Accounting for Non-accountants

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Business skills CPD

Accounting for Non-accountants

The course has been developed around the essential elements of accounting and finance, but specifically has an emphasis on performance and decision making. It is intended to provide a good understanding of accounting for non-accountants. We will explore a number of accounting and finance initiatives that help us as managers in our decision making especially as we strive to attain the performance that is expected for the organisation.

It helps you develop an understanding of accounting and finance by showing both the differences between the two as well as their scope and limitations. In doing so, you will hopefully see that the lines of demarcation between the two strands are being continuously minimised to the extent that in the current business context both finance and accounting are almost merged in their use. The course has an emphasis on performance: both its measurement as well as issues around its production. The course will also cover the more qualitative aspects of accounting within such areas as, for example, capital investment appraisal, as well as some emerging issues for accounting and finance.

Who is it for?

The course is intended for directors and senior or middle managers of private, not for profit and public sector organisations.

Content

The course consists of nine substantive sessions and one revision session:

  • Introduction
  • Cost Volume Profit (CVP) relationships and interpreting financial statements
  • The nature of CVP relationships in order to make decisions on maximising resources
  • The nature of costs
  • The changing world of budgets and budgeting
  • Management control
  • The nature of capital investment decisions and why they are so important
  • The value added approach
  • Revision of the main themes
  • Revision

Entry Requirements

There are no entry requirements, although you should have a reasonable level of English and Mathematics.

What is included?

There are nine substantive sessions and one revision session, all recorded in the form of audio lectures. You listen to these first before you do any reading, and then once more after you have read the recommended texts. You will be able to calibrate your progress by carrying out the self assessed activities. Feedback to these activities is provided in the ‘Activity Feedback’ folder under each session.

The course is delivered through our Teaching Zone so you also gain free access to our Manager’s tool kit and effective learning skills sections.

Aims

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Describe the differences between financial and management accounting
  • Examine the use of the profit and loss and balance sheets along with understanding their relationship to one another
  • Outline the nature and importance of cash as the important resource of the firm
  • Identify the differing needs within various operational contexts for ratio analysis
  • Describe the wider purpose and operational context of budgets in the current business environment, including the Capital markets
  • Use the various financial techniques involved in investment appraisal
  • Identify appropriate methods to adopt for overhead cost recovery including activity-based costing
  • Explain the wider purpose and operational context of management control, including the importance of the outside operational environment and its evolution to a focus on performance

How do I study and how long does it take?

The course consists of 9 main one hour sessions and a revision session and includes, for example, modules on budgets and budgeting as well as the important area of evaluating future possible projects via Capital investment appraisal techniques. Your progress is evaluated by a series of activities. These are usually accompanied by activity feedback/suggested answers.

How is it assessed?

There is no formal assessment for this course, but there are self-assessment opportunities throughout the course.