Learn the language of business

Financial literacy is a fundamental component of management and leadership. Regardless of your role in the organization, you should understand how different decisions impact your organization’s bottom line today, and in the future. Financial Analysis for Non-Finance Leaders introduces you to the essential elements of financial reporting, including managerial and financial accounting.  You’ll learn to interpret financial statements, develop a greater understanding of the ways financial information is used as a strategic tool for decision making, and develop the capability to communicate operating, marketing, sales, and growth strategies in financial terms.

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“Financial Analysis was perfect for our sales executives. Not only did they come away with an understanding of their business decision’s financial impact, but they learned about the challenges our customers face, and how to articulate our value proposition to address them. The financial knowledge and training they received has transformed their relationships with many of our clients.”—Richard Kolodny, President, Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare

Accounting faculty member, Bill Mayew, who instructs this program, offers his perspective on the importance of understanding financial terms and reports for those not in a finance position:


Who Should Attend?

Professionals of any level, and in any function including marketing, operations, sales, human resources, and development. The curriculum is ideal for those needing a comprehensive grounding in the fundamentals of finance to make better business decisions.


More About the Program

Over 3 days, you’ll engage in robust class discussion of key concepts in financial analysis. Innovative exercises ensure you absorb the concepts in a visceral way, while individual and team assignments give you practice in using your new capabilities.

Discussion topics are designed to provide an overview in financial management by introducing you to real-world financial reports and discussing the interpretation of financial information. Combined with basic practices and assessments of an organization’s financial stability, you’ll gain insight on how to leverage financial information to evaluate performance.

Discussion Topics

Financial Statements

  • Learn to read the 3 most common financial statements for product and service industries.
  • Analyze a company's financial health, including efficiency and profitability drivers, using DuPont decompositions.
  • Use key financial ratios to analyze customer credit risk.

Costs of Goods & Cost of Services Sold

  • Examine inventory costing and contribution analysis for specific products/services.

Budgeting & Forecasting

  • Develop division level income statements including direct, variable and "soft" costs and utilize for project selection.
  • Compare an actual P&L to budget variances; incorporate budget variance feedback into investment decisions, employee incentives and control systems to maximize division profitability.

Program Objectives

At the conclusion of the program you’ll be able to:

  • Read and understand financial statements to evaluate financial performance.
  • Design control systems and incentives that align objectives with profitability.
  • Build budgets that monitor and evaluate business performance.
  • Determine the cost and profit of business decisions.
  • Identify relevant costs, including overhead, when adjusting a mix of products and services.
  • Forecast division finances with a comprehensive treatment of costs and expenses beyond inventory.
  • Understand key deviations from forecasts and assess the impact of potential changes to business processes.

Sample In-Person Schedule

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Check-In Available

Financial Statements
5:00 - 7:00pm

7:00 - 8:00pm

Day 1

7:00 - 8:00am

Financial Statements (cont.)
8:00am - 12:00pm

12:00 - 1:00pm

Financial Statements Analysis
1:00 - 5:00pm

Optional Campus Tour
5:00 - 6:30pm

6:00 - 8:00pm

Day 2

7:00 - 8:00am

Financial Statements Analysis (cont.)
8:00am - 12:00pm

12:00 - 1:00pm

Inventory Management
1:00 - 3:00pm

Budgeting & Forecasting
3:00 - 5:00pm

6:00 - 8:00pm

Day 3

7:00 - 8:00am

Budgeting & Forecasting (cont.) and Program Review
8:00 - 11:30am

Program Close
11:30am - 12:00pm

12:00 - 1:00pm

Program Registration Calendar

Registration Cost
Registration deadline
October 26, 2024
Advanced Registration
Advanced Registration Price available through August 29, 2024
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Reduced pricing available if lodging accommodation is not needed.


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Program Location and Accommodations

JB Duke Hotel Fuqua Executive Education
During your time in Durham, you’ll live and learn in the four-star JB Duke Hotel, a contemporary and tranquil retreat on Duke’s campus with state-of-the-art learning facilities.
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Professor Bill Mayew

Bill Mayew

Bill Mayew is a Professor of Accounting at Fuqua. He received his Ph.D. in Business Administration (Accounting) from the University of Texas at Austin. He previously worked in accounting and financial reporting assurance at Ernst & Young. Professor Mayew studies the managerial communication of firm performance, including voluntary and mandatory financial disclosures in financial reports, and has received multiple awards for teaching excellence.

R.J. Reynolds Professor of Business Administration, Mohan Venkatachalam

Mohan Venkatachalam

Mohan Venkatachalam is the R.J. Reynolds Professor of Business Administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Professor Venkatachalam received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1996 and is a Chartered Accountant from India. He has worked as an Accountant and Internal Auditor in India and the Middle East.

Prior to joining Duke, Professor Venkatachalam was a faculty member at Stanford University, and has taught several courses including Financial Accounting, Financial Analysis and Executive Compensation. He has published research papers on a wide range of topics in valuation, nonfinancial performance measures, accounting disclosures, derivatives and corporate governance. His most recent work involves the role of verbal and nonverbal managerial communication in financial markets. He was an Editor of the Accounting Review and serves on the Editorial Boards of The Accounting Review, Review of Accounting Studies and Contemporary Accounting Research.

How to Register

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Registration Instructions

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Certificate Requirements: Attendance to the Duke Leadership Program and three electives within a three year period. More