Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Executive

Dec 9–13, 2019 $9,550
Mar 30–Apr 3, 2020 $9,550
Sep 21–25, 2020 $9,550
Nov 30–Dec 4, 2020 $9,550
	Alberto O. Cruz
Alberto O. Cruz
Director, Learning Solutions
+1 212-854-6037
Columbia University Campus
New York City 
Plan your stay

"The Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Executive program was an excellent offering with the right balance of classroom instruction and appropriately challenging content. The impressive set of professors presented expert direction, discipline, and knowledge that will undoubtedly be applicable in any executive's day-to-day profession."
– Past Participant Matthew Whalen, SVP and Chief Technology Officer at GTECH

Faculty director Doron Nissim introduces the program.

In five days of hands-on, interactive sessions, Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Executive provides you with a unique opportunity to deepen your expertise of finance and accounting for better management and decision-making capabilities.

The program features sessions on the role of accounting, key concepts of managerial and financial accounting, ratio calculation, and analysis of your company and shareholder value management.

A hallmark of this program that is unmatched in other Executive Education programs is the Corporate Financial Analysis, a hands-on detailed financial analysis of your company, or a company of your choosing with the help of faculty coaches. The analysis results in a customized financial profile that summarizes how the specific business is doing. Faculty coaches help you read this profile on different levels, discuss the importance of each number for your business and be able to tell how your business is doing based on the figures, assessing strengths and areas for improvements.

At the end of the program, you will have mastered key finance and accounting concepts and understand the relationships among profitability, cash flow, liquidity and growth, and identify the red flags in financial statements – highly important in the current volatile financial context.

For a complete program schedule download the agenda.

Are You Ready to Take the Next Step?

Do you already have a solid understanding of financial statements, revenue and expense recognition, and asset and liability measurement but are looking for tools to evaluate the financial consequences of operating, investing, and financing decisions? Our Financial Analysis and Valuation for Strategic Decision Making program might better meet your needs.

Please Contact Us

Please contact our Learning Solutions Specialists at 212-854-3395 for a personal conversation to learn more.


Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Executive blends broad financial principles with practical applications.

How You Will Benefit in the Current Context
Participants report appreciating the thoroughness of the program: rigorous, but rewarding. The personal attention participants receive from faculty brings concepts into clearer focus more readily and helps participants quickly gain confidence in their new finance and accounting skills.

Summary of Benefits

  • Understand accounting's role in business and master the language of accounting
  • Learn and apply key concepts of managerial and financial accounting
  • Calculate ratios and develop a sound ratio analysis
  • Receive faculty coaching on your Corporate Financial Analysis
  • Apply finance and accounting concepts to shareholder value management
  • Identify red flags in financial statements

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


Topics include:

Day One

Articulating Principles of Accounting Building Blocks
Balance sheet
Income statement
Statement of cash flows
Income measurement: Cash flows versus earnings

Applying Accounting Principles
Revenue recognition
Manipulations and red flags

Day Two

Using Accounting Information to Make Better Decisions
Integrating financial and managerial accounting
Identifying profit opportunities with activity-based costing (ABC)
Understanding the balanced scorecard and efficient budgeting
Mastering net present value (NPV) calculations

Day Three

Understanding How to Analyze a Business
Review actual financial statements
Reformulate the financial statements to facilitate informative profitability analysis
Develop a systematic ratio analysis to evaluate profitability

Hands-On Application: Corporate Financial Analysis
Review the financial statements of a company of your choosing, analyze its profitability, and discuss the analysis in small groups

Day Four

Determining What Makes a Business Valuable
Develop a systematic ratio analysis to evaluate earnings quality, growth prospects, risk, and market pricing
Describe and demonstrate the application of fundamental and relative (price-multiple) valuation methods
Learn the role of valuation in mergers and acquisitions (M&A)

Hands-On Application: Corporate Financial Analysis
Applying the comprehensive ratio framework and valuation methods to analyze a company of your choosing, and discuss the analysis in small groups 

Day Five

Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation
Evaluate the firm's strategy
Understand its accounting choices
Analyze its current performance
Forecast its future performance
Estimate its fundamental value

Real-World Experience in Real Time
Examining effective financial management in the real world
Talking to finance professionals

For a complete program schedule download the agenda.


Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Executive is designed for midlevel to senior-level executives with five or more years of experience in corporate or divisional roles who seek a deeper understanding of finance and accounting.

The program is well suited for those in creative or technical fields and can also serve as a refresher for executives with some knowledge of finance and accounting.

Alumni and up to four of their colleagues are eligible for a 25 percent tuition benefit for programs lasting up to seven days. More on the Alumni Tuition Benefit.

Typical Participant Mix

Geographic Spread

Years of Management Experience

Job Function



Hear from Past Participants:



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 Non-financial 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.

Along with Professor Nissim, additional Columbia Business School faculty may contribute to and teach in the program.


Corporate Financial Analysis: a customized financial analysis of your own company or company of your choosing. A Columbia Business School faculty member studies the company, then coaches you and a small group of participants in similar industries and companies through the process of analyzing the firm. For the Corporate Financial Analysis, you may use your own company's annual report, or the annual report of a competitor or a supplier – it is up to you. Not only do participants receive personal attention on their specific situations, but they also feel that this is where many of the concepts that they've studied come together because they are learning by doing.

Field Experience in New York City: Meeting with a finance professional and examining effective financial management in the real world. Previous guests have included Tracey Travis, senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer of Polo Ralph Lauren, Robert Herz, the former chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, Mark Gallogly, the co-founder of Centerbridge, and John Martin, the chief financial officer of Time Warner.

* Program location may vary. While the majority of our programs run on campus, some programs may run off campus in New York City.