Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Professional (Online)

Feb 24–Apr 7, 2022 $1,495

Questions? Contact Us:

+1 315-982-5094
+1 315-277-2746
[email protected]

Duration: 5 Weeks
Time Commitment: 3–4 hours/week
Certificate Credit: 1
Learn more.

Delivered in collaboration with

“As you progress in your organization, understanding financial information, ‘speaking’ the accounting language, and being able to conduct various financial analyses becomes increasingly important. This program will provide you with the ability to use accounting information, communicate in financial terms, and evaluate key financial aspects and ratios.”
– The program’s faculty director Doron Nissim

Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Professional(Online)

As you progress in your organization, understanding financial information, “speaking” the accounting language, and being able to conduct various financial analyses becomes increasingly important. If you have limited experience analyzing and interpreting accounting principles and financial statements, join Columbia Business School Executive Education online to ramp up your financial fluency.

In this practical five-week program, you will dissect the elements of financial statements and learn to apply key financial principles to your own business. Demystifying terms such as net present value (NPV), price-earnings ratio (P/E), and forecasting will lead you to make decisions that deliver more value to your organization, improve your overall financial competence, and boost your business confidence.

We answer questions such as:

  • What is financial accounting?
  • How are common transactions reflected in the financial statements?
  • What are the uses and limitations of financial statements?
  • How do you reformulate financial statements to conduct informative analysis?
  • How do you evaluate the profitability, solvency, and liquidity of a company?
  • What are the key elements of planning and control?
  • How do you evaluate and select projects?
  • How do you estimate the value of a company?
  • How do you forecast financial statements for budgeting, performance evaluation, or valuation purposes?

Please Contact Us

Please contact our partners at Emeritus at [email protected], +1 315-982-5094, or +1 315-277-2746 for a personal conversation to learn more.


In a five-week curriculum, the Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Professional (Online) program builds your financial competence and your business confidence. Even if your day-to-day responsibilities never directly concern equity or earnings, this program will help you understand and communicate how financial principles relate to your piece of the business.

During the program, you will:

  • Gain a solid foundation in finance and accounting
  • Learn accounting terminology, key concepts, and principles
  • Understand how to communicate with financial professionals
  • Apply concepts to common business scenarios
  • Arrive at an understanding of the financial implications of business decisions
  • Conduct various financial analyses

Case Studies

Immersing yourself in real-world financial statements and case studies during the program will help you navigate the numbers and give you the confidence to analyze and interpret your own organization’s financial statements.

Upon completion of this program, you will earn one credit towards a Certificate with select alumni and tuition benefits. Learn more.


At Columbia Business School Executive Education, peer-to-peer learning and market-relevant program work are essential to the in-class experience. We have replicated this approach in our globally connected online classroom so you will learn from the professor, program leaders, case studies, guest speakers, and each other — no matter where you are in the world.

Program highlights include:

  • Five self-directed modules
  • Industry examples with real-world financial statements
  • Capstone case study
  • Weekly assignments
  • Peer discussion and feedback
  • Dedicated program support team
  • Mobile learning app
  • Workbook with examples and solutions
  • Live faculty webinar

For a complete program schedule, please download the brochure.


Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Professionals (Online) is designed for professionals at any level in their organization who currently need or anticipate the need to be able to understand, communicate, or use basic financial information.

Representative roles and titles, job function, and industry may include:

Roles and Titles

  • Any role in an organization that requires the use of financial information or involves making decisions that have financial implications

Job Functions

  • General Management
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Operations
  • Administrative
  • Finance/Accounting
  • Information Systems


  • Finance/Accounting
  • IT/Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Healthcare
  • Energy/Resources
  • CPG
  • Shipping and Transportation
  • Retail/Wholesale
  • Construction
  • Government
  • Real Estate

Columbia Business School Alumni and up to four of their colleagues are eligible for a 25 percent tuition benefit for this program. More on the Alumni Tuition Benefit.


Doron Nissim, Faculty Director
Ernst & Young Professor of Accounting & Finance

Professor Nissim earned his PhD in Accounting at the University of California, Berkeley, and joined Columbia Business School in 1997. He was granted tenure in 2005, and full professorship in 2007. He served as the Chair of the Accounting Division during the years 2006-2009 and 2014-2016.

Professor Nissim’s research is primarily in the areas of earnings quality, fundamental analysis, equity valuation, financial institutions, and corporate finance. His studies have been published in such internationally acclaimed accounting and finance journals as the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Accounting Research, the Accounting Review, the Review of Accounting Studies, Contemporary Accounting Research, and Journal of Banking and Finance, as well as in practitioner-oriented journals such as the Financial Analysts Journal and The Journal of Financial Perspectives. Professor Nissim’s research is frequently cited in the popular press, including The Wall Street Journal, Time, The New York Times, Bloomberg, Chief Executive Magazine, The Economist, and the International Herald Tribune. Professor Nissim served as an editor of the Review of Accounting Studies from 2006 to 2013, and as the director of The Initiative on Banking and Insurance in the Program for Financial Studies at Columbia Business School from 2015 to 2017.

At Columbia Business School, Professor Nissim teaches MBA, EMBA, MS, and PhD courses in financial accounting, earnings quality, fundamental analyses, valuation, investment management, financial institutions, and research methods. He also serves as the director of three executive education programs — Financial Analysis and Valuation, Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Executive, and Finance and Accounting for New York Presbyterian Hospital — and he teaches in several other open enrollment and custom executive education programs.

Professor Nissim consults extensively, both to buy- and sell-side firms as well as to other entities. His consulting focuses on equity valuation, fundamental analysis, earnings quality, investment management, and financial institutions.

Professor Nissim has received several honors and awards, including a prize from the Financial Executive Research Foundation for “the article from those published in the Accounting Review, which had the greatest import for users and preparers of financial reports;” Morgan Stanley Award for Contributions to the Development of ModelWare Core Strategies; two nominations for the Brattle Prize at the Journal of Finance (outstanding paper in corporate finance); and two teaching awards: Columbia Business School Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence in a Core Course, and Columbia Business School Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence.