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Description

Every board member must have a solid grasp of the financial practices impacting their business. It is not only necessary so directors can ensure the integrity of their organization’s financial reports, but also so they can deliver better leadership and increased value to their boardrooms and their stakeholders. This financial knowledge is always essential, but it is especially critical for directors today to help their organizations navigate unpredictable economic times.
 
This course will help directors examine the fundamental differences between board and management perspectives on matters of finance. They will also delve into linking financial plans to strategic plans, capital projects, merger and acquisition transactions and key performance indicators. Participants will apply their learnings in an immersive, hands-on case study so they can discover how to optimize their contribution to financial discussions in the boardroom.

 

Module

Directors will gain critical insights, understandings and a toolkit for effective oversight of financial governance, including:
 
  • IMPROVING THEIR FINANCIAL COMPREHENSION FROM A DIRECTOR-LEVEL PERSPECTIVE AND ABILITY TO UTILIZE FINANCIAL KNOWLEDGE TO MAKE PRUDENT BOARDROOM DECISIONS
    • Critically assess the data, key components and nuances of financial statements and follow the cycle of financial planning and reporting
    • Recognize the fundamental differences between board and management perspectives on matters of finance
    • Boost awareness of how to use financial ratios to ensure the organization is sufficiently funded to achieve its business objectives and to reduce the risk of financial distress
    • Become familiar with the complexities of the financial decision-making encountered by board members: real world examples
    EFFECTIVELY WORKING WITH EXTERNAL AUDITORS AND AUDIT COMMITTEES
    • Acquire an overview of the key elements of an audit and the auditor’s audit findings report
    • Identify common issues board directors might encounter in audit committee reports
    • Understand how directors can relate elements from an audit findings report to the organization’s consolidated financial statements, and why this is important
    • Cultivate critical thinking and questioning skills related to audit reports and financial statements
    ADDING VALUE TO THE BUDGET APPROVAL PROCESS
    • Realize how to approach operations and capital budgeting decisions presented by management and how board and management perspectives may differ
    • Know what to consider as a director to assess the budget and to ensure prioritization has been done properly
    • Develop an understanding of how budget requests should relate to financial plans
    • Advance critical thinking and questioning skills related to budget requests
    • Recognize the role of the board in capital allocation
    USING KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS TO EVALUATE OVERALL PERFORMANCE AND MONITOR PROGRESS ON THE STRATEGIC PLAN AND OPERATING PLAN
    • Bolster knowledge of KPIs as critical indicators of success and what financial indicators the capital/investment market is examining
    • Assess management’s plans to deliver against KPIs: identifying whether they are credible
    • Approach discussions about key performance indicators and how they should be reported publicly
    • Grasp differences between financial and non-financial performance indicators
    ENHANCING UNDERSTANDING OF THE ROLE OF THE BOARD IN M&A TRANSACTIONS
    • Identify the deal structure, terms and motivation for the M&A transaction
    • Be able to provide appropriate advice and perspectives to senior management
    • Fulfill the responsibility of protecting and increasing stockholder value

Who Should Participate?

This course is ideal for directors of all industry and organization types who want to acquire a fundamental level of financial competency from a director-level perspective, or enhance their proficiency, and improve their ability to respond to their financial governance obligations.

Key Benefits

After completing all components of the course, participants will develop their skills and abilities, as directors, to:
 
    • Distinguish various types of financial statements and their implications for their organization
    • Boost ability to utilize financial information to make prudent boardroom decisions
    • Effectively work with external auditors and audit committees
    • Utilize financial data and analysis more effectively to add value to budget and boardroom discussions
    • Apply key performance indicators to evaluate overall performance and to identify financial concerns
    • Enhance awareness of the role of the board in capital allocation and in evaluating M&A transactions
    Participants will obtain the knowledge and insights to fully realize the role of the board in financial oversight today. They will also improve their understanding of the financial information provided to them and the consequences of their decisions and actions.
     

Format

This program uses a blended online learning structure that weaves together best practices in adult education with opportunities to engage with peers.

The structure includes:
 

  • Independent online learning (approximately four hours)
    This is a critical component of the course (and includes an e-learning module, videos, readings, and more). It introduces key concepts and will prepare participants for effective participation in the live session and ensure they are ready to apply learnings from the course to their board work. The required independent learning should be completed prior to the live session. It is meant to be completed at a pace that works best for each participant.

    Live, instructor-led session (approximately four hours)
    This instructor-led online session will focus on the application of concepts covered through independent learning. Attendance at the live session is required for successful course completion. The live session includes class discussions, breakout group discussions and exercises, Q & A with instructors and other experts, and live interactive panel discussions.
     
    Supplemental resources and tools
    Participants will receive supplemental resources to augment the required components of their independent learning packages.
     
    Learning sustainment and engagement opportunities
    Following course completion, participants will be invited to join an Alumni Portal, becoming part of a community where they gain access to tools and resources to help apply course learnings in real-life settings. They will also have opportunities to engage in discussion forums with course peers to exchange questions, ideas and experiences and apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills.

Current Offerings

  • City Course Application Deadline  Course Offering
    Online  BFE 001 March 28 2023 April 18 2023
    Online BFE 002 June 1 2023 June 22 2023
     

Faculty

Robert D. Brouwer Headshot
L. Robin Cardozo Headshot
J. Robert S Prichard Headshot

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