Understanding Finance and Accounting for Non-Financial Managers
Learn the language of business with two award-winning teacher-scholars and create greater value at your organization.


Program Information

Learn the language of business with two award-winning teacher-scholars and create greater value at your organization.

Expand your knowledge and confidence with this self-paced program that guides you through financial statements, balance sheets, valuation and more. Gain a deeper understanding of finance and accounting fundamentals and learn to communicate comfortably about financial data, cash management, banking, planning, budgets, profitability, solvency and liquidity. With this immersion in the language of business, managers can make a bigger impact on their organization, discovering ways to capitalize on new opportunities and create greater value.


An important aspect of our programs is the ability to share your accomplishment with important stakeholders. Upon completing Understanding Finance and Accounting for Non-Financial Managers Online, 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.

Key Takeaways / Curriculum:

  • Overview of Financial Statements
  • The Balance Sheet
  • The Income Statement
  • Transaction Analysis
  • Financial Ratio Analysis
  • Foundations of Finance and Introduction to Valuation
  • Pricing of Stocks and Bonds; Introduction to Capital Budgeting – Measuring Value
  • Issues in Forecasting Cash Flow
  • Cost of Capital and Valuation

Who Should

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.





16 hours total, 2 8-hour days


First DatesSeptember 21, 2022

Program Cost


COURSE DISCLAIMEROnline, Self-paced: Designed for busy professionals, this program blends USC’s heritage of academic excellence with the flexibility of online asynchronous learning. It includes online video sessions, reading and case studies, interactive exercises and discussions with faculty. Approximately 12 to 18 hours of participation, this online course accommodates any schedule as it can be taken at your own pace over three weeks. The course will begin after 9 a.m. on the first day and will close at 11:45 p.m. on the last day.


Every reasonable effort will be made to ensure this course runs as described on this webpage.

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. He received his PhD at the University of Washington and prior to that worked as an auditor with Deloitte (formerly Touche Ross).

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.

Stay connected with USC Marshall Executive Education.

Discover insights, upcoming courses, webinars and workshops along with expertise from faculty and industry leaders.