Management and financial accounting: Know your numbers 1


Financial literacy is a fundamental capability for any business leader, whether you are running your own small business/start-up or working at a large organisation. This course will provide you with a sound foundational understanding of financial and management accounting, and how to use accounting to facilitate and align decisions made by owners, managers and employees. Via structured learning activities (video lectures, quizzes, discussion prompts and written assessments) you will develop the ability to seek out financial opportunities and avoid financial misadventure. You’ll learn how to organise, create, interpret and communicate important financial information effectively, which will help you improve your organisation’s internal procedures and processes.

What you will learn

The building blocks

Welcome to the first week of Know Your Numbers 1. This week, we are going to take on the basics of two important topics in MBA programs: accounting and finance. Accounting is primarily concerned with the classification of financial values (expressed as assets, liabilities, and equity), while finance expands on this to consider the valuation of our assets and the way that we have funded them through debt or equity. As such, the two concepts are closely related, though their focal points differ somewhat.

Ratios and data: Why and how

Welcome to Week 2! This week, we are going to focus on some of the most useful ratios and measurements that are commonly used in business, so that you can take your skills in this area and apply them to the rest of your studies, and more importantly, your career and your life. These will serve as a starting point for looking into quantitative analysis for your own organisation as well as for considering the strategic choices available to competitors, or other firms in which you may have an interest.

Strategy and accounting

During this week, we shift our focus from financial analysis and ratios to broader questions regarding the strategy of our organisation. The reason we do this is so that we have a first glance into what links exist between qualitative change and the downstream quantitative impacts that we can expect.

Budgeting and forecasting

This week, we begin to explore the connection between strategy, tactics, operations, and the numbers that demonstrate the financial health of our organisation. The role of management accounting in this context is also drawn into the discussion here, as is the nature of our role as managers in having to interpret technical accounting analysis on one hand, and influence strategic change on another.

What’s included