – Introduction to Financial Statements and Reporting Quality
10:00 – 10:15 Break
10:15 – 11:45 Session 2 – Balance Sheets, Profit and Loss Statements, and Cash Flows
11:45 – 12:00 Morning recap & group review

Day 2 Timeline:

8:00 – 8:15 Day 2 Overview
8:15 – 10:00 Session 1 – Analyzing Financial Statements and Trends
10:00 – 10:15 Break
10:15 – 11:45 Session 2 – Valuation Methods
11:45 – 12:00 Morning recap & group review

Day 3 Timeline:

8:00 – 8:15 Day 3 Overview
8:15 – 10:00 Session 1 – Creating your own pro-forma financial statements
10:00 – 10:15 Break
10:15 – 11:45 Session 2 – Making Investment Decisions
11:45 – 12:00 Morning recap & group review

Day 4 Timeline:

8:00 – 8:15 Day 4 Overview
8:15 – 10:00 Session 1 – Cost of Capital and Capital Budgeting
10:00 – 10:15 Break
10:15 – 11:45 Session 2 – Case Study (Hands on evaluation of investment choices)
11:45 – 12:00 Morning recap & group review

Day 5 Timeline:

8:00 – 8:15 Day 5 Overview
8:15 – 10:00 Session 1 – Introduction to Financial Markets
10:00 – 10:15 Break
10:15 – 11:45 Session 2 – Raising Capital
11:45 – 12:00 Morning recap & group review

The cost of the program is $2,200, includes materials, and is due in full at time of registration.

Wake Forest University alumni, faculty, and staff receive a 25% tuition discount. If multiple participants are interested in attending from your organization, please contact us for multi-attendee discount information. For more information please send an email to

This program is offered virtually!  Prior to the program date, a Zoom link will be provided to all attendees to access this instructor-led curriculum.

Stephan Shipe is a finance faculty member at Wake Forest University. He has a Ph.D. in Finance from Florida State University with a support area in Econometrics and is a CFA Charterholder. Professor Shipe has written articles and analyzed data related to corporate cash holdings, executive compensation, and investor behavior. He teaches courses in financial quantitative analysis, risk analysis, and financial data analytics. His research has led him to work with regulators on new laws related to financial disclosures and to own his own investment advisory firm.



Course materials are included in the cost of tuition. Course materials will be distributed electronically in advance of the program start date. Participants must have a laptop or tablet computer to access course materials

Program Cancellation

This course is offered contingent upon sufficient enrollment. If a course must be cancelled, all registered participants will be notified at least five (5) calendar days before the course’s start date. All registered participants will receive a 100% tuition refund. No fees will be charged for cancelled courses.

Individual Cancellation – Refund Policy

Prospective participants who withdraw at least 10 days prior to the start of a course will receive a full refund of tuition paid.

For More Information

For more information, or to speak with a program adviser, please send an email to or visit the Contact Us section of this website.