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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions
Registration for the 2014 program is now closed. If you would like to be notified about the next offering of this program, please sign up for e-mail updates.

Financial Acumen for Business Leaders

June 30-July 1, 2014


This three-phase executive education program—which features interactive online sessions, in-person training through a connected "boardroom" setup, and ongoing application—is designed to help business leaders develop and refine their financial acumen. It is part of the Cornell Executive Business Education series, delivered by the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University in partnership with Cornell's School of Continuing Education and Summer Session.

During the first phase of this practical training, you will complete a series of virtually taught modules that will help you build and practice a consistent financial language.

These "learning bursts"—short, interactive podcasts—will help you strengthen critical knowledge in core areas of finance. Each burst consists of an eight- to ten-minute audio segment and supporting materials in a workbook format.

Topic areas include:

  • asset-light approach,
  • working capital management,
  • fixed cost,
  • financial ratio analysis,
  • internal rate of return (IRR),
  • net present value (NPV),
  • return on investment (ROI),
  • market value, and
  • shareholder value.

The second phase of the training features a two-day residential program covering core financial principles and how you can link them to strategy and business processes. This portion of the training will take place at Cornell–Queen's Executive MBA boardrooms (see Locations) and will give you the opportunity to network with executives and leaders in other U.S. cities as well as in your home market.

These well-rounded sessions will help you:

  • build a common language and understanding of finance, including product costing, outsourcing, and budgeting;
  • grow your business and develop successful, real-world business plans;
  • make sense of markets, including financial statement analysis and leader levels,
  • create and drive value as you move forward, and
  • grow your personal network of executives and leaders across the U.S.

Included in the face-to-face delivery will be an interactive business simulation where you will assume the role of the CEO, CFO, or product manager of a company and compete with the other “boardrooms” for market share and capital.

The third phase of the training, following the two-day program, includes peer coaching groups and asynchronous ongoing support.

At the end of the program, successful graduates will receive a Cornell Executive Business Education certificate of completion.

Program Benefits

This focused learning experience will help you:

  • understand the meaning and significance of key financial indicators such as return on equity;
  • use financial analysis to maintain fiscal discipline and to make sound business decisions;
  • recognize revenue and profit potential in business opportunities; and
  • manage the overall financial performance of your business (balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement).

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for:

  • high-potential employees who are being prepared for their first management role;
  • first-line and middle managers who are now responsible for running a profit and loss; and
  • executives, who based on new circumstances, need a refresher on business acumen.