Understanding Finance and Accounting
Learn to communicate comfortably regarding financial data, cash management, banking, planning, budgets, profitability, solvency, and liquidity.

Course Information

Course Dates: To Be Announced

Format: On Campus

Times: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Cost: $6,400

Are you comfortable working with your organization’s financial data? A manager’s performance is frequently measured by how effectively they manage financial decisions and departmental budgets.

In this competitive job market business professionals need to understand both the metrics that are reported in income statements, balance sheets, cash flow and income statements, and transaction analysis as well as how they relate to each other. It is also important to understand how comparing numbers across your company, the industry, and from year to year, can help you assess the overall financial performance of your organization.

This program will help you build a foundational understanding of financial accounting, accrual accounting, financial statements, the balance sheet, and other financial basics useful to any industry. Learn to dissect the elements of and communicate comfortably regarding financial data, cash management, forecasting and planning, profitability, solvency, and liquidity. Learn to understand the accounting and finance perspective to make decisions that create value in the organization.



Each module of the curriculum is designed to answer essential questions about finance and accounting.

  • Overview of Financial Statements
  • The Balance Sheet
  • The Income Statement
  • Transaction Analysis
  • Financial Ratio Analysis
  • Foundations of Finance and Forecasting
  • Introduction to Capital Budgeting
  • Introduction to Valuation
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Who Should Attend

This course is ideal for supervisors, managers, and directors in sales, marketing, production, engineering, R & D, human resources, and other departments who wish to understand more about accounting and finance. No prior classroom experience in accounting or finance is expected, but familiarity with the general language of business will be assumed.

Digital Badge and Certificate

An important aspect of our programs is the ability to share your accomplishment with important stakeholders. Upon completing Understanding Finance and Accounting, you will earn a digital badge recognizing your new proficiency. Share and showcase your achievements by posting your digital badge on online resumes and social networks such as LinkedIn.
3 days; totalling 24 hours
Additional Dates
To Be Announced
Every reasonable effort will be made to ensure this course runs as described on this web page. Please note that course dates and professors are subject to change. You will be notified by email in advance if there is a date or professor change. Additionally, this course also requires a minimum number of registrants to take place. You will be notified by email if the course does not meet this minimum.

Teaching Methods

Using case studies, current business articles, in-class exercises, interaction, and small group projects, our faculty will lead you to focus on the key knowledge and skills you need to understand and apply concepts to your organization’s activities.

Program Faculty

Mark DeFond

A. N. Mosich Chair in Accounting and Professor of Accounting

Professor DeFond is the A. N. Mosich Chair of Accounting, Leventhal School, University of Southern California. His research investigates issues in auditing, international accounting, and earnings management. He has served as Senior Editor of The Accounting Review and on the editorial boards of several leading academic journals. He is a recipient of the AAA’s Notable Contribution to the Auditing Literature Award, and a four-time MBA Golden Apple teaching award winner. He is currently the Associate Dean of Faculty at the Leventhal School. Prior to receiving his PhD, he worked for several years as an auditor at a Big Eight accounting firm and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of California.

Julia Plotts

Academic Director for the Masters of Finance Program and Professor of Clinical Finance and Business Economics

Julia Plotts specializes in financial analysis and valuation, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance. She has received numerous teaching awards including the Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence (11 times). Before joining USC, she worked in the investment-banking group of Banc of America Securities, where she was involved in the execution of M&A and capital raising via private/public offerings of equity and debt. She has consulted on shareholder value creation for a variety of firms.