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University of Pennsylvania

Financial Acumen for Non-Financial Managers

University of Pennsylvania via Coursera


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In this course, you’ll explore how financial statement data and non-financial metrics can be linked to financial performance. Professors Rick Lambert and Chris Ittner of the Wharton School have designed this course to help you gain a practical understanding of how data is used to assess what drives financial performance and forecast future financial scenarios. You’ll learn more about the frameworks of financial reporting, income statements, and cash reporting, and apply different approaches to analyzing financial performance using real-life examples to see the concepts in action. By the end of this course, you’ll have honed your skills in understanding how financial data and non-financial data interact to forecast events and be able to determine the best financial strategy for your organization.


  • Module 1: Introduction, Balance Sheet and Income Statement
    • This module was designed to give you a foundational overview of financial reporting and income statements. You’ll identify and analyze balance sheet equations and its key components such as assets, liabilities, and shareholders’ equity. Through examining a sample real-world financial statement, you’ll learn how to calculate income, revenue, and expenses transactions, and see how the income statement is linked to changes in the balance sheet. By the end of this module, you’ll have a better understanding of the key components in financial reporting and learn how to craft an accurate income statement for your organization.
  • Module 2: Cash Flow Statement
    • In this module, you’ll examine cash flow statements further, and take a closer look at methods of creating cash flow statements. Using your understanding of financial reporting, you’ll be able to classify different business activities into separate categories such as operating, investing, and financing activities. Through analyzing the real-world financial statement from the previous module, you’ll learn about both direct and indirect methods of creating cash flow statements. By the end of this module, you’ll be able to differentiate between various business activities and effectively utilize both direct and indirect methods of creating cash flow statements for your organization.
  • Module 3: Financial Statement Analysis
    • In this module, you’ll examine a systematic approach to ratio analysis and other common tools of financial statement analysis. You’ll develop an understanding of ratios and liquidity measures so you can accurately assess risk within your organization’s financial activities. You’ll discover different approaches to profitability measures such as Earnings Per Share (EPS), Return on Equity (ROE), and the Dupont Analysis. You will be able to match Return on Assets (ROA) to various types of companies and gain a better understanding of the drivers of ROA. Then, you’ll explore the concepts of sales revenue and different qualities of earnings. By the end of this module, you’ll understand the theoretical basis behind ratio analysis, and be able to employ different ratio analyses and accurately calculate profitability measures for your organization.
  • Module 4: Linking Non-Financial Metrics to Financial Performance
    • In this module, you’ll discover how to determine which non-financial performance measures predict financial results through asking these fundamental questions: Of the hundreds of non-financial measures, which are the key drivers of financial success? How do you rank or weight non-financial measures which don’t share a common denominator? And what performance targets are desirable? You’ll examine comprehensive examples of how companies have used accounting data to show how investments in non-financial dimensions pay off in the future and important organizational issues that commonly arise using these models. By the end of this module, you’ll know how predictive analytics can be used to determine what you should be measuring, how to weight different performance measures when trying to analyze potential financial results, how to make trade-offs between short-term and long-term objectives, and how to set performance targets for optimal financial performance.

Taught by

Richard Lambert and Christopher D. Ittner


3.0 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

4.5 rating at Coursera based on 907 ratings

Start your review of Financial Acumen for Non-Financial Managers

  • Anonymous
    After taking prior courses by Wharton, I was very dissappointed by this one. It's dry with limited explanation by the professor. He continually just reads slides and not very engaged.
  • Profile image for Don Fefal
    Don Fefal
    I don't have knowledge on the finance.
    This mooc is for me, a really opportunity to able to understand the financial world.
    Also, I will can to take a decision with many consitency.
  • Artem
    I'm in business . I want to take your course to develop new horizons in myself .
    Business is big data, big experience , and you can grow endlessly in business . There is no career extension

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